XR creator Dominik Hackl: I developed Magic Keys to bring more joy to people
For his performance in the holocaust drama The Pianist, leading actor Adrien Brody won an Academy Award. A method actor, Adrien went to great lengths to portray his character, the Jewish Polish pianist who loses contact with his family during the Second World War and the struggles he faces to survive. To get into his character’s mindset, he lost 30 pounds in weight, sold his home and car, broke up with his girlfriend and practised the piano for four hours a day until he could master passages from compositions by Chopin.
Adrien Brody was 29 when he learned to play the piano. This goes to show that you can learn to play the piano at any age, even as an adult! It’s true that it’s too late to become a concert pianist, but if what you’re looking for is having fun playing music, there’s no better time than today.
If you’re reluctant to take up playing the piano because of the steep learning curve (you know: learning the notes, the music terms and so on), the Magic Keys app is the perfect solution.
Magic Keys is an extended reality app that helps you learn to play the piano in a new and easy way (you can learn the notes later).
The app was developed by Dominik Hackl, a passionate game developer with a strong interest in Virtual and Augmented Reality.
He’s also a pianist so he understands the needs of grown-ups who regret stopping piano lessons when they were kids or people who have never taken lessons but wished they had – like me.
For the people in either category, learning to play the piano is a dream come true (Check out the comments to his LinkedIn announcement).
In the interview below, Dominik answered a few questions on Magic Keys, the future of extended reality, what he would do if he were Mark Zuckerberg and the tech that makes his life easier as a creator.
BRAND MINDS. We’ve seen VR applications in many industries: healthcare, education, and entertainment among the most prominent. Why did you choose piano learning?
DOMINIK HACKL. I am a passionate pianist myself and I’ve been playing the piano since the age of 8.
So when I first got into VR/AR development I immediately thought of this idea and knew that the piano and AR would be a perfect match.
Also, I know many people who would love to learn the piano but are afraid of the steep learning curve. With the app, my goal is to make the instrument more accessible and bring more people to enjoy it.
BM. What is the future of mixed reality applications in your opinion?
DH. There are many areas which can seriously benefit from Mixed Reality applications. But in my opinion, there is currently a little too much hype around the whole metaverse concept.
We should first focus on creating solid applications that can actually be achieved with the current state of hardware rather than already fantasizing too much about transforming all aspects of our lives into some kind of metaverse.
These discussions are definitely important but I think there is too little emphasis on what’s currently possible.
BM. You are the creator of a number of games for Windows and Android. Is game development experience mandatory for developing projects in Virtual and Augmented Reality?
DH. I would not say it is mandatory but there are certainly a lot of overlaps. Both, (3D) games and VR/AR applications are interactive 3D experiences, so topics like 3D math, shaders and rendering pipelines apply pretty much in the same way for these disciplines.
And of course, nowadays both will usually be built on one of the big game engines, Unity or Unreal.
BM. I would like to become a mixed reality creator, where should I begin?
DH. As mentioned above, most VR/AR apps are built on a general-purpose game engine: Unity and Unreal Engine are the major players. So, I would definitely start by learning one of the engines.
Unity would be my number one choice because it’s slightly more general-purpose and tends to have earlier support for new hardware while Unreal is more tailor-made for games. Then a good level of programming is also required since all engines rely on scripting to create the behaviours for your app.
For the major engines (and their scripting) there are plenty of tutorials and guides online, so YouTube is probably a good place to start.
BM. Here’s a short imagination exercise: you have replaced Mark Zuckerberg at the helm of Meta, what is your first project? Remember, your budget for special projects is at least ten billion dollars, the amount of money the company has invested in developing the Metaverse.
DH. First off, I’m really glad I don’t have to replace him in his position 🙂
But if so, I would probably put as many resources as possible into hardware development and research since this is currently the greatest bottleneck (kind of what they are actually doing, I guess).
I would also try to clean their image as an untrustworthy data mining company by advocating for open standards when it comes to the metaverse and future development in Extended Reality (XR).
BM. What’s one myth about VR, AR or mixed reality that we need to stop believing in?
DH. That it will completely replace physical reality within the next decades.
I am really optimistic about the use cases for XR and I can’t think of any reason why we would want to replace the great aspects of our reality with a virtual one.
There are many obvious benefits of XR but then there are also obvious benefits of physical presence. Just because something can be done from a technological point of view, doesn’t mean it makes sense to do it.
BM. What tool is making your life easy as a creator?
DH. The Quest’s Oculus Link feature is still one of the best things they have done. Plugging your Quest into your PC to effectively make it a PC VR headset works just so seamlessly and it especially is a huge time saver for developing and iterating.
BM. What book are you reading right now?
DH. “Blood, Sweat and Pixels” by Jason Schreier. It tells the behind-the-scenes development stories of several famous video games.
Reading it makes you appreciate even more what an incredible miracle – from a technical, creative and business perspective – it is that any of these games are being created and finished.
BM. What app do you use daily?
DH. YouTube is by far my most used app/website. I definitely use it daily for work and for entertainment.
In return, I am almost completely abstaining from other social media apps and I don’t spend much time on my smartphone in general.
