6PR Big Weekend – FutureTech Segment – Calling Jesus – 26 December 2010

December 26, 2010

Jesus has just knocked out Angry Birds in the fight for the most downloaded app. It is available across 8 mobile platforms and has had over 12 million downloads in 2 years.

This free interactive Bible app from Life Church has taken the virtual world by storm with 4 billion minutes clocked up already by its users reading the new testament and in Dec 2010 through Jan 2011 there on track to achieve 1 billion minutes of bible reading – now there’s a business apportunity, just waiting to happen!

We also went on to chat about supermarkets self checkouts, NFC (near field communications) coming to a credit card and store near you and Skype app’s imminent arrival onto iPhone 4.

This plus some post Christmas merriment and great conversation make up this week’s on air radio chat between 6PR’s Ted Bull and Morris Miselowski.

Listen now:

Checkout the Future on MTR and 2GB

December 23, 2010

Checkout this on air chat between Scott Pape (the Barefoot Investor) and me on radio MTR and 2GB this evening. It was a conversation about the increase use of self checkouts at supermarkets and the future of in store promotion and purchasing.

We chatted briefly about the rise of the self checkout over the last 2 years and how it now accounts for 40% of all grocery checkouts across Woolies and Coles, with Coles having 100 of their 395 stores converted (the remainder will be up by 2012) and Woolies having 1750 self checkouts across its 365 stores, before I took what I think was a step too far.

We went on to talk about in store promotion and whispering into the consumers ear through 100% opted in, chosen and downloaded MC (mobile computer) apps that feed real time real place information about selected products, specials, store activities and item locations, this definitely pushed the wrong buttons and for the first time ever the interviewer ended our conversation with “thanks for your insights, but I hope none of your predictions come true”.

Curiouser and curiouser!

Is in-store hyper-personalized absolutely 100% opt in (and therefore 110% opt outable – or you could just turn off or ignore your mobile computer) the devil incarnate, or is it finally a way for us to filter all that marketing and promotional deluge we are bombarded with everyday right down to the bare bones of what we want to hear and know about.

Anyway, I’d love your thoughts…

Listen now:

ABC Radio Australia – FutureTech Segment – 22nd December 2010

December 22, 2010

Our annual walk down the red carpet of next year, as we chat about my near future predictions for 2011.

My theme for 2011 is “near and dear” because it seems everything we’re talking about will be centered around social businesses awakening to the reality that now must conduct their activities both on and off-line if they are going to survive and thrive beyond the short-term, and that this is so much more than a conversation about “click and brick” online shopping; that 2011 is the year of the MC (mobile computers); the rise and rise of apps and a further immersion into the world of me-centric world of tomorrow.

For a full list of my 2011 near future predictions click here and to listen to this weeks segment click below:

2011 – the year of the “near and dear”

December 21, 2010

Here’s a glimpse into the near future, with my annual top ten predictions for 2011.

2011 is going to be an extraordinary year of change for Australian business and consumers.

This is in line with my belief that we have experienced more change in the last 2 years than in the previous 20 years and that in the next 10 years we will experience the equivalent of 100 years of change.

The 2011 business marketplace will be led by the mantra of near and dear as technology continues to collude to move us ever closer to our customers, employees, stakeholders, partners and each other.

The business marketplace will be working its way upwards in optimism and returns, but there will still be clear evidence of a two (2) steam Australian economy and definitely some road-bumps ahead on our economy, but expect far more turbulence from the US and Europe, who will remain behind us in 2011 trying to shake off the GFC and its aftermath.

An underlying conservatism will still abound in fashion and style in 2011, but it is the first time in a number of years that optimism and innovation will come back into mainstream thinking.

2011 also continues the march towards baby boomer retirement and Gen X and Y’s imminent anointment to the global boardrooms and decision making.

China and India will both continue their ascendency’s to economic and business powerhouses, with China’s growing middle class increasingly becoming a marketers dream as they strive to catch up to the West’s consumption habits and need for “things”.

So here we go my top 10 business trends, in no particular order of importance:

1. hyper me – hyper personalisation is the word that you heard, it’s got groove it’s got feeling and that’s what we’re getting more of in 2011 with the cyber universe becoming increasingly me-centric , information coming directly at us and more connections then we ever thought possible.

2. me, we and us – expect to see more online social media based opportunities than you’ve ever seen before as we ramp up communicating, sharing, working and living our lives online as this social media infant evolves into its teenage years and we all know how demanding and in your face teenagers can be!

