vrijdag 20 november 2015

The Relevance Formula: 
Three things your company should focus on to succeed Are you the type of organization that wants to maintain market relevance? Relevant means increasing shareholder value, fulfilling customer demands and defining you industry's ecosystem. These are bottom line statements for any industry. But the question is, who is actually achieving this?

Apple, Coke, BMW and Disney are part of the top ten list of brands that have know how to remain relevant over the years. It's not always smooth sailing at the top, and competition is stiff, so there must be a special sauce, an algorithm - the X factor. In the next page you'll get a peak into understanding how your organization can drive relevance. These insights are a culmination of best practices that stem from a decade of award winning trend watching, scenario planner and entrepreneur ship in EMEA. Relevance has a formula:

Relevance = Brand Equity / (Horizontal Short Term Sprints + Scenario Planning)

The three things companies need to focus on to be prepared for success, and thus relevance is as follows: Brand equity is your bottom line. Numbers are only part of the story because loyalty and experience represent the strength of your brand's longevity. There is no shortcut to the field research need to understanding your multiple market fragments and the voice of your customers. Yes that's right- multiple; the single serving world went out with the mobile Internet. Even if you don't have a B to C operation the client interface with your product or service is how they know you and why they buy you. Therefore think about how you're training your value added resellers, and is your supply chain lean or are there even metrics in place to measure how you're doing? Intel is a top ten brand but most of us never met Intel, went to an Intel store or even directly purchased a microprocessor. Their commitment to innovation has proved Moore's Law right every 6 months. They haven't slowed down innovation because fast processor power is relevant. Although ubiquitous, their sticker on our computer gives us confidence because of their brand equity; anything else would be second best.

Brand equity is pretty straight forward but, the challenge comes form the bottom half of the Relevance formula. Horizontal short term sprints comes from agile management also know as SCRUM in software development. This method enables horizontal teams across departments that would otherwise be locked in silos. Are you a large organization and like a Titanic when it comes to quickly adapting to market changes? A rigid silo company organization is often to blame. Your departments don't communicate with each other rather, they compete with each other and generally have a bureaucratic managerial procedure that takes forever. As a result, you're too late and over budget again.

Change management, often co-organized by an outside agency, is a useful investment to enable your organization to break the silos. Your company has talent; so maximize their skills by working in mixed teams across departments. Horizontal is the opposite of vertical, take talent from each department and put them together on specific project teams with real power and decision-making authority. Be critical together, creative, innovate and test. If you're going to fail, fail fast. Pivot and make your next move the right move. Horizontal thinking brings cross-departmental insights and rapid prototyping, which are two important strengths of short-term sprints.

Now lets combine the short term with a long-term position model called Scenario Planning. What if engineering could communicate as well as sales and marketing? What if you're entire organization had the opportunity to share the company’s vision and road map. You'd boost moral and loyalty throughout your organization in addition to being strategically way ahead of the competition. Scenario Planning is the ultimate group strategy activity that gets your team to share insights and make decisions. This methodology involves picking out the driving forces in your industry and customer segment. Your team will use cut-out pictures and words and place them on axes with four future scenarios. This is a visual method with an arts & crafts feel to it but, be sure, it's serious business.

Originally designed by Shell, another top-ten brand, to bring long terms oil drilling projects into reality. Scenario Planning can be done once a year and is great during the company retreat in-between paintball and wine tasting. It's disarming when you use pictures and story telling in a structured format. You'll learn so much more about your team and even engineers find it easy to share, when they have a picture in their hand.

 Focusing on the Relevance Formula is going to drive success. To get started, start talking about it. The first part of change is having the desire to change. You'll need to build consensus and show your team examples. Visit these two prezi’s – ‘Solution Selling’ for agile management and ‘Portal To Your Dreams’ for an example of Scenario Planning method. Staying relevant requires courage at the management level. Staying relevant to the market is a constant internal process and starts with one activator - you.

woensdag 16 februari 2011

Smart in the City

Scenarios for connected urban life.

Local social, economic, and political forces will shape the urban information explosion in every city over the next decade. Five technologies that matter—broadband connectivity, smart personal devices, open data infrastructures, public interfaces, and cloud computing—will lay the foundation for urban development and inclusion in the years ahead. The scenarios to come illustrate the challenges and opportunities for global cities in both Northern and Southern regions when urban information becomes accessible to city dwellers. On the one hand, smart devices extend information and democratize municipal decision making. On the other hand, there will be an intense centralization of data, most likely consolidated by a private company deploying cloud services and the devices to access it. The question becomes, who will hold the key to enter this data?