Meta’s VR green garden, playing music & painting in VR and more from Lenovo and Snapchat
Meta’s green garden in VR
Meta is going further with its metaverse plan, investing billions of dollars (10 billion to be exact) into technology advancements, specifically hardware.
According to new reports, Meta is planning to release four virtual reality headsets by 2024. These headsets, sources say, have high-resolution image quality that’s clear enough for reading text so that you can type emails or code within the VR environment.
Building in the metaverse continues and here’s a sample of the kind of experiences Meta is preparing for us.
Intersectional environmentalist @Leahtommi and visual artist Vartika Jangid got together and imagined what a community garden could look like in the metaverse — and one thing’s for sure — going green is always in style. pic.twitter.com/XstJxuoE8y
— Meta (@Meta) May 5, 2022
Soft knitted robotic fingers from MIT CSAIL
Scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) have designed a robotic wearable comprised of soft pneumatic actuators*. Motion is powered by compressed air and the actuators are knitted with conductive yarn for sensing, allowing the actuators to “feel” what they touch.
The wearable is a critical step forward in a variety of applications such as assistive wearables, robotics, and rehabilitative technologies.
Soft robotic banana fingers, brought to you via autonomous knitting: https://t.co/7iENSugX4G pic.twitter.com/cNhrBRnzNl
— MIT CSAIL (@MIT_CSAIL) May 4, 2022
*Actuator is a device fitted on a robot which causes parts of the robot to move: wheels turning, arms rotating, fingers gripping etc.
Google acquires AR Microdisplay Hardware startup Raxium
Raxium is a five-year-old startup pioneering pixel technology with record-setting innovation. According to the company, the MicroLed technology that they are developing enables a new class of smaller and more powerful display products, ranging from augmented and virtual reality micro-displays to life-size panel-based light field arrays. And what they are building is 5x more efficient than anything available right now on the market.
Google announced the acquisition on May 4, saying that “Raxium’s technical expertise in this area will play a key role as we continue to invest in our hardware efforts.” It looks like Google is growing into a strong competitor for Meta.
Snapchat is crafting stories in AR
Augmented Reality is not just for fantasy animals or engaging games. The social platform with the most advanced AR features is Snapchat. In 2019, the company announced it would invest $1 billion in AR content and developments. Recently Snapchat rolled out a series of AR features focused on enabling purchases in-app for brands and creators.
Another use for AR is storytelling. Snapchat partnered with The Los Angeles County Museum of Art to explore monuments and murals, representation, and history. In the clip below, you can see The River Once Ran, a Lens created by artist Judy Baca and Lens creator Holliday Horton.
Artist @judybaca and Lens Creator @HollidayHorton built The River Once Ran as part of @LACMA × @Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives Collection II. The Lens activates layers of history, recovering stories of diverse communities and exploring the consequences of taming the LA River. pic.twitter.com/L4Y8axmW8I
— Snap AR (@SnapAR) April 20, 2022
Lenovo won 3 Webby Awards for its innovative AR campaign, MLKonMLK
There are 955 streets that bear Martin Luther King Jr’s name and Lenovo transformed all of them into an immersive experience to celebrate black history. The company partnered with the DuSable Museum of African American History and created the MLKonMLK AR campaign, an immersive educational experience that brings Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech to every single MLK street using augmented reality.
Congratulations, @Lenovo for winning 3 Webby Awards with the creative & innovative MLKonMLK #AR campaign! via @TheWebbyAwards https://t.co/tjS9hW8Nx6
How it was made: https://t.co/R8wjF9Gt9Y #AugmentedReality pic.twitter.com/pZ6Ix0AKlZ
— BRAND MINDS (@brand_minds) May 3, 2022
Do you have a musical ear? Now you can play music in VR!
Making music is now easier with VirtuosoVR, the VR musical sandbox. Started in 2020 as a hobby project by Jonatan Crafoord, audio director on Angry Birds, LittleBigPlanet, and Minecraft, VirtuosoVR was released on Meta Quest, Rift and Steam VR in March 2022.
Which instrument in Virtuoso is your favorite and why?👀🤩🎶
Let us know in a comment below what’s your pick between Board, Oorgan, wHarp, Wavemin, Empads or Clustr!✨🥁🎹#vr #music #steamvr #quest2 #makingmusic #dj #virtuosovr pic.twitter.com/i96M8IP4ri
— VirtuosoVR (@VrVirtuoso) April 25, 2022
Discover your inner painter with Vermillion VR
We’ve seen VR use cases in entertainment, education, healthcare etc. Here’s another rather surprising use case for VR: painting, may it be as a hobby or for professional painters.
Vermillion is a VR oil-painting simulator created by Thomas van den Berge, a VR/AR developer. Vermillion started as an after-hours project during the first lockdown of 2020, where Thomas discovered the joy of painting through building a prototype.
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BMW’s awarded metaverse, Adidas launching NFTs and more top news in tech
BMW won a Webby Award for its Metaverse
We are proud to announce that BMW, BRAND MINDS event’s Innovation Partner has been recognized at the 2022 Webby Awards for Joytopia, the company’s Metaverse!