3. let’s get together –we’re slowly realising we can’t and don’t need to know it all or do it all, matched by an increasing ease in finding those that might do or know some of it, will grow our desire to collaborate with others to achieve mutually satisfying goals.

4. hide and seek – mc’s (mobile computers including smart phones, tablets, netbooks, laptops, game devices, personal computers, cameras, watches etc.) are all receiving the special power of “omnipresent sight” . They are slowly coming to life and becoming real time real place personal assistants that know where you are, what you’re up to and what you want to do.

5. whisper sweet something’s into my ear – carrying an mc’s (mobile computer) around with you will give you an access to all areas pass that lets you know in real time that your best friend bought a dress in the retailer your walking past last week; that your sister is in the coffee shop around the corner; that the shoes you’re looking at are on special next door and available in your size; that there is a traffic delay on the road up ahead, that the person your meeting is running late and exactly when they’re due and where they currently are.

6. make me appy – apps (application or single focused software program we download on to our MC) are 2011’s must have. Businesses, retailers, government agencies, friends and relatives pretty much everybody you have contact with will be clamouring to provide you with one and for the consumers they are 2011’s trading cards, ‘cos telling your friends and colleagues about them gets you online social brownie points and virtual good karma.

7. social business – get it, embrace it, or be prepared to be left behind. Businesses and governments are finally realising that social media is not a fad but rather the next evolution of communication, expect to see the shift away from emails and traditional websites as we reach into cyberspace to join hands.

8. on the go go – we have finally crossed over to the other side of technology and from here on in our devices have to be intuitive and portable or we’re just not interested. Device makers are all scrambling to fill our pockets and handbags with irresistible toys all aimed at making our technology our constant companion.

9. a picture is worth a 1,000 words – better get your hair and makeup done, video is taking off yet again. MC’s now have live video chats built in, YouTube laps up videos faster than a thirsty dog and corporates of all shapes and sizes are turning to video and on line media to get their message out.

10. you can’t keep a good idea down – the last few years have been tough on innovation and getting new stuff to market has been an uphill climb, but with lessons learned and a new sense of economic normalcy on the horizon expect to see new tech, toys, markets, products, thinking, management styles and possibilities begin to rise from the ashes.

for previous years predictions take a look at: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

A webby appy xmas

December 18, 2010

In this week’s radio segments we take a look at just some of the many Christmas websites and apps out there, why not add yours to the list:


Track Santa online and on Google maps from 24th Dec

Get an email from Santa

Get a video of Santa checking whether you’re naughty or nice

How about you starring in a video with Santa

Find out if you’re on Santa’s good list or not

Oldest online Christmas site

Christmas radio

the gift of charity -micro financing loans give so that they can create

online charities to donate to

iPhone and iPad apps:

Donation connect – iPhone app

Appychristmas – take photos and edit them against Xmas themed backgrounds – email and Facebook outputs

Christmas greetings free – 50 plus Christmas greetings to sms or email

Reindeers 1.0 – iPad only interactive storyboard and stickers features moveable stickers, animation, beautifully illustrated pages, holiday music and a complete story narration with sound effects

Christmas calendar countdown – keep unlocking secrets and keep a track on your gift ideas for a particular person. It also includes a Xmas Day Countdown, a calendar full of surprises, Christmas jokes, Christmas songs and a bunch of wallpapers.

Android apps:

Christmas ringtones – (android phone)

Christmas list pro – (android phone) Gift Tracking by Person, Gift Cost Tracking and Cost Summary (free and paid version $1.99)

Christmas shopper pro (android) list people from your contacts and add a gift to each person, view the entire shopping list and check off gifts you have purchased or sort the ones you still have to

Christmas advent calendar 2010 (android) – 25 amazing apps for Android and every day one is made available for free

Christmas tree live (android) – It is fully customizable with four different options including, Christmas Tree, Snow, Lights and Sparkling

Talk, Santa Talk – three simple buttons gives users control over Santa. By touching his belly, the jolly big man will dance or shake his bell, just to name a few of his talents! Tickle his nose to check out more adorable, engaging Santa motion.

What are your favourite Christmas websites and apps? Add it to the list and let’s share the joy around….

To listen to this week’s 6PR segment click here

PostCards 2020 – The Future of Education

December 17, 2010

I’m sitting here in the year 2020 reminiscing over the last decade and wondering just how much the business of education has changed?

Students still need to be educated and qualified, but they are so much more active in the process, delivery and outcomes and the way we do it is almost unrecognisable from a decade ago.