Smart cities are wired with IT infrastructure that can report, filter analyze and share urban information. Information can be of a municipal quality like energy consumption and transportation routes that greatly improve efficiency and sustainability issues. Corporations pioneering smart infrastructures are IBM's Smarter Planet and Cisco's Connected Urban Development. Smart cities also integrate real-time social media functionality that will increasingly be used by local government to crowd source civic projects. The UK's G-Cloud estimates a 3 billion Pound savings between 2014 and 2020 with it's cloud infrastructure, and over 100 municipalities in the USA have open data sharing structures for solving civic issues. And finally, from a business perspective, smart cities will enhance what business networks do best: deepening trusted relationships, expanding business opportunities and reducing costs with collective buying.

The driving force shaping smart cities is the access to infrastructure, both in terms of laying down the connections and launching satellites as well as how the end user experiences and pays for the data. Globally, video communications will drive an exponential growth in bandwidth consumption. A new round of investment in long-haul fiber optic networks will bring the needed capacity to cities in the Global North. The linking of coastal cities in the Global South into undersea fiber grids will reinforce their integration into the global economy.There will be cultural, economic and political differences between Northern and Southern cities.

When there is an open social agenda communities will leverage urban information to improve service delivery, transparency, and citizen engagement. This sounds optimistic, but in reality the realization of government cloud services is in reaction to national debt and shifting costs to the citizen in the name of community engagement. What will emerge is that micro enterprises and activities will be super local: day care, rooftop gardens and car pooling today; rapid prototyping, green energy and device manipulation tomorrow. In turn the city block or neighborhood maybe fall into the hands of a local strong man characterize by patronage and extortionary practices. Lets not forget that policing will also be increasingly a Do It Yourself (DIY) civic responsibility.

Building the smartest cities of tomorrow will be financed by partnerships between municipal and corporate stakeholders. In many cases the corporate stake will outweigh the municipality and therefore having ultimate decision making power. When the commercial agenda takes the foreground there will be price exclusion for poorer groups, but for those who are able to pay, wow. Greener, effcient and instant access to data from anywhere. In fact, geopolitical borders will become less import than network connections. Within cities themselves, smart networks will resemble castles, with defenses, exclusive trading partners and a unique culture.

Smartest of the smart cities will be able to make sense of all this new data. Already today, the Watson supercomputer by IBM is able to answer any question asked to it in normal language in a few seconds. What's so amazing about this is that the entire human wealth of knowledge can be articulated and given to you within a few seconds in conversational english. More powerful that Google's algorithms, Watson like supercomputers that sit on top of centralized data can revolutionize industries flooded by information such as medical, finance and surveillance; further polarizing those who are not connected. In the scenarios that follow, try imagine which direction your city will go and consider how emerging cities will handle things differently. According to leading world economic reports, all of the major cities in the next decade will be in the southern hemisphere, let's ask Watson what to do about that.

If you want to know more about IT integration in urban development here in Amsterdam and across Europe visit New Urban Media at www.studionum.com

maandag 3 januari 2011

e-Commerce will capture 15% of all retail sales in 2011

The recession is over, if your in business with eCommerce. Online shopping figures have been consistently rising over the last decade reaching 8% of all retail sales in America and Asia, Europe is at 5%.° The Internet Retailer Online Retail Index of 25 eCommerce stocks on NASDAQ from 2009 to 2010 have soared up 91%. 2011 is going to be the transition for online retail from toddler to teener- the internet is maturing. And what makes 2011 the difference? Three things: frugality, ease of use and cloud computing are the driving forces will shape the scenarios for eCommerce this year. How can ERP solution providers play into this trend? This article explores the merging shopping dynamics that are increasingly happening online, by recommendation and via a mobile device. What's relevant for ERP solution providers is how to enhance integrating the supply chain with a
retail solution.

°Retail v e-tail in America Bleak Friday Nov 26th 2009 | NEW YORK the Economist


ERP solutions providers, and particularly those with a vertical focus in retail, warehouse management and food should be aware of how the consumer will increasingly be making purchases online in 2011. And leading the way is the demographic group the Millennials, who are ages 10-28, and they make a $200 billion contribution to the economy each year. They have become the largest generation, bigger than the baby boomers; there are about 82,900,000 Millennials. Resource Interactive has researched Millennials since 2006 and has uncovered key defining traits of Millennials, notably is an aversion to credit. Having grown up in wealthy times and then seen their parents struggle with towering credit card debt Millennials have developed a genuine reluctancy to spending more than they have°. Further more, they are always online. Have you been to a lecture theatre in a university lately, well when the lecture hall lights go down the glow of Facebook blue is readily seen across many connected faces.