Congratulations to BMW for winning the 2022 Webby Award for Technology Virtual & Remote with Joytopia, BMW’s metaverse!
Joytopia is the world where BMW thinks out loud about the future: https://t.co/vNmXeeWtkI@BMW @bmwromania @TheWebbyAwards pic.twitter.com/MCNtjB3HeZ
— BRAND MINDS (@brand_minds) April 28, 2022
Pixy, your friendly flying camera produced by Snapchat
Pixy, the pocket-sized, free-flying camera is Snapchat’s newest video and audio recording device.
It can float, orbit, and follow wherever you lead, without a controller or any set-up.
In Snapchat, shoppers can try on outfits using AR
Snapchat is offering consumers new places to shop using AR, both on and off Snapchat.
Through this technology, shoppers can try on even more outfits more easily, from the comfort of their own home, simply by taking a full-body selfie.
Adidas is bringing customers into the ozworld
The iconic footwear brand Adidas is inviting customers to follow them into its Metaverse at ozworld.adidas.com.
Here, customers can claim NFTs to get exclusive merch and unlock unique digital experiences.
Hey Into the Metaverse NFT holders,
It’s time to move into phase 2, claim your exclusive physical ITM merch at https://t.co/m70gU99NQA.
— adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) April 28, 2022
Bored Ape Yacht Club is going mainstream with a movie trilogy
Coinbase will produce a series of animated short films called The Degen Trilogy featuring the apes in the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
“Bored Ape owners are invited to submit their apes for consideration as characters in the trilogy, along with made-up character descriptions that will be reviewed by an actual Hollywood casting director”, said Coindesk.
The trilogy will tie in to the launch of Coinbase’s NFT marketplace and will premiere at NFT.NYC in June.
CORPUS, the 5-story AR installation
CORPUS was developed by artist Nancy Baker Cahill, Creative Director at 4th Wall, a free, augmented reality (AR) public art platform exploring resistance and inclusive creative expression.
“My belief is that future life will involve embracing interconnected embodied sources of intelligence- microbial, artificial, and carbon-based”, says Nancy Baker Cahill about CORPUS, the 5-story AR installation.
It’s definitely amazing to look at!
Anyone who works in AR knows the potential and limitations of the medium. I am so proud of what we were able to achieve with CORPUS, a 5 story, anchored AR intervention in the historic Bradbury Building for @berggruenInst’s WWLB symposium. @anakin78z you and SED are ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/0EVT4va3Qi
— Nancy Baker Cahill (@4thWallApp) April 23, 2022
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Creating non-intrusive ads for VR/AR and mobile games with Admix
Are you creating VR/AR content? Or developing mobile games? Creating non-intrusive ads is easier with Admix.
Ad blockers have seen an increase in downloads in the past years. For the next period between 2018-2021, eMarketer says ad blocking is slowing down but not going away.
People are installing ad blockers not because they hate all ads (they like good ads and simply ignore the rest), but because they hate intrusive and annoying ads.
According to Google Chrome, 69% of AdBlock users were motivated by annoying ads.
What are annoying ads?
Popups that block the main content of the page, auto-playing video ads with sound, large sticky ads which make you close the page in frustration and many more (you can find all of them on Coalition for Better Ads). Once you have experienced an intrusive ad, you will definitely not be going back to the website which runs it!
The solution is not to eliminate ads entirely but to make them non-intrusive and as organic and relevant as possible.
If you are looking to create such ads, Admix is your plugin of choice.
What is Admix?
Admix is a monetisation platform for games, VR and AR.
At Admix, we hate intrusive advertising as much as you do. We built a unique technology empowering you, the creator, to generate revenue whilst maximising the experience of your users on any platform.
With Admix, you can place ads in VR/AR, on mobile and PC/console.
What ads can you create with Admix?
3D interactive ads
Admix allows you to create interactive 3D ads which are a mini brand experience consumable within your content.
Banner ads are the simplest ad format you can place, resize and customise anywhere in your content, and is supported by thousands of advertisers.
Short-form, highly engaging video ads with directional audio, to integrate anywhere in your content and maximise your revenue.
Features and Benefits of creating non-intrusive ads with Admix
The drag and drop plugin allows you to place ads wherever you want in a matter of minutes
Never ever intrusive
The plugin allows you to always prioritise user experience over revenue, and keep innovating on formats to never intrude or interrupt your users.
The team behind Admix works with the most reputable advertising partners to guarantee that your ads are always relevant to the environment and your users.
Whether you want to monetize a mobile game on Android or a shopping app on Oculus VR, our technology is totally platform agnostic.
Create stunning experiences with various formats which range from curved placements to programmable
Here are the results Rabbit Mountain got following the integration of the Admix solution:
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Artificial skin could aid in rehabilitation and VR
Scientists have now developed a soft, flexible artificial skin that is made of silicon and electrodes.
Find out more in the video!
Walmart is using VR to determine who should get promotions
Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S. is using VR to help find candidates for management positions.
Check out the video!
