The future is private and immersive: #F82019 takeaways

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Facebook is using F8, its yearly developers conference, to explain how it is rebuilding its platforms and how it will run the company around Privacy. 

In a nutshell, a privacy focused social network means that Facebook is going to be the Living room vs. being the Town Hall, which has always been Twitter’s territory. So, everyone is now finding its place in the world. 

The tech press is doing a good job at covering this aspect and the 6 product principles (encryption, reduced permanence, safety, interoperability, secure data storage), so I am focusing this post on what I have heard specifically about immersive computing.

It is clear that Facebook’s he future is private, it is also clear the future of computing is immersive.

Zuckerberg kicked off the Oculus section of the opening keynote with a simple statement “This is going to be a BIG year for VR“.
So, this year, it is not about the long-term vision and engineering break throughs around immersive computing, it is all about reveling what the VR community was expecting, ship date (May 21st) and pricing ($399) or the Oculus Rift S and Quest.

With Oculus Quest, it feels like the promise of VR is finally going to live up to the user’s expectations: for the 1st time people can move around in experiences, no cable, no external tracking, all made possible by Oculus insights. It is easy to carry, and content can be casted to smart phones or TV- Read detailed product review here

Oculus is the next computing platform and it now has a suite of interoperable products for everyone: Go for immersive media + Rift and Quest for gaming.

At F8 Oculus also announced enterprise packages for Go & Quest with features adapted to large scale organizations such as bulk upload and control, quick replacement, extended warranty and support – all the details at oculus.com/business

Walmart which is training 1 Million associates with STRIVR about customer service scenario is a great case study to demonstrate the power of VR training:
According to a survey shared by Oculus:

  • Training time in VR is reduced by 40% compared to traditional training methods
  • 70% employees trained in VR outperformed employees trained with traditional training methods.

For medical training, piloted by Johnson & Johnson: surgeons trained to perform a specific procedure in VR outperformed surgeon trained with traditional methods by +230% on various scale of criteria. This is simply due to the fact that surgeons trained in VR feel like they have already done the procedure rather than rehearsed for it.

And finally since eye contact and full body language are absolutely critical to sense of presence and making connections in VR, the Oculus team shared their full body codex avatars prototypes.
Unfortunately, it is still years away to being a consumer product. This work is really impressive and goes all the way back to understanding how the human body works : from brain to bones to muscles to skin and layering fabric movement of the clothes on top.
If that was not complex enough, new social norms need to be created so that people can build social fabric in VR. For that element, Facebook’s knowledge of the social graph is a key asset. A t
oolkit available for developers around safety and integrity and there will be more to come at Oculus Connect…

Marie Sornin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is binge watching the future of sports broadcasting?

I grew up in a European household with 3 brothers into motor sports. Needless to say that on Sundays, when the TV was on, Formula 1 was on.
However, I don’t remember ever watching a full grand prix, let alone following a season or cheering for drivers, even though the most epic rivalries of the time between Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher were in full swing.

Yet, last week, something unbelievable happened to me : I BINGE WATCHED F1!

The F1 drive to Survive ten-part documentary series premiered on March 8 2019 a few weeks short of the 2019 season kick off.
The brilliant executive producers James Gay-Rees, Paul Martin and Sophie Todd give the audience an all access look at the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship. Its unparalleled footage to the world’s fastest drivers, team principals and owners, as well as Formula 1’s own management team immerse viewers inside the cockpits, the paddock and the lives of the key players in Formula 1.

This show packs everything an avid fan would want in a season of their favorite sport: the action and the thrill, the victories and defeats, the clashes and crashes, duels, gossip, behind the scenes, etc… the difference with a regular season coverage is that it is all available to you on demand and you can (attempt to) fully control your viewing experience.

So, this anecdotal experience made me wonder: Is binge watching catching up with live sports?

Marie Sornin

 

 

 

From mobile 1st to 5G

The annual #NBAAllStar weekend just wrapped up.
Beyond the dunks and three pointers, the NBA All Star is also a celebration of the NBA’s technology innovation. This year one of the key innovation theme on everybody’s mind was 5G.

Interviewed by Peter Kafka, Executive Editor of Recode during the NBA All Star 2019 tech summit, Randall L. Stephenson Chairman, CEO and President of AT&T predicts that 5G will be operational in major US cities in 3 years.

Even if some experts view this timing as slightly too optimistic, with 5G, what is already true for Gen Z will become a fact for everyone: There will not be a difference between our digital world and our real world.

Content will be transformed into new types of experiences; ones that will be seamlessly and contextually integrated into our lives, fully immersive and personalized. Believe it or not, this will all be made possible thanks to zero latency.
No latency seems like an obvious necessity for applications such as self driving cars, but why would it be so important to media applications?

