Sunday, October 4, 2009

Augmented Reality - If U don't know it now - YOU WILL

I love convergence, because when you add 1+1 - it let's you get 3. With the Advent of Smartphones, and in particular the Iphone adding a compass function (along with their existing GPS ), it will open up a new wave of Augmented Reality (AR) applications.

You will soon know of Wikitude . Wikitude is an app for both Android and Iphone that marries the substancial database of information known as Wikipedia, to targeted GEO locations, displayed (overlayed) via your Smartphone's camera lens.

What does this mean in plain English? Imagine being a tourist in New York. Walking down the street as you pass the Empire State building, you point your Iphone at the massive structure. Augmented over the Iphone's display, you suddenly see a number of dots overlaying various areas of the image. Clicking (or zooming) in on any of these dots, will allow you to learn more about the Empire state building. One icon might be about the buildings history, and clicking through will get you a 'Virtual Tourguide' who will using (ultimatly) a text to speach engine tell you everything you wanted to know about how the Empire State building was built (in the language of your choosing of course). Choosing another icon to click on might perhaps show you a directory of tenants in that building. Drilling down even further, you will be able to learn everything you want to know about a specific tenant.

In the case of a shopping mall, simply point your Smartphone at any store, and soon you will be virtually navigating their isles - learning everything you want to know about the items they stock, their prices, etc.

For realtors (as just one more example of the thousands of verticals that will adopt this), this technology allows you to do a 'walk through' of a home that you are listing, tagging each item of notable interest. In this way, as a potential buyer subsequently walks through the home, they can point their smartphone at the refridgerator, and learn it is a $20,000.00 SubZero. The SubZero has a temperature controlled drawer specifically designed to hold 20 bottles of your rare wine. This SubZero still has 10 years left of an all inclusive warranty. Pointing the Smartphone at the windows might reveal that they are Anderson's with an 'R' value of 30 that were custom fitted by ABC contracting.

These are just two simple examples of what's coming next. If you want to explore what YOU can do, try building one yourself using off the shelf tools such as Augmentthis .

I am a Business Strategy, Marketing and Business Development consultant in the Consumer software and mobile space. You can reach out and say hi to me on Twitter here

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

About ME

I started in retail right out of school, starting (along with my brother) a retail clothing store. We grew the chain to 10 stores before I sold my interest, and moved to New York. So it was in April of 1987 (right before the crash of October 1987 ' Black Monday' ), that I started a 20+ year career managing money. In 1987, I worked at Lehman Brothers directly for Martin Shafiroff's group. While at Lehman, aside from managing a 'who's who of the fortune 500's money -we also were involved on the other side of the 'green wall', pitching LBO candidates to the likes of The Prospect Group, etc.

In the early nineties, I moved to Raymond James. Among my more notable clients were stock brokers who worked for David Blech & Co (Biotech investment bank) who looked to me for their own personal biotech investments in 1991-1992. In my last year (1996), Gruntal & CO. , I rose to 1st Vice President, and managed money for retail clients, as well as institutional clients such as Mucinich & Co (a mutual fund).

In 1997 I was shown 'The Internet', and immediately sold my book to launch my first start up. After failing to raise a series A (2001 stock market crash closed that door), I regretfully had to shut it down.

I went back to managing money, this time as sole investment adviser for a Hedge fund - Jackshu. Among Jackshu's more prominent partners was one of the co-founders of Staples.

Currently I manage accounts for family and friends, and can be followed both on my blogs, and on Stocktwits. I also maintain a Business Strategy & Marketing consultancy for startups AFPR.