Grow Your Business With These 6 Tech-Powered Trends
We are living in a tech-driven, digitally empowered world. New technologies are developed at a faster rate than ever before. Does anyone remember the old rotary dial phones? Within just one decade they were replaced by smartphones. Computers used to be the size of a room, now their power is compressed into one chip smaller than your fingertip.
The digital revolution took the business environment by storm and changed everything from product design to sales, marketing and hiring.
It used to be that being digital was a differentiator and a competitive advantage. Now we are fast approaching the moment when the digital playing field will eventually even out.
Accenture, What the post-digital era will look like
How will then companies differentiate themselves from the competition?
The answer is innovation, creativity and looking for the greater good.
Let’s explore 6 tech-powered trends which you can leverage to grow your business:
1. Customization & Personalization
FITS is an app which suggests clothing for men based on their music preference. The app was created by Eison Triple Thread, a menswear fashion company. The user logs into his Spotify account, allowing the app to access his listening data and pair music genres and favourite artists with styles. The user then looks through the suggested outfits, giving his feedback with likes and dislikes. This process ensures that the client’s suits properly reflect his personality as well as personal style. And because all the company’s menswear is made to measure, the user can further customize each product, like choosing colour pairings or materials.
Razor manufacturer Gillette gives consumers the power to create and order customized 3D printed razor handles, with the choice of 48 different designs, a variety of colours, and the option to add custom text.
Startup Unspun has partnered with Fit3D to enable customers to receive custom-fitted jeans after undergoing a 20-second body scan. The company is also developing a 3D weaving machine that will eliminate fabric waste during the production process.
2. Tapping into different industries
Thanks to technology, powerful brands like Microsoft, Google and Amazon are erasing the boundaries between industries.
Innovators themselves, these tech giants establish footholds in other industries through acquisitions. Amazon is going into the smart home market and the healthcare industry, Microsoft is tapping into the gaming industry and Google has taken an interest in the transport industry in India.
Learn more: Biggest Tech Acquisitions of 2018: Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft
3. Plastic Waste Recycling Revolution
Our world is currently fighting a silent enemy – plastic waste. One of the most important inventions of the 21st century, plastic is now a danger to our planet. Governments, brands and companies are now working to reduce plastic waste and find new ways to recycle it.
Plastic bags are a huge environmental problem in Africa. 98% of plastic waste in Ghana is dumped into a landfill (instead of recycled). Ghana company Nelplast found an innovative way to recycle the country’s plastic waste by turning it into roads.
Starbucks and McDonald’s led the creation of a $10 million challenge to create a fully recyclable and compostable coffee cup.
Adidas produced more than five million pairs of recycled plastic waste shoes in 2018, and they plan to incorporate the waste into at least 11 million this year.
4. Out-of-this-world experiences: AR & VR
Virtual experiences (AR, VR and more) are becoming as meaningful to consumers as those that happen in the real world.
In May 2019, Microsoft announced Minecraft Earth, a mobile AR version of the popular game. With a closed beta planned for Q3 2019, Minecraft Earth brings a Pokémon Go-style AR experience to Minecraft and allows players to build and place their creations in the physical environment around them via augmented reality. The app leverages Microsoft’s HoloLens and Azure Spatial Anchors technology.
An estimated 10 million gamers attended a live virtual concert inside online video game Fortnite in February this year. DJ Marshmello took to the stage and delivered what felt like “a glimpse into the future of interactive entertainment, where the worlds of gaming, music, and celebrity combined to create a virtual experience we’ve never quite seen before.”
There’s a common belief that such experiences are created exclusively for and enjoyed by Millennials. Well, Abba changes that.
The Swedish group who achieved global fame in the seventies are now preparing for an upcoming digital show. The event will feature ‘Abbatars’ (like the one we’ve seen in the Miley Cyrus Black Mirror episode) which will represent the four members of the group. Björn Ulvaeus said that the two-hour show will be broadcast in the UK and simulcast across the world.
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5. AI to the next level
AI is the latest most important technology development. Many fear AI will be the end of humankind while others see it as the biggest shift in our evolution as a species. Will we integrate AI in our biological brain? Yuval Noah Harari supports this hypothesis. Until that moment, here is how AI helps us right now.
Chester, the AI-based radiology assistant is a web-based system for diagnosing chest X-ray images. It’s a free tool which allows users to upload an X-ray within their web browser to receive a diagnosis on 14 diseases, such as pneumonia and emphysema with 80% accuracy.
Just as Game of Thrones Arya “kills” her enemies, so too Arya, the recruiting tool helps you eliminate the most common problems related to recruiting. The tool identifies top talent faster than the competition, engages automatically with personalized messaging, builds high-quality candidate pipelines that are ready to move and tracks successful hires and instantaneously searches similar candidates.
Ginger.io is an app which offers professional coaching services to support employees’ emotional wellness. It is a behavioural analytics platform which turns mobile data into health insights and its AI technology helps the app’s clinical team reach out at times that are most helpful.
Learn more about Ginger.io: This app supports your employees’ emotional wellness
6. Innovative solutions to solve social problems
In recent years, brands have leveraged the power of advertising campaigns to put the spotlight on various societal problems. If successful, such actions attract media attention, brand love and a lift in sales.