The fact is, this the generation that is born with internet and mobile phones-one interpretation you can take out of that is that they are not inhibited by the notion of purchasing directly online or via the mobile because they haven't built a pre-internet shopping history. In fact, in pre-internet times just as now, a personal recommendation was the driving factor in making a purchase. In an average smart phone there are 50 contacts, and those contacts of contacts have another 50 contacts each. That implies that there is a significantly larger amount of consumer recommendations in our pockets where ever we are. This is changing shopping dynamics.

°Get Them Talking: How Growing Participation Chanis Will Grow Sales, Nov 17, 2009 , Sam Decker and Ze Frank. Bazaarvoic.


Sellers in the retail space know that recommendations from friends or autonomous consumer groups are the ultimate sweet spot for sales. 77% of women are influenced by peer recommendations and about half (51%) of female shoppers are already following their favorite brands through social networks like Facebook and Twitter. But the figures from a recent study by SheSpeaks has uncovered what my mother and her friends did back when I was a kid- cut out coupons. They all used to pull them out of the purses at the till, often mixed with cash and plastic. Coupons still have their sway, they're just not cut our of the newspapers on saturday morning anymore. Women are less likely to make a purchase because of a social product page. Instead, women are looking for coupons (68%), online product reviews (61%) and company emails (45%) to help them make purchasing decisions.
"When it comes to building preference and motivating in-store sales, digital is emerging as a strong contender. If brands can motivate trusted customer recommendations and couple them with a 'call to action' such as a coupon, it's a powerful one-two punch that drives sales and advocacy," said Aliza Freud, CEO of SheSpeaks.

Coupons and grocery shopping go hand in hand. It's not new news - but how can coupons find it's way into a Food industry solution, an obvious place is in the CRM. Microsoft's role center approach focuses on customer centricity, well coupons certainly put the customer first. Coupons nowadays can be electronic pulling data from our loyalty cards and appearing in our smart phones. We scan them at the resister for our rebate, build up loyalty points and be inclined to utilize my local supermarket's mobile food application. Over time, the coupons i receive are quite personalized by an algorithm not so far off Google adds. Think of the "deal of the day" that is fine tuned to purchasing habits. And more interestingly for the supermarket, my purchases and coupons can be linked to the consumer's social graph - the network of friends spun on social networks that turn purely transactional interactions into personal recommendations. That means that my friends know when I bought something and saved money. Maybe it's just me, but growing up as a New Yorker conversations among my mom and her friends on saturday afternoon often mentioned the best deals and coupons that week.


So far the smart phone is getting allot of attention in terms of game changing consumer habits, lets have a look at what Google has found out. Organizing the World’s Information for Shoppers Sameer Samat, Director of Product Management, Google, at the Social Commerce Trends Report Summit 2010 highlighted three industry trends that drive Google’s strategy: online-to-store shopping, mobile, and social. Samat suggests making these trends part of a company’s operational plans. For example, retailers should make sure they have 3G mobile coverage in all stores, making it easy for customers to bring information from the web directly into store aisles. He also suggests that UPC codes for products be prominently displayed, so people with mobile phones can easily scan them to get online information with new smart phone applications. However, Mitch Joel author of Six Pixels of Separation, believes that, with the increasing connectedness of everyone, search will actually be less pervasive in shopping. He believes people will get information from friends, then purchase immediately, such as through their smart phones. Currently two thirds of the world’s population have mobile phones, and smart phones are expected to eclipse PC sales by 2012. Samat tells that Google’s internal data has shown a 3000%+ growth in mobile “shopping” queries in the 3rd quarter of 2010; mobile queries to Google now exceed online queries in some geographies, and the number of queries issued to Google Maps products has grown substantially°. Layering the internet on top of your real-time experience is why Augmented Reality has tremendous potential, as long as our smart phone batteries can keep up.
°Social Commerce Trends Report Summit 2010 April 19-21, 2010

