OG Mobile Technology Workshop Wows Participants with Augmented Reality

Posted on 10. Nov, 2011 by in Design & Culture, Products, Services

When was the first time technology left you speechless? Mine was in 1989 in a video arcade where I played one of the first interactive multi-player shoot-em games. I was stunned by the ability to interact with others while moving in a three dimensional space. Today I revisited that moment when a T-rex and 3-D rendering of a building literally jumped off the page onto the video monitor during the “Opportunities in the Mobile Landscape Workshop”.

Mobile applications may be the silver bullet sustainability is seeking. The workshop facilitators- Trevor Roald of Quickmobile, Susan Hunt Stevens from Practically Green, Brian Mullins of daqri, Shawn Gehle of Gensler, and moderator Gaia Dempsey from Demeter Interactive- shared experiences where mobile apps personalized, contextualized, and clarified complex challenges. “What makes mobile unique is about the experience. It’s about an individual having a meaningful connection with your brand,” said Roald while sporting a slick moustache to support the “Mo-Vember” charity. He explained how Preserve uses mobile apps to connect with their customers recycling #5 plastics at Whole Foods by encouraging them to “check in” when they do it. At the same time they’re engaging their customers, they’re also learning about who they are through powerful analytics enabled by mobile platforms.

“What are the best opportunities for you to combine sustainability and mobile in your workplace? How would you do it?” asked Hunt Stevens, the expert on personalizing sustainability. She cited data that CEO’s see supporting employee mobile infrastructure as a top priority for companies. The rapid growth of mobility complements an explosion of sustainability because mobile developers are seeking test cases and sustainability offers opportunities. The Eco-Challenge app OG participants are using to earn points for supporting the conference green goals was developed by her firm and can be customized to any company that wants to motivate employee engagement.

Mullin’s daqri specializes in augmented reality and moments after he took the stage reality in the room froze with a collective intake of breath. He panned his iPad over a house floorplan and the video monitor came alive with a three dimensional rendering of a house. His next trick brought a static picture of a t-rex to life on the screen.  “Devices know what they’re looking at, they interpret, they give it context,” he explained while the t-rex snapped at the audience from the monitor. “They bypass language altogether.” He gave another demonstration showing information about Gehle’s interests that popped up as the iPad panned over his t-shirt (cover photo; see video at http://vimeo.com/32008167).

Roald wrapped up the session. “Content is king still holds, but context is the queen,” he said. “Mobile is powerful: it’s emotional, relational, personal”. Imagine your mobile device also showing how changes in your diet or travel could improve the lives of people in developing countries. Could mobile technology create just the type of reaction about sustainability that those of us in the room had with the technology itself? These are the pioneers discovering whether that’s possible to help OG participants meet their sustainability goals.

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