No latency is a monumental change for media

No latency means that 5G is taking data access, computing power and storage away from hardware and onto the cloud… which makes devices such as nReal light, the first ready-to-wear mixed reality glasses possible…. this type of hardware, paired with a 5G phone and network will finally make digital, portable, immersive and augmented live experiences real for everyone!

nReal light.

nReal Light at CES 2019

One finishing thought about 5G:
Remember your landline?
According to Randall L. Stephenson this is how you will feel about your wifi 3 to 5 years from now…
This is how monumental the change brought by 5G is!

Marie Sornin

Source:
* Statista 2018: global mobile video traffic in terabytes per month
** Statista 2017: US TV consumption in hours per month

 

VR on the Croisette

Publicis bold statement about shifting resources into AI rather than continuing to showcase its work on the Croisette, seems to be creating more buzz than the 2017 Cannes Lions winners.
The industry is concerned about what it means for International Festival of Creativity, It also reveals a lot about the value of agencies in a world where AI/ AR/ VR are transforming their role, purpose and creative process.

I say AI/ AR/ VR because one of my observations from attending the Cannes Lions this year is that these 3 disciplines are often grouped together and take up most of the innovation stage.

My focus for this post is going to be on VR: How was VR represented at the 2017 International Festival of Creativity ?

First, some general observations:

  • VR campaigns have swept awards in the innovation & digital craft categories
  • The differentiating points of campaigns come from outstanding level of creativity or utility, rather media strategy
  • Google stands out with 4 awards (TiltBrush, Earth VR, Google Arts & Culture)
  • Independent specialist agencies (e.g.: Analog & Rewind)are ahead of the global holdings

Now, here are the Lion winners showing what VR can do for creativity & advertising:

Digital Craft Grand Prix Lion: Bjork
REAL-TIME VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE FOR BJÖRK’S NOTGET

Innovation Grand Prix+ Bronze Digital Craft Lions: Audi
THE ENTER SANDBOX VR EXPERIENCE

Innovation + Digital Craft Gold Lions: Google
GOOGLE TILT BRUSH

Digital Craft Silver Lion: Nike
NIKE ID VR STUDIO

Digital Craft Silver Lion: BBC
BBC HOME: A VR SPACEWALK

Digital Craft Bronze Lion: Google
BACK TO LIFE IN VIRTUAL REALITY: RHOMALEOSAURUS & GIRAFFATITAN

Innovation Bronze Lion: Google
GOOGLE EARTH VR

Congrats to the creators and brands who won some VR Lions.
Marie Sornin

 

 

 

No tiara involved

I recently left Twitter and joined NextVR as the VP of revenue partnerships.
The #WomenOfNextVR welcomed me to their uplift lunch series where Melinda Witmer (guest speaker), Stefanie Yoshimura (software developer at NextVR) and myself shared our stories around the topic:

What is the biggest challenge of your career and how to overcome it

A tiara and cuffs might allow Wonder woman to gracefully extract herself from some tricky situations… as far as I am concerned, I only have a brain, a body and a few connected devices to “do epic shit” day in day out!

So, no tiara involved, here are some resources that I use to do so.

  • Nurture your creativity & confidence in your own time:
    Find and practice what gives you “thinking space”.
    The best ideas often come from unexpected places/ moments. This is because all the work you do throughout your busy work days sometimes needs a spark to ignite the insight that will give you the confidence to move forward with an idea or solve a problem.
    I often find that spark while surfing, that’s when I used to live in Australia, now that I live in NYC, it’s by walking the streets of the city with blasting house music in my headphones, or painting, meditating…
    Whatever it might be for you: cooking, playing with your kids, walking your dog, singing in the shower, doing your hair, dancing, watching cats on the internet, chasing double rainbows…. Make time for it!
  • A good read is always a good idea: 
    A trick that helps me read more is to swap social media time for reading time.
    From quotes, to articles, fiction or self development books, here are a few examples I love and find very useful:

Oh and one more thing, if ever in doubt about life, listen to the lyrics of this song (it seems crazy, I know. trust me on this one)

React and share your wonder woman/ super man tool kit!

Marie Sornin

Industries of the future

A must watch for anyone who is interested in the future of technologies and its impact on geopolitics, or anyone who has the most important job in the world in the world: being a parent.

If you want to go deeper, I highly recommend the book written by Alec Ross- former Sen. Advisor Innovation for SecState Hillary Clinton: Industries of the future

Marie Sornin

“Pretty soon computers will be fast.”

After my experience with Oculus (which I described in my previous post), this info released at this year’s Oculus connect conference is putting the pieces together and is definitely addressing today’s barriers to tech adoption.

My key take aways are: foveated rendering + wireless + Mixed reality: augmented & social VR

Watch Michael Abrash’s Oculus Connect 3 Keynote Speech and you will get as taste of the future:

To be watched again in 2021

Marie Sornin