Augmented Reality (AR) will redefine 'pop op' stores and guerilla marketing. Layar, announced at Picnic 2010 that they will be able to provide 'branded' apps on their AR platform which, until now was a horizontal platform open to the public. With an AR app in the retail industry, effectively one person can hold an entire store inventory in a portable device and open it to reveal all the products in an immersive environment. This could range from an AR car dealership, fashion show to a Tupperware party. Right now viewers will need to have an app on their smart phone to see the projection, in 2011 you'll start to see AR glasses entering a price range that would constitute a consumer product. Either way, with the phone or glasses you'll see celebrities and brand champions walking down the street or into select events and pop-up an AR store. The right product at the right place in the right time. Think about it, retailers will need dramatically less retail space driving down price and shifting budgets to customer relationships. In an uncertain economic climate a major strategy for retailers is to keep supply chains as lean as possible to reduce costs associated with storage. AR might be a big jump for some traditional retailer but times are changing. Even the fashion industry is shifting from the traditional 4 season cycle to 16 cycles per year. Uncertainty and volatility in the consumer market demands on a flexible supply chain, by having 16 cycles a retailer dramatically reduces the risk of picking the wrong trend while simultaneously reducing storage costs. Five years ago only Zara, a Spanish clothes retailer, followed such a strategy, but firms such as J.C. Penney, Saks and Macy’s have since adopted it too.°

° In The May 27th 2010 issue of the Economist “America’s Shoppers” Paul Leinwand, a consultant at Booz & Company


Partners in the retail industry should be angling their ERP strategy for retail to embrace web shops, it's not just airplane tickets and car rentals anymore. Luxury brands will eventually be the new gated communities online with waiting lists to get in, but for now, they are content with growing sales. Prada now says that within five years, some 40% of its revenues in America will come from the internet. Prada currently sells only bags, wallets and other accessories online, not its main clothing and footwear collections. Louis Vuitton, a maker of leather goods and clothes, is one of the few luxury brands to have prospered online. Unlike many of its peers, it offers nearly all its products on the web. The internet brings in as much money as one of its biggest bricks-and-mortar shops, says Antoine Arnault, the firm’s communications director°. However Louis Vuitton’s parent, LVMH, was forced to shut down eLuxury in 2009, a website founded in 2000 that sold a wide variety of luxury brands, because it lost money by the suitcase-full. According to insiders, it failed mainly because it lacked focus: it sold expensive products alongside relatively cheap ones. 2011 is the year eCommerce matures and retailers start treating commerce electronic terms instead of bricks and mortar. The first commercial on TV was a minute long still image with a product name and address of where to buy it, more or less a newspaper add on TV. This analogy applies to the last decade of eCommerce, retailers have been approaching online shopping in traditional terms and have now finally started losing their milk teeth, watch out for a big bite in retail sales online. A strong selling point for wholesale distribution and automated warehouses will be how they can quickly process online orders and handle huge spikes and dips in orders. Because online purchasing can happen at home after watching TV , or during a conversation with a friend or at an event with a smart phone emotional and spontaneous purchasing will increase. Supply chains need to be able to turn on a dime and a connected ERP solution is best situated to maximize opportunities.

°Luxury firms are digital laggards, but some are catching up Jul 22nd 2010 | berlin and paris. Economist Intelligence Unit

Going to an online shop versus purchasing out of a conversation in the real world.

When there is a vertical integration in the back end one can start Imagining buying strategically placed products on online TV, during sports matches and movies in the cinema- or even offer a gaming experience on top of the live sports event. The idea is layering the online world via smart phones on to our experiences and integrating online shopping functionality in our TV programs and movies. And one can't speak of online integration not see the significance of Augmented Realty's ability to enhance or public experiences. Like the famous cafe scene where women gather round over cafe and cake to talk about life experiences and consumer products, in 2011 with tablets and smart phones in the mix we will start seeing that this is the place where a majority of online purchases take place, amount friends and in public. Men not excluded of course- lets just shift the apple pie with cream to a beer and a big screen TV.

eCommerce from home or on location.

All online shopping and gaming has to deal with data transfer, accessibility and scalability. This is where cloud computing and battery life will be a practical determinant in how far this online world will take us out of our homes and emerge our public experiences. We all have had a regular sense of urgency regarding our smart phones and laptop's battery life, well guess what- our apps our out passing our battery life technology. Not an issue when at home but in terms of mobility there is only so much cloud computing can to do shift the computing demands of our phones to the virtual server in the sky.

Going up on the vertical axis in 2011 means that battery power can't deliver more than 20 minutes of quality AR shopping or online gaming interaction from our smart phones, hence it won't be a major factor in retail purchases. Going up on the axis means we are using our laptops and tablets more for online retail than phones. In this reality sales and product configurators will make a big bag in 2011 - the ultimate answer to customizable products at a mass scale. Now with touch screen technology consumers can slide their outfits, home furnishings, bike, computer and car parts together to make their own creations. How does it work? Components are represented as a graphical interface and are linked to a table that has product information like price, availability and compatibility. Affectively what's happening is as you slide pieces together, the software is computing the order and contacting all logistic and external vendors needed to get your creation home. In the moment you press: send, buy, compose, create or build the product order has been processed. Respectively, if the combination you put together wasn't possible or out of stock you would know instantly. Don't try this on your mobile, yet.