Learn more: P&G, Barbie, Gillette are challenging gender stereotyping
Customers are now expecting brands to go to the next level: solve the problems, not just tout about them.
A British doctor, Almas Ahmed, has created the world’s first range of makeup that will resist acid attacks. Unveiled at the Leeds International Festival on May 7th, the makeup works as a barrier on the skin, effectively repelling acid. The makeup range took ten years to develop and it will be available in 2020, starting in regions with the highest incidence of acid attacks including India, the Middle East, and the UK.
Imagine the scale of media attention this product would have received had it been created by one of the giant beauty brands.
- Customize and personalize your products/services;
- Is your brand powerful enough to expand to other industries?
- Joining the No Plastic global movement is an opportunity for innovation;
- Do you offer amazing experiences to your customers?
- Leverage AI-based tech to support your customers achieve their goals;
- Create products to solve social issues.
sources: Trendwatching.com and BRAND MINDS blog
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2019 Webby Awards – 3 Winners in Brand Strategy & Experience Marketing
Established in 1996, The Webby Awards is honouring the best of the internet.
The 23rd Annual Webby Awards received 13,000 entries from 70 countries and all 50 states and generated over 9 billion media impressions worldwide.
Here are 3 winning campaigns in the Brand Strategy & Experience Marketing categories:
1. Burger King – the Whopper Detour
The competition between Burger King and McDonald’s began over sixty years ago. With the advent of the internet, these two giant fast-food restaurant chains brought their rivalry into digital. Both Burger King and McDonald’s have entered the creative race where each of them is looking for the next most creative marketing campaign to earn media buzz, fans attention and sales.
The Whopper Detour campaign is a great example of beacon marketing.
Beacon marketing is a form of communication between brands and their consumers based on beacon technology.
You can read all about this technology here: How can Beacon Digital Marketing Help Your Retail Business Thrive?
Using this technology, Burger King essentially turned 14.000 McDonald’s locations into Burger King restaurants.
Pretty smart, right?
According to official statements, it took Burger King almost a year to prepare the promotion. The campaign is entirely reliant upon technology (beacon technology, the app) so it was vital to the campaign’s success that everything goes smoothly.
Get people to download the Burger King app.
- 50.000 Twitter mentions;
- Going from #686 to #1 in the app charts in 48 hours;
- 1.5 million downloads in 9 days;
- 3.3 billion impressions;
- Mobile sales 3x during promotion and 2x after the promotion ended;
- Highest store traffic in 4 years.
The Whopper Detour campaign won in the Advertising & Media Category for Brand Strategy.
2. One Strange Rock – Astronaut Reality Brand Experience
One Strange Rock is a TV-series documentary filmed by Hollywood movie director Darren Aronofsky and hosted by Will Smith.
The documentary explores the fragility and wonder of planet Earth by following eight astronauts who share their unique perspective on our planet.
But this experience is quite exclusive, isn’t it? Only 536 people have been to space.
To launch the show, the team at McCann NY asked themselves the following question: what could we do to allow other people – people who will never be astronauts – to enjoy a similar experience?
Learn more: These 7 Brands Used Augmented Reality Creatively
To answer this question they came up with the Astronaut Reality Helmet, which provides users with one-of-a-kind VR space experience.
Raise media attention.
- 312 million impressions;
- 47 pieces of press coverage;
- over 457 social shares;
- 1.27 billion readers online;
- One Strange Rock viewership was 13% higher than the channel’s non-fiction average performance.
The Astronaut Reality Brand Experience won the People’s Choice Award in the Experience Marketing category.
3. Carlings – ADDRESS_THE_FUTURE
There are digital influencers on Instagram with millions of followers promoting real-life clothes. Miquela, a non-human influencer is one example.
How about real-life influencers promoting digital clothes?
Norwegian retailer Carlings took this idea and turned it into reality.
The brand designed a digital clothing line to illustrate its brand values: sustainability and fashion creativity. The clothing line is a collaboration between the brand and CGI model Perl and includes various fashion pieces: jeans, vests, jackets and coats at prices ranging between 10 euro to 30 euros.
With this digital line of clothes – called Neo-Ex, Carlings helps its customers share their style online – via 3D rendering – without leaving a negative footprint on the world.
With this project, we wish to challenge ourselves and the entire industry into taking the next step. We really believe it’s an interesting issue to address – do all clothes need to be physical?
Raise awareness of water consumption in the clothing industry
- +25 pieces of press coverage;
- +10k impressions for the Instagram post announcing the launch of the clothing line.
The ADDRESS_THE_FUTURE campaign won the Webby Award in the Experience Marketing category.
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5G and The 4th Industrial Revolution
5G is the next generation of mobile internet connectivity. Experts say 5G connectivity not only means outstanding network reliability but also a major change of how we live and work – the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The connectivity benefits of 5G will make businesses more efficient and give consumers access to more information faster than ever before. Super-connected autonomous cars, smart communities, industrial IoT, immersive education—they all will rely on 5G.
How is 5G superior to our current 4G connectivity?
