🤔 Wiser! #109: Audi’s VR in the Car | Avatar CVs | AR Make-Up | Throwing Robots

Rick Huckstep
11 min readJan 24

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w/Wiser! #109–23rd Jan 2023

Preamble

Welcome to the 109th issue of the Wiser! newsletter. This is the Medium edition.

With a special welcome to all the new subscribers to Wiser! I’m still in the UK visiting family and friends, so no premium article this week. Normal service will resume next issue, which coincides with Wiser!’s second birthday. 🎉🎊🎂

Building on the new format that keeps the size of the newsletter shorter without sacrificing a ton of content, I’m continuing this week with Wiser! Things. Basically, the longer form articles are all laid out on a webpage which allows me to keep the length of this email shorter. There’s enough of the story in the newsletter to give you the gist, but if you want more, there’s a “continue reading” link to the webpage.

The purpose is simple, to give you the maximum amount of insight and information with the top stories and news from the tech economy.

Keep the feedback coming and let me know what you think.

Subscribers to the Wiser! mailing list received the full version of this week’s newsletter (posted Friday 20th). They never miss an issue and always get it first. You can read the full colour version of Wiser! here.

ATB, Rick

Every week, 15k subscribers get Wiser!

🔥 This week’s Wiser! is promoting DigitalOcean

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1. US Gov delay rollout of AR army headsets because of issues for the wearers

A week after Microsoft said that the US Army would get 10,000 augmented reality headsets, Congress put a stop to it. According to Bloomberg, instead of ordering more of the Hololens headsets from Microsoft, the US gov has instead approved only $40 million for Microsoft to develop a new version that fixes some of the user issues with the headsets.

Continue reading…

2. App Economy slows for the first time as users switch to subscriptions from gaming apps

The app economy slowed for the first time in 2022, with consumer spending down 2% to $167 billion. This is according to the much anticipated annual review by data analytics firm Data.AI (who is better known as App Annie — why did they change the name, I loved that name?) The report also showed that TikTok lost its №1 position on the “Top Charts by Downloads” to Instagram in 2022. Meta’s efforts to copy-cat TikTok’s feature set with Reels appears to be working.

Continue reading…

Did You Know? In 2022, spending on games dropped 5% to $110 billion, while spending on non-game apps increased 6% to $58 billion — the latter, driven by streaming subscriptions, dating apps and short-form video apps.

What else is happening in BigTech?

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3. Audi is the first car manufacturer to provide a Virtual Reality experience for passengers

Audi showcased the VR tech in action at CES2023. Passengers wearing a VR headset from HTC Vive experience their own in-car entertainment using the holoride technology, which can detect the car’s driving movements in real-time and adapt the virtual content as needed.

Continue reading… (including a video of the Audi holoride VR experience in action.)

4. McDonald’s use AI and AR in Metaverse themed ad campaign

McDonald’s new media campaign to celebrate the Lunar New Year uses AI, augmented reality, 3D AR filters and has a metaverse theme. This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has created a cool virtual experience around culture and heritage. In 2022, the company created “McDonald’s Hall of Zodiacs: 2022 Lunar New Year by Humberto Leon” gallery in AltspaceVR and in Spatial.

Continue reading… (inc video of the McDonald’s experience.)

5. Davos goes Metaverse!

The 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting is currently taking place in Davos. This year’s theme is “cooperation in a fragmented world.” To address this divide, Metaverse technologies are being used to create virtual, three-dimensional worlds that offer a new way to see, understand, and imagine our world. Davos has built “The Global Collaboration Village” as the first global, purpose-driven Metaverse platform that aims to enhance public-private cooperation and drive impact at scale.

Continue reading…

Did You Know? A March 2022 survey by Statista showed that 36% of online adults expressed interest in using the Metaverse, with 12% reported as very interested.

6. Ready Player Me to create interoperable avatars

Ready Player Me is working with Unstoppable Domains to create digital identities that work across multiple platforms and games. What does that mean? Today, you might use your Google or Facebook account to log into multiple accounts across the Internet. You have a single, certified digital identity that removes the pain, repetition, and hassle of signing up for a new service.

Continue reading…

What else is happening in Metaverse?

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7. Is this use of AI and Deepfake tech the future for CVs and job interviews?

Bartosz Pampuch, the ex-VP of Comarch, posted this on LinkedIn this week. It’s a video of a 3D avatar he created to demo how an interactive resume could be used for a virtual interview process. The clue is in the “ex” above, because Pampuch had found himself on the job market, and he created this novel approach to find himself a new role.

8. Robots that can throw

9. New AI smartphone app will be able to decipher Japanese cursive manuscripts

A new AI app will allow the cursive forms to be “translated” into contemporary characters, allowing others to read text. This has huge implications for all historical and religious texts all over the globe. If the tech is successful, it is reasonable it could also be modified to interpret the authenticity of signatures.

Continue reading…

10. Estée Lauder use AI and AR to assist the visually impaired put their make-up on

Estée Lauder has launched a new app in the UK that helps visually impaired users apply makeup. There are more than 2 million people living with visual impairment in the UK and this is the first use of technology to help them navigate the tricky job of applying make-up. The voice-enabled Makeup Assistant uses augmented reality and AI to analyse the makeup on a user’s face. The app gives audio feedback on which areas need to be touched up or blended.

Estée Lauder are not the first brand to introduce initiatives to help people with disabilities. Unilever, P&G and L’Oréal have also used tech to assist those in need of support.

Continue reading…

Brand Strategies in Emerging Technology

If you are working in brand strategy, product management or the information, retail or consumer sectors, then you’re going to want to see the Brand Strategy Collection. I’ve tracked over 250 consumer brands and their projects, initiatives and innovations with emerging technologies such as NFTs, blockchain, virtual and augmented reality and AI.

The latest brands to be updated include:

  • L’Oréal and NYX (Metaverse and AR)
  • Netflix (Metaverse)
  • Nike (NFTs and web3)
  • Porsche (NFTs)
  • McDonald’s (AR and AI)
  • BMW (NFTs)

To access the database, you will need a premium subscription to the Wiser! newsletter, or you can buy access here on Gumroad.

What else is happening in Technology & Innovation?

Seoul enters the Metaverse

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has officially launched its metaverse platform “Metaverse Seoul”, allowing users to visit the capital virtually and handle administrative tasks remotely. Metaverse Seoul conversations can be translated into English via Google Translate. The city government has already invested 2 billion won (US$1.6m) in the first phase of the platform, and an additional 2.8 billion won (US$2.3m) will be spent this year on the second phase. An ‘easy mode’ will be available for older users, and the third phase will be developed by 2026.

📌 Metaverse Seoul: Website

🎙️ Big Tech Little Tech Episode #17 — Technology in 2023, Twitter rehab, Mui Board, and restaurant robots

Rick Huckstep and Shaun Weston talk about what’s happening in US courtrooms around the use of AI, specifically ChatGPT. Does China use AI to help enforce the law, and will Americans end up paying fewer speeding tickets?

Plus, Twitter leaves third parties in the lurch, Audi and John Deere announce new tech, and rats get facially profiled.

🎙️ Join us by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, and wherever you find quality podcasts.

🛠️ Tools, tips and tricks to save you time

Disclaimer: At no cost to you, I get a commission from some of the products and deals in this newsletter.

About the Wiser! Newsletter

Wiser! is a weekly newsletter that makes sense of what’s happening and what’s coming next in the tech economy. From disruptive technologies, like blockchain, crypto and artificial intelligence, to emerging trends, like Web3 and the Metaverse. Plus there’s a big focus on BigTech and the impact of social media.

The purpose of Wiser! is simple, to help you stay interesting, informed, and one step ahead of your competition. Using easy and engaging language, I make sense of it all so that you don’t have to.

🔮 My top 10 predictions for the tech economy predictions.

🎙️ Big Tech Little Tech podcast #16 was posted this week.

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Rick Huckstep

I help decision-makers and professionals make better decisions. Using simple and engaging language, I make sense of what’s happening in emerging tech.