In 2011 the battery issue will not be solved, but that doesn't stop retails and hospitality from catering to customer battery needs. Like airports in the last few year, why shouldn't stores and cafes instal charging islands for our smart devices. It makes business sense because it keeps us in the retail space longer and connects us to added value and peer recommendations. As we move down the vertical axis and shift away from online at home to online on location it will be social media that makes a big impact on retail, yes AR pop up shops hovering around celebrities is wow, but still niche. Online shops and consumer groups will increasingly be using twitter and Facebook to drive sales, elect brand champions and push personal recommendations. And our older population will join in heavily because lets face it, unlike tiny mobile phones they can actually see what's written on a tablet.

maandag 3 mei 2010

Cloud Mrkt

The Digital Skyline Meets the Built-landscape

It has been over a decade now that Internet and Mobile have been integrated into our daily lives… we are now approaching the reality where information technology embeds itself into urban planning and architecture. Beyond laying fiber optics underground and building communication towers how will new media evolve with urbanism?

Internet and Mobile bring people and ideas together. Email, Twitter, social media and gaming celebrate the sharing of knowledge and experience. This share-care communication is a human quality that will be enhanced when digital media has a physical meeting point. In other words can there be a physical manifestation of the web like data dynamics associated with the web. How will crowd sourcing, open source software, social media, and desktop widgets look like as a physical extension of their digital interface? There is a structure that resembles this dynamic, airports.

Airports are nods in a network and manage flow digitally, on the ground and in the air. We walk into an airport and look up on the screens to see real time arrivals and departures. The waiting rooms have news broadcasts, refreshments and entertainment. Likewise, our urban landscape today is a juxtaposition of digital and telecommunication flows that are co-existing and interacting with the built environment. When these flows become visible in a value added way we are beginning to realize the concept of CloudMrkt.

Airports manage flows and connections. Global office networks like the Hub and Spaces create flexible working environments based on time sharing and like mindedness. Usually part of a global network, one's rent is valid in any building that is part of that network. Furthermore, there is a corresponding digital network that is a desktop widget facilitating resource sharing and job hunting. This can be seen as select form of crowd sourcing. Finally, the workspaces and digital networks come together in a branded and hosted place experience.

CloudMrkt takes the flow management of an airport and the spatial / network community element of the flexible work space and scales it up to a much larger urban district. The area being explored for such an intervention in Amsterdam is Westpoort-Oost; an industrial / business region with 350 companies and a logistical infrastructure for freight and commerce. What CloudMrkt proposes is a local area enhanced with a crowd sourcing toolkit that proliferates economies of scale and quality of life. This becomes evident the moment a company begins renting and turns on its computers and mobile devices to find software tool kit and a desktop messaging platform called Exchange. The software tool kit would have office / data management / and design tools supported by a private server. The idea is that the unit cost of licensing and purchasing software gets reduced by opportunities of scale. Think of what currently happens with collective insurance and savings plans, the same clubbing together is appropriated in CloudMrkt. Linking all the companies together requires an appreciation for transparency and an open source mentality. For those companies that can embody the network society will find that cutting costs will find it's way into other services like legal and accounting. And even more significant, finding the right people skills in the process of creating project teams will be made easier with Exchange.

Exchange is a real time supply and demand messaging board that lists the activities of all the companies in the CloudMrkt. You see it on your devices and in screens installed in each CloudMrkt building. By the entrance of the building or next to the coffee machine the screens posts business activities, news flashes, requests for help and job offers. The value here is that your company is not alone anymore and is just as applicable to freelancers as it is to small medium and large sized companies. Each CloudMrkt member can sea each other, like in gmail or Facebook you see a list of friends and people on line. It's the same idea, except for a fundamental difference that here there is a physical place where people can meet. Coming face to face with your client, partner and friend is a key ingredient to relationship building and trust. Considering that science has shown that words are only 7% of communication leaving the vocal variety at 38% and non-verbal communication at 55% shows that the majority of how we receive messages from each other is intuitive. The physical meeting place is also practical in terms proximity and credibility, promotes accountability and increases serendipity. It's convenient for conversations, deal making, a barter transaction or simply drop something off.