Here are the most important features and benefits of 5G:
- Increased Speed: 5G is approximately 20 times faster than 4G;
- Increased Download speed: 5G offers a minimum peak download of 20 Gb/s while 4G pokes along at only 1 Gb/s;
- Lower Latency: 5G provides below 1-ms latency compared with 30 – 70 ms for 4G.
Superior speed and increased download speed mean IoT will finally be made possible and smart cities will emerge.
Lower latency makes 5G-enabled technology highly suitable for critical applications that require rapid responsiveness, such as remote vehicle control.
5G isn’t just another iteration of wireless innovation.
Ronan Dunne, Executive Vice President and Group President, Verizon Wireless
Is 5G setting the world on the path to the 4th Industrial Revolution?
5G represents a massive upscale of network technology. It will provide data transfer rates many times faster than a blink of an eye, high bandwidth and greater opportunities for connectivity and reliability.
But according to Ronan Dunne, 5G doesn’t upgrade incrementally, but exponentially which supports the advent of the 4th industrial revolution.
5G will improve many industries and make new developments possible like the following:
- Social VR;
- AR in sports;
- Smart cities applications;
- Connected cars.
Social VR is The Next VR development
No matter the latest tech developments in regards to medium or tools, what we humans look for is interaction with others. This is the case for VR also. According to Verizon, 78% of survey respondents who have used VR said they wanted to interact with other people in the virtual environment. That’s why social VR is a new development in VR in recent years.
Social VR is when users create or visit virtual environments in the company of friends, hang out in clubs, get together at parties or at the movies. 5G will help make the VR experience feel more and more real; it will usher in a world where VR becomes our primary communication system.
AR for sports – Making sports experiences more fun for younger audiences
The average fan’s age is over 40 and major sports leagues are looking for ways to attract, engage and retain younger audiences. 5G promises to take sports experiences to a whole new level and make it more exciting for fans in their twenties or younger.
The goal of all major sports leagues is to have people buy tickets and come to the stadiums. 5G-enabled AR might just be the solution.
From AR games during timeouts, participation in game quizzes and polls to AR portals which will allow fans to virtually walk into the locker rooms, on the field or into a player interview.
5G will also prove useful for improving how the audience is experiencing real-time sports matches:
The high bandwidth of 5G will also allow fans to upload their view of the game so they can switch between feeds from the cameras in the stadium to feeds from the fans point of view.
It’s all about providing a personalized experience of the game and a personalized way to watch the game.
Smart cities – Smart society
5G has the power to lead our cities into the future. In this future, our cities will develop economically; they will be environmentally sustainable and will rise on the foundations of competitiveness, economic progress and security, social cohesion and innovation.
These smart cities will be seeds from which the smart society will bloom. A society that improves the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors altogether.
5G could impact almost every aspect of city operations and service delivery: power and water grids, trash collection, transit, public health and education, pollution and disaster management.
Smart cities benefits:
- Smart traffic management;
- Smart grids;
- Smart homes;
- Smart healthcare and security;
- Smart transportation.
Connected cars are already here
What is a connected car?
A connected car is a car which is equipped with internet access and a wireless local area network.
Car connectivity has developed in two directions: vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) connectivity and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity.
V2V means vehicles communicating with others on the roads so drivers are made aware of the location of the other participants within traffic, their destination and speed. The benefits of this type of connectivity are many: advanced warning of traffic build-up, opportunities for drivers to adapt their driving etc. All benefits converge to a safer traffic environment and faster journey.
V2X means everything on the roads is connected: vehicles are connected with each other but also with traffic lights, the roads themselves, lampposts etc. Everything is fitted with sensors which will collect data on everything: the traffic, the condition of the roads, weather, air quality, parking spaces, etc. The collected data can be used to: automatically change the timing of traffic lights to speed up or slow down in order to avoid or reduce congestion, identify roads in need of repair etc.
[bctt tweet=”To make the 4th Industrial Revolution possible, 4G is simply not enough, but 5G has what it takes.” username=”brand_minds”]
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Learn A New Language With This Innovative App
Have you learned English or French in school from old worn out paper manuals?
Well, this old-fashioned way of learning languages is gone!
There’s a new and more exciting way introduced by this app: the Mondly Languages app.
What is the Mondly Languages app?
Mondly Languages is an app which combines solid neural science with cutting-edge technologies to help its users speak languages.
Mondly Languages uses AR and VR to offer its users immersive experiences. In this way, the user learns faster.
It also allows you to learn any of the 33 languages from your native language.
We founded Mondly to revolutionize the way people learn languages. We are passionate about using the latest technology in order to create the best and most effective language learning experience for our users.
Alexandru Iliescu, CEO of Mondly Languages
Mondly’s innovative features
- The first voice-enabled chatbot for language learning;
- The first Virtual Reality language app with speech recognition available for GearVR, Daydream and Cardboard;
- The first Augmented Reality experience in the world that uses speech recognition to help you learn languages;
- There are no computer-generated voices, all recordings in Mondly are made with native speakers.
Benefits of using Mondly Languages
- It’s fun, fast and easy;
- It offers immersive experiences;
- The app’s virtual teacher engages you in conversations, giving instant feedback on pronunciation;
- The Mondly chatbot brings language lessons to life.
