The Next Major Tech Convergence: Virtual, Augmented Reality

Written By Captain Philippe Lewicki of HTMLFusion

With so many developments in virtual reality this year, many of us are excited about a coming boom in 2016. I am too — but I am less focused on VR mobile apps or the endless cool hardware and gadgets appearing daily on my screen (though I admit to finding them very enticing.) I am most excited about what these advancements mean for us when everything comes together.

I believe we are on the verge of a major new technical convergence where augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will change our world as dramatically as the emergence of smartphones did.

Hear more about the Future of Virtual Reality from the CTO of Juant here.

Phillipe Lewicki talks at the Tech in Motion 50K Celebration in Los Angeles, above.

The last time we saw this happen was in 2007.  A well-timed merging of cellular technology, capacitive screens and UI design — mixed by the legendary Steve Jobs — set the stage for a world craving things like mobile apps and image sharing.

We love all this technology, but it stresses us out. These machines are here to increase our productivity, entertain us and improve our social connections; however, our laptops and phones are cumbersome and not designed for our human bodies. Relying heavily on these physical machines dampens our capacity to connect with others and discourages us from participating in