Each region will have a centrally located building hosting the Cloud Café and Cloud Conference Center. Interviews, brainstorms, barter transactions, lunches and networking activities can all find there place here. Just ask the crowd, this is your community. The Cloud Café his will include three digital walls: the Dream Wall, Data Wall and the Exchange. The Dream Wall is where members can share ideas they are passionate about like Google's 20% time policy or what traditionally happened on a bulletin board. The difference now is that everyone can share and build on it, this is where innovation can happen. The Data Wall measures energy use, carbon emission, heat loss and data analytics. This feature empowers residents and companies to see exactly where energy is being used and therefore enabling the possibility to make efficiency and sustainability amendments based on that real time data. In addition to eco tracking, analytic data provides CloudCafé with a real time digital ambiance reminiscent of the stock exchange trading floor.

And the Exchange Wall is the real time supply and demand messaging board that everybody has on their desktops and mobile devices. Companies who are open will find that they will share talents, barter goods and services, do collaborative projects, grow faster and realize that resources are much closer. The ability to professionally crowd source promotes efficiency in terms of finding talent but also in terms of reducing transportation costs and licensing fees. The way the city is set up now, one doesn't know their neighbor let alone the staff, resources and business visions of the company across the street. CloudMrkt is proposing that it's possible to build in networking and resource sharing capabilities.

The Cloud Conference Center is a flexible meeting / conference space that is self organized by the business community. Their is a host and a system manager but ultimately this space is there for when a company needs to make presentations, hold conferences and form larger teams that expand beyond their walls at home. When connectivity is increased in a business region specialities will emerge. Diverse CloudMrkt regions will develop their own specialities that are industry specific like a creative hub full of marketing and media companies versus a logistical region with freight and global commerce and or an engineering market that has a speciality in design and software. Over time, multiple CloudMrkts in a city will form the way districts have organized themselves in the past like a China Town, Banking District or Art Quarter. The difference now being that new media facilitates this self organizing dynamic. It will even be possible that a CloudMrkt, which is a collection of companies and professionals, will receive project opportunities that are offered to the area as a whole. It's scaling up the dynamic that appears at a company level into a multiple company districts.

Lets get real. This ambition isn't a far fetched scenario for Star Trek, it's a bottom line consideration that any property developer has had since the invention of stones. How does a developer make an area interesting to move into too, hence increasing it's attraction power and ultimately it's property value. Simply put, why should I move here and will my property gain value overtime. Today, like never before, it's fundamentally possible to view planning from a combined perspective that includes digital media and physical space. What's on offer is instant networking, a digital tool kit and a place to meet and make it all happen. It's up to the people to create there dreams and organize themselves, New Urban Media provides the infrastructure to that more efficiently.

Written and concept by Carl William Kerchmar, www.portaltoyourdreams.com
Visualization and concept by Jesse Lavalaye, noolio+ www.noolioplus.com
Special thanks to Placemakers

maandag 8 maart 2010


Ask yourself, on average how far is your mobile phone from your body?

It's difficult to talk about society nowadays and not mention Information Communication Technology and social media. Even Queen Beatrix during her Kerstrede 2009 remarked on how she perceived technology was individualizing society. Her statement expresses a perspective that technology can actually influence behavior and culture. Such a perspective could imply that society is malleable by technological intervention. Then again, was a society ever a fixed state of being? Since emergence is a natural state of being, lets explore how the proliferation of social media networks and the ever increasing computer power of mobile devices will influence society.

What kinds of changes are in store for us thanks to social media networks and mobile phones:


A phenomenon that throws demographics out [of] the window. It means exactly what it says, age doesn't matter. Rather, it puts emphasis on your lifestyle choices and 'tribal' behavior. There are quite a few factors involved to be able to suggest we might be moving into an ageless society. They include health, wealth and access to information. For one, humans are living longer, healthier and wealthier. Lets not forget vergrijzing majorly affects North America, Europe, Japan and China. So when the wealthiest populations are also the oldest they don't want to be seen as old, hence avoiding the demographic stereotypes. They rather categorize themselves in terms of consumption habits and lifestyle choices. At the same time the youth today is growing up in a time of prosperity with access to worlds of information at their finger tips. We all have access to information and the fact that information doesn't discriminate on age means that 8 year olds and 80 year olds might find themselves having common reference points. Especially if we consider that human contact is increasingly mediated by a digital layer either by email, sms, chat, video conference or augmented reality. Have a look at Linkedin and Facebook statistics, and you'll find that the average person is logged in about an hour a day to social media networks. Facebook alone has 350 million users plus another 55 million on linkedIn, and yes they are going mobile.