Mondly in the media
INC.com – “The New Way to Learn Languages”
Bloomberg.com – “The closest thing to Classroom Education”
Forbes.com – “A practical approach to language learning likely to be widely adopted.”
Digital Trends – “The Mondly experience leverages the immersive quality of VR”
TheNextWeb.com – “The Closest Thing to Actual Immersion”
Huffington Post – “Virtual reality the new and sexier way to learn languages”
VentureBeat – “A lot more fun and easier than just reading flashcards”
Mondly by Numbers
- Founded in 2013 by brothers Iliescu, Alexandru and Tudor;
- 40 million downloads worldwide to date;
- Used by people in 190 countries;
- An average rating of 4.7 out of 5 from over 1M reviews;
- 33 languages.
Awards and Recognition
- Was chosen as “Editors’ Choice” by Google Play in late 2017;
- Won Facebook’s FbStart “App of the Year” in EMEA;
- Alexandru Iliescu, CEO of Mondly won Founder of The Year Award at the 2018 Central European Startup Awards.
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BRAND MINDS’ Guide to Successful Digital Marketing in 2019
Do you want your digital marketing to be successful in 2019?
Use BRAND MINDS‘ Guide to Successful Digital Marketing!
The world of marketing, especially digital marketing, is fast paced and ever changing. Blink and you might just miss the next big trend.
Implement the following 8 tips for digital marketing success in 2019:
1. Use Digital as a Key Component to TTL Campaigns
The important thing to remember with marketing today is that it’s no longer just about marketing digitally. Digital marketing has transitioned to marketing in a digital world, which creates more scope for campaigns.
I believe that digital marketing should be used as part of TTL marketing campaigns, so that your message gets attention from both ATL and BTL audiences. Online or offline, all areas should be explored when it comes to positioning your brand and aligning it with your audience. This will help you to maximise your reach and generate more leads and conversions.
It’s important to remember that by advertising across a variety of different platforms, you are expanding your audience. Some people believe that to be a good marketer, you should focus on one platform and do that right, but I believe that by advertising in as many places as possible, you gain increased visibility and generate stronger branding.
PR and Digital Marketing are also becoming ever more intertwined, with brands gaining exposure and building links across a variety of platforms. Co-marketing and influencer marketing are also great ways to increase reach and awareness.
[bctt tweet=”Use Digital as a Key Component to TTL Campaigns” username=”brand_minds”]
Clever personalisation is the key for effective marketing in 2019.
Gone are the days when a blanket email campaign would suffice. It is vital to segment your audience into relevant sub categories and to target the relevant cross sections with the most relevant offers and information.
Generating personal recommendations on your page is also a great way to get more sales. Link sell by showcasing popular items purchased by others after searching on the page that your user is on. If consumer behaviour is anything to go by, you should definitely see an increase in your conversions. This tailored user journey is also easy to navigate and enjoyable for your customer.
[bctt tweet=”Clever personalisation is the key for effective marketing in 2019″ username=”brand_minds”]
Chatbots and AI have become essential tools for online customer service. Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively.
Over the next five years, the use of bot messengers will be ramping up and chatbots will perform 80% of all communication with customers. Chatbots can be connected to websites, apps and social media platforms to answer customer enquiries and to gather important user information that can be used to create better marketing strategies.
Learn more: How To Use Chatbots To Increase Sales
Grand View Research did a study in to the global chatbot market and discovered that the market had a 24% annual growth rate which amounted to $1.2 billion last year alone. 45% of end users also prefer using them as a primary mode of communication in customer service too apparently.
[bctt tweet=”Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively” username=”brand_minds”]
4. Voice Search
Voice interfaces are becoming an ever more common feature in modern homes and people are using voice searches and features to search quickly and to share information via soundbytes.
According to Google nearly one third of the 3.5 billion searches performed on Google every day are voice searches. Personal assistant devices are used for the majority of these searches.
Like any form of SEO, voice search gives precedence to high ranking sites. Being an authority in your industry, responsive search functions and active social channels will help to boost your ranking. According to studies content with high levels of social engagement performs well on voice search, with content with over 1199 shares on Facebook and 44 on Twitter featuring more predominantly in search.
Other factors to consider are the use of https instead of http and remember to pay attention to your snippets. You’re increasing your chance of being discovered in voice search if your snippet becomes a featured one.
Take care to tailor your description of what your page is about for good ranking. Backlinko state that 40.7% of voice searches come from featured snippets which is staggeringly high. Be sure to use this to your advantage.
[bctt tweet=”Optimise your website for voice search” username=”brand_minds”]
5. Social Stories
With popular culture reigning supreme, Stories have quickly become the marketing choice for savvy marketers.
Since the launch of Snapchat back in 2011, social media users everywhere have been getting to grips with advanced technologies such as filters, augmented reality, boomerangs and superzoom to allow them to get creative and to generate captivating and engaging stories for their followers.
Learn more: 3 E-Commerce Brands Using Instagram Stories Effectively
Instagram Stores and Facebook Live became pivotal tools for story-telling in 2018 and will continue to do so in 2019.
