This is conferences

ARE2010: kicking off the augmented reality summer of love

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

ARE2010 – the Augmented Reality Event – is just around the corner on June 2-3. In case you missed the memo, this is going to be an outstanding conference! I’ll be giving a deep dive talk on Experience Design for AR, expanding on what I presented at Web2Expo earlier this month. More importantly, there will be over 80 great speakers from the AR world, including keynotes by los luminarios Bruce Sterling, Will Wright, Jesse Schell and Blaise Aguera. Don’t miss this, seriously. And when you register, use this ARE2010 special discount code: E195 to get the full 2 days for just $195. It’s a freakin’ bargain, folks. Be there.


my talk on mobile AR experience design at Web2Expo

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I’m presenting a session at Web2Expo in San Francisco on May 4th, titled “Challenge, Drama & Social Engagement: Designing Mobile Augmented Reality Experiences“. Here’s the blurb:

Mobile augmented reality adds digital overlays and interactivity to the physical world using the sensors and display of your smartphone. Design of mobile AR experiences is complex and takes us well beyond the browser-based web. This session will give you a mix of practical knowledge and new ideas for creating AR experiences, drawing from web design, 3D graphics, games, architecture and stagecraft.

The next generation of mobile augmented reality applications will go well beyond simply overlaying points of interest, floating post-its and 3D models on the video display of your phone. Mobile AR is becoming a sophisticated medium for immersive games, situated storytelling, large-scale visualization, and artistic expression. The combination of physical presence, visual and audio media, sensor datastreams and social environments blended together with web services offers tremendous new creative possibilities. However, the design challenges of creating engaging, exciting and compelling experiences are quite significant.

Research on the design of technology-mediated experiences has shown that compelling experiences often involve a mixture of physical and mental challenge or self-expression, a sense of drama, sensory stimulation, and social interaction. These elements can give us a physical “buzz” by activating the release of adrenaline, endorphins and related neurochemicals.

Mobile AR puts us “where the action is”—in motion through the physical world, surrounded by other people, in a stimulating environment. AR applications additionally provide challenges, stories, information and communication. Factors that AR experience designers need to consider include:

  • Goals of the AR experience
  • Users’ cognitive model of the system
  • Physical environment and context of the experience
  • Social context of the experience
  • Design of interaction models and experience mechanics
  • Story, goals and outcomes
  • Immersion and flow
  • Design of visual and audio assets
  • Non-player characters (“AIs”)
  • Tracking and analytics
  • Technical capabilities and limitations of the AR system
  • Managing the production process (designing an AR experience has much in common with producing a movie on location)

Should be fun, ping me if you’re going to be at the conference!

join me at the eComm firehose next week?

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Next week I’ll be at the Emerging Communications conference, eComm 2010 in San Francisco, and would love to connect if you are going. The organizers have pulled together an impressive roster of speakers in a rapid-fire single track format that will undoubtedly feel like a three day firehose of ideas. Of course I’m very interested in the AR-heavy Wednesday lineup, but am also looking forward to seeing folks like John Hagel, Ge Wang and Debbie Estrin. Ping me if you’re there, and keep an eye out for digital film geek @endurablegoods who will no doubt be wielding weapons of mass digitization.

If you’re in town, you may want to extend your 3-day fun pass by going to Reality Checked – What’s Next for Mobile Augmented Reality on Monday night, and the wonderful Dorkbot-SF on Wednesday night. I’m just sayin’.

augmented humanity + enspirited reality: AR panel at NAB2010

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Earlier this week I spoke on the Augmented Reality: Entertainment Meets Ubiquitous Computing panel at the National Association of Broadcasters conference.  In my intro talk I stated that AR should be thought of as the intersection of two separate trends: the augmentation of human capabilities through technology, and the digitization of the physical world of people, places and things. I named these trends ‘augmented humanity’ and ‘enspirited reality’. My slides for the panel (cc-by-nc):

My fellow panelists (photo) came from diverse perspectives and included Joe Garlington from Disney Imagineering, Bruno Uzzan from Total Immersion, Chetan Damani of Acrossair, and Rebecca Allen, director of Nokia’s Hollywood research lab; the estimable Seth Shapiro moderated the discussion. Garlington showed video clips from several of Disney’s mixed reality theme park projects, Bruno wowed the crowd with his familiar K’NEX demo, Chetan showed off one of the acrossair apps live on iPhone, and Rebecca Allen screened an extended clip from NRC’s Westwood Experience mobile storytelling project. Overall I think the discussion was well-received, even if the topic was a bit fast-forward for the largely broadcast-focused attendees.

immerse yourself

Friday, February 19th, 2010

In order to think creatively about the impact of the connected world, you need to immerse yourself in the culture, practices and intellectual perspectives that define and exemplify the connected worldview. Here are some suggestions for you and your friends, family and colleagues to try out in the next few months.


Daniel Suarez’ novels Daemon and Freedom (TM), and Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and Makers are four excellent near-future science fiction novels that I recommend highly. Both Suarez and Doctorow are savvy observers of today’s high tech scene, and they use their knowledge of technology to extrapolate our common experience of the Internet and personal computing into imaginative and entertaining stories of the future to come.

(The links above are to Amazon; if you buy there I receive a small commission which I donate to a reputable charity. You can also download Makers for free from Cory’s site. Little Brother too).


O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 (3/30 – 4/1, 2010 in San Jose, CA) is the best conference to intersect with experts in mapping, mobile social location services, geoweb, GIS, and more. Also don’t miss the open unconference WhereCamp SF 2010 on April 3&4 hosted by Google.

New thinktank Council have declared April 9th Global Internet of Things Day, an unstructured, self-organizing event aimed at discussion of the notion of an Internet of Things. If you’re in Silicon Valley that day, I’m organizing an informal workshop focused on the Internet of People, Places and Things. If interested, ping me on twitter or email

If you’re in Europe in May, Lift10 will convene a delightful community of future thinkers with a definite slant toward humanistic design. Geneva, May 5-7, 2010.

Augmented Reality Event 2010 is an industry conference about, well, augmented reality. It runs June 2-3, 2010 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley. The always provocative Bruce Sterling will keynote. I’ll be speaking there, along with a very bright roster of technical and business folks. If you’re going, get in touch and we’ll find the best parties together.

Get Your Game On

EVOKE is a game about learning to change the world through social innovation. It was developed by the World Bank Institute, the learning and knowledge arm of the World Bank Group, and directed by alternate reality game master Jane McGonigal.

EVOKE is free to play and open to anyone, anywhere. The game begins on March 3, 2010, and players can join the game at any time. Players who successfully complete ten game challenges in ten weeks will be able to claim their honors: Certified World Bank Institute Social Innovator – Class of 2010. Top players will also earn online mentorships with experienced social innovators and business leaders from around the world, and scholarships to share their vision for the future at the EVOKE Summit in Washington DC.

I’m part of the team helping to run the game, along with some truly amazing people from around the world. I hope you’ll check it out, sign up to play, and see firsthand how games might just change the world.