Augmented reality

Will be as common as writing an email in the near future. In short, AR is a mobile application that triangulates information on the web with GPS, the compass and the video camera. What this effectively can do is layer information posted on the web over your physical experience. Layar and Wikitude are free AR apps you can download to your smart phone right now. Having such an app on your phone means you can get tagged information from geo-locations like opening times and web pages. You can also follow twitter messages, just pluck them out of the air, see who sent it and from where. The Nederlandse Architecture Institute has an app that shows you a street view from the past, like 1890, and also street views that showcase architectural plans of buildings yet to come like the new Market Hall in Blaak, Rotterdam. AR also has massive implications for technique, take for example BMW's AR glasses that once on, lead you step by step with audio visual instructions on how to repair the engine. Literally the nuts and bolts are highlighted and voice guides you through the process, check it out on you tube. What happens to society when people can put on the right glasses and become proficient in a technique they never did before?

What does it mean for our society if the vast amounts of information online can be layered and filtered on demand with our mobile devices? In terms of social media, all those millions of Facebook and Linkedin users may choose to have their profiles and updates floating around them with an AR app on the smart phone. I don't believe that communication technology is a substitute for face to face interaction, but rather will stimulate it. It will create more opportunities to trade, barter and find like minded people. Ironically that may make life a bit boring if you're always guided by your preferences, but then who says you can't make another profile or two or three. With the touch of a button I could change from an ICT creative working in the WTC with AR links to sushi bars and the Mac store to a punker who has a star floating over all the buildings with illegal parties going on underground.

What may arise is a digital divide between those who are constantly logged in and those who are not. Or a divide between exclusive networks and filters keeping people in the know. But whoever thinks that society isn't going to increasingly intertwine with ICT needs only to look at Africa and their explosion of mobile use. Or even closer to home, when was the last time your mobile phone was more that 10 meters from your body? We may not all be using AR regularly this year but we will be online and there will be a device near us. These are the first steps towards a cybernetic organism; cyborg.

RFID Biometrics

It seems alien now, but I bet in the next decade people will be asking to be implanted with RFID tags. Medical records, passports, security access and even as banal as brand loyalty schemes. I mean if you're already implanted why not put all of your credit cards, bonus cards and membership cards on it. Radio Frequency Identification Technology has been around since the 1940's and is already integrated into supply chains by the U.S. Department of Defense and Wal-Mart. And yes, they are already being embedded into people. Already in 2004 Barcelona clubbers at the VIP Baja Beach Club voluntarily got themselves chipped. A tiny 1 mm glass capsule with their account information was injected just under the skin giving them access to the VIP and area and hands free payments on the bar.

Let's face it, it's not that bad being a cyborg if it increases my human condition with the stimulation of our senses, love, camaraderie and the host of emotions good and bad. The technology in itself is helpful and neutral. What we need to really watch out for is human intervention. Hackers, security issues, invasion of privacy and what ever mass controlling darkness our minds can come up with and so cleanly apply to technology. What's out there in our cybernetic society? Will legislation be for or against? If we consider the Netherlands we might say pro cyborg considering the pioneering role Schiphol Group has made in biometric passport controls that lead European and world standards. On the intrusive side of security the American Homeland Security Act has a plethora of programs that will fill your google search results in a hurry. Who will monitor the monitors?

In a scenario axis we can map out four future contexts for our increasingly cyborg like society. A noticeable issue will be visibility which is placed on the vertical axis. Visibility measures the appearance of the ICT gadgets themselves and the manifestation of people activity. Will we see the technology be on us and in the streets in the form of hand held devices and public infrastructure. Or will technology go under our skin, wireless, kinetic and in contact lenses. An in terms of social networks / media will there be reasons to remain hidden and exclusive; or will ICT bring a return of the Forum Romani?

The horizontal axis will measure the governments role or lack there of in the evolution of cyborg society. A weak role means that the commercial sector will be developing the legacy of the cyborg, thus consumer oriented. On the far right where government takes a leading role and perhaps monopolizes certain aspects of the technology because they simply own the satellites and rig the legislation we could see gross infringements on privacy and a deep consolidation of global systems like police records, immigration, banking and anything they might feel like calling a threat to national security. Terrorists, from their perspective, might become social media networks that oppose unbridled monitoring.

donderdag 3 december 2009

V2_ AR Ecosystem Hosting Team

Meet your hosting team for tomorrow!
These are the people that have helped make this event happen. Tomorrow they will contribute to V2_ AR Ecosystem by presenting & hosting you throughout the program.
Speakers & hosts will participate in and/or facilitate the interactive parts & harvests of our gathering.