According to Instagram, one in every five organic stories prompts at least one customer message. This is probably because these ads appear native in their format and are less interruptive than other social media ads. Either way the potential is huge.
[bctt tweet=”Be smart in 2019 and use Stories to your advantage.” username=”brand_minds”]
Video will continue to grow in 2019.
Live video is being used more and more to showcase and raise awareness for important brand moments. Videos have 135% times more organic reach than your typical Facebook post with 1200% more engagement than image and text posts (Forbes).
Learn more: How To Increase Conversions With Video Marketing
The stats below show the importance of video for brand:
- 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video (via Wyzowl);
- 72% of businesses say video has improved their conversion rate (via Wyzowl);
- 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video (via Forbes);
- 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions (via Invodo).
The important thing to remember is that several companies have created 360 videos in the past year – especially for showcasing things like weddings and interiors. This trend will continue to grow in 2019.
The full capacity of 360 video has yet to be uncovered. This is just the tip of the iceberg and what’s to come will be even more exciting.
[bctt tweet=”Use 360 videos to showcase your products” username=”brand_minds”]
7. Micro Moments
Google’s research teams have uncovered a new type of consumer behaviour called the micro moment. These moments seemingly occur when people reflexively turn to a device to either learn something, do something, get to know something or buy something.
Google have coined these moments the:
Users experience these moments 150 times a day according to Think with Google. The trick with this is to target consumers with exactly what they want at that right moment to increase conversion rates.
[bctt tweet=”Leverage the Micro-moments to increase conversion rates” username=”brand_minds”]
Both augmented reality – which layers virtual components on a real life backdrop, and virtual reality – which creates an entirely virtual world that can be accessed via a headset, will become a bigger part of experiential marketing in 2019.
These tools aid in the decision making process for products that need to be visualised before purchase. The AR/VR experience is incredibly beneficial for interior design, weddings, clothing and beauty products to name but a few.
Learn more: 3 Snapchat Campaigns Powered by Augmented Reality
Clothing giants Gucci and Zara have both used AR in their marketing campaigns over the past year. Gucci launched the ‘Gucci Hallucination’ in 52 of its stores, while Zara introduced AR screens that showcase their lookbook in 120 stores. These screens have sensors that interact with mobile devices to facilitate easy shopping in one simple click, bringing a truly futuristic element to their marketing and marking a significant increase in conversions.
[bctt tweet=”Use AR/VR to shorten your customers’ decision making process” username=”brand_minds”]
- Marketing today is no longer just about marketing digitally;
- Use digital marketing as part of your TTL marketing campaigns;
- Clever personalisation is key for effective marketing in 2019;
- Save on time and money by implementing chatbot technology to answer FAQs quickly and effectively;
- Optimise your website for voice search;
- Pay attention to your snippets: 40.7% of voice searches come from featured snippets;
- Use Social Stories to your advantage;
- Use 360 videos to showcase your products;
- Leverage the Micro-moments;
- Use AR/VR to shorten your customers’ decision making process.
Join the Conversation
Now that you’ve read our BRAND MINDS’ Guide to Digital Marketing in 2019, we’d love to hear what you have to say. What will you be implementing in your marketing plan for the coming year?
Get in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear your views!
Nvidia – Blurring the Lines Between Virtual Reality and Real Life
Blurring the lines between real life and virtual reality has never seem so close and possible. Nvidia combines its Virtual Reality Holodeck application with Self Driving Cars, in order for a human to be able to take over a vehicle remotely, in the event of a problem.
According to TechCrunch, the driver was sitting on the stage of the convention center wearing an HTC Vive and seated in a cockpit-like car with a steering wheel. Using Nvidia’s Holodeck software, a car was loaded. Then, a video feed appeared showing a Ford Fusion behind the convention center. The driver in VR had seemingly complete control over the vehicle and managed to drive it, live but slowly, around a private lot. He navigated around a van, drove a few hundred feet and parked the car. The car was empty the whole time.
Inside the simulation, users could grab the car’s steering wheel, or watch it explode into its component parts. According to VentureBeat, the Holodeck will be available more widely as a demo in September.
Moreover, according to enterprisetech.com, Nvidia revealed how it’s planning to use virtual reality technology to accelerate the testing of autonomous vehicles. The new offering, called Drive Constellation, could dramatically improve the capability to test certain driving conditions, such as snow or blinding light, that can be hard to get in the real world.
Nvidia will use Drive Constellation offering to scale up the testing of the algorithms that autonomous vehicles use to make decisions. The solution, which is expected to be available in the third quarter, will combine two main products.
The first component in Drive Constellation will be the company’s Nvidia Drive Sim software, which simulates the data emitted from sensors used in an autonomous vehicle (AV), including visual cameras, thermal cameras, radar, and LIDAR. The second component will be Nvidia Drive Pegasus, the GPU-powered computer that actually processes the AV’s sensor data in real time.
Together, the components will allow Nvidia customers, such as Google and Uber, to significantly ramp up the number of miles driven in cyberspace before putting the AV on the road for a real-world test.