The days where learning required a room full of people that were physically present have long gone. Today it’s increasingly a blended mixture of physical and virtual education worlds.

Even the thought of online still makes me laugh. I remember at the start of this century struggling with the notion of online learning. For many of us it was the holy grail of education and in its early days we asked solitary distant learners to engage with on screen static material which offered them little interaction, stimulus and feedback. Today it is a rich immersive interactive and highly engaging world.

Today’s telestudents (remote learners) may rarely physically meet their classmates, but yet do still see them regularly as they engage in word battles together; share and learn with them and from them; collaborate on assignments, present and submit their work together, as if they’re face to face.

Physical classrooms however have not disappeared and are now far more open and adaptable spaces used for a multitude of purposes. Corners and learning nooks can be readily fashioned within the space for intimate discussions and sharing and then easily and simply rearranged for larger conversations and interactions.

Ubiquitous technology abounds within the space, but is hidden and seamless and is merely another tool upon which learning is played.

Classroom learning technology has also evolved. The physical textbook is now almost obsolete, as students have ready access to live constantly updated material on their MC’s (mobile computers).

These devices are the cornerstone for learning, sharing, interacting and engagement as multi-sensory real time up to date course materials, lecturer notes, assignments, communication and assessments are all securely and routinely exchanged. Non-academic staff also use these devices for enrolment, course changes, results and correspondence.

The blend between the physical learning environment and the virtual is the most fascinating to me. I routinely stare in amazement as medical students learn their anatomy and surgical skills on virtual synthetic humans; as new teachers are given virtual classrooms of students to control and teach; as engineering students collaboratively construct virtual bridges and architectural students design 3D holograms of tomorrow’s man made landmarks.

To these digital natives it is the most natural of educational environments. To today’s educators and administrators it offers endless possibilities to innovate new education pedagogies, paradigms and practices.

One of the other major changes I’ve seen over the last 10 years is the strengthening co-operation between primary, secondary and tertiary schools. Teaching and administrative staff, academics, curriculum, resources and buildings are increasingly shared as we all continue to seek maximum return on our scarce education dollars and assets.

Interestingly this has not stopped at geographic borders with schools around the globe forming alliances and collaborative networks which is fueling the notion of global education and qualifications which by 2030 is likely to be the norm.

It is now the norm for there also to be strong engagement between the education sector and private industry. Subjects are often taught by industry leaders, seconded for their expertise and relevance.

Industry is increasingly becoming more involved in the shaping of education and far more aware that their future employee’s, today’s students, are lifelong learners and that the gaining of their qualification is merely the end of the beginning of a lifelong need for wisdom and up skilling.

The educational world of 2020 and beyond is a world where students will have at least six (6) distinct careers and 14 jobs and will work in industries and careers doing tasks that even in 2020 we can’t imagine as they travel through the next 70 years of work towards a life expectancy of 120.

It’s taken quite an adjustment over the last 10 years for the education industry to come to terms with these changes and I know in 2020 we’re still not there, but if we are going to live up to the challenge of continuously shaping tomorrow’s minds with quality bleeding edge education that informs and serves the future, then we must accept the reality that education will forever be innovating and evolving.

Another installment from my Postcards from the Future series.

Life is a beach – Radio 6PR FutureTech Segment – 12th December 2010

December 12, 2010

What will be beaches look like in 2060? What a great question, and I’m glad you asked cos 6PR’s Ted Bull talk about beaches 50 years from now. The notion that we will still have them and want to be on them, but that our leisure time will be very different and our use of them evolved.

Sand will contain more plastic in it, because we’ve thrown so much crap into our oceans over the preceding 100 years that it’s finally breaking down and coming to haunt us as tiny sand-like particles on or coasts. We also talk about increase numbers of man-made beaches and islands and of course virtual beaches, no home should or will be without one.

We also turn our attention to Google’s annual zeitgeist list of most searched terms to find Justin Bieber leads the list of music related searches.

listen now:

till Facebook us do part – 6PR Big Weekend – FutureTech Segment – 5 December 2010

December 5, 2010

Facebook is being blamed for 1 in 4 divorces in the United States and in our in-depth comical discussion we seek to find out why and perhaps that it’s not Facebook that’s causing divorces, but people – ah if only they would use it for niceness instead of evilness (Maxwell Smart circa 1960).

Ted Bull of 6PR and I then go onto to travel through Lonely Planet’s and Google’s top tourist destinations for 2010 and those predicted for 2011 and work our way through some really interesting travel apps and websites – ah, where’s the holodeck when you really need it ?1?.

Listen now