Christina Rittchen is Communications Manager at Mobilizy, the original AR visionaries who developed Wikitude. At V2_ AR Ecosystem we may get an exclusive glimpse at the brand-new Wikitude 4 and first-hand insights into how Austria is pushing AR forward.


Claire Boonstra hardly needs any introduction. But if you are new to AR: Claire is co-founder of Layar, the latest success story from the Netherlands and its pioneer in AR. Layar offer the first global mobile augmented reality browser and have so far inspired some 1200 active developers, some of whom we expect to have with us on Friday. Layar won the Vodafone Mobile Start-Up Challenge at Picnic 09 and have this week hit the headlines once again:




Truus Dokter
of ItFits will share latest developments on how the fashion industry is being impacted by wearable technology and AR. She also represents Second Sight trend magazine and will review V2_ AR Ecosystem for trend & ideas leaders PSK platform.



Willi Schroll is a futurologist from Berlin and manager at Strategic Labs. His talk for V2_ AR Ecosystem is likely to focus on "AR Citizenship". In July 2008 Willi predicted 'mixed reality' as a future iphone standard.



Jan Misker is project manager for V2_ AR at V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media.
He will welcome you and give an overview of V2_'s activities and the state of AR.


Artm Baguinski is a software engineer at V2_ Lab and co-organiser for V2_ AR Ecosystem. He will contribute to the interactivity at the event.

AR+RFID Lab & The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague will share AR examples, including a recently exhibited piece by Ferenc Molnar entitled Disturbing Foresights, in collaboration with TU Delft. Contributors include Wim van Eck, Melissa Coleman, Jachim Rotteveel and Yolande Kolstee.

Carl William Kerchmar is a trend analyst, scenario planner & concept visualiser who co-organised V2_ AR Ecosystem and will give a short inspirational talk about the future of AR.


Kim van Rijt is a recent student of KaosPilots Netherlands and Social Work graduate. An accomplished process facilitator, she will support the V2_ AR team in hosting our guests. Her focus is now on bringing her talents and passion for learning into the field of Interior Design.

Kwela Sabine Hermanns graduated with an MA in HyperMedia Studies at University of Westminster in London and co-organised V2_ AR Ecosystem. She will stage-manage the event, shout out instructions and generally do whatever she can to make you happy & make this event historic :-)

V2_ Volunteers will help put food in your stomach and serve you drinks at the bar, amongst other appreciated help.

Special thanks to MultimediaN who has been part of the V2_ AR Ecosystem from the beginning.

And those I forgot ... or any incorrect / incomplete information will be mentioned / rectified tomorrow! We look forwARd to hosting you!

woensdag 2 december 2009

V2_ Augmented Reality Ecosystem Program

The AR ecosystem is emerging this Friday at the V2_ Institute. Exploring AR has become a hype with leading developers Layar all over the press: Hyped NL and CNN Wikitude will also give Holland it's first look at the new 4.0 version. The interactive program is bellow followed by a guest list visualization arranged by industry:
• Commercial • Technology • Education • Culture & Heritage •
• Design & Architecture • City & Planning •

V2_ AR Ecosystem Program Outline

Date:    Friday, 4th Dec 2009
Time:    13:00 - 18:00 
Venue:   V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam
             10 Eendrachtstraat (off Witte de Witstraat; tram 20; or 10 mins by foot from Central Station)

13:00  Welcome & ARegistration & ARtworks

13.30  V2_ Institute for the Unstable Media: Introduction to V2_ AR Ecosystem

            Claire Boonstra (Co-Founder at Layar, Amsterdam)
            Truus Dokter (ItFits / PSK)
            Christina Rittchen (Director at Mobilizy / Wikitude, Salzburg),
            Willi Schroll (Owner at Strategic Labs, Berlin)

    Plus:  Surprise Skype contributions if time zones & diaries allow

  dReAming the future together: 
            Break-out session in ecosystem niches; with participation from speakers &   host team

15.30  Panel of dReAms:  Feedback from speakers, discussions, questions on YOUR ideas

  PortalToYourdReAms:  Inspiration for the Future of AR 

16.45  Break:  AR Cocktails for Her & Him 

17.00  Projecting the dReAms:  Into collaboration & strategic partnerships 

  Final Harvest Panel: Invited guests, hosts & audience

18.15  Drinks 

19.00  Leave the building / go on to a nearby bar for after-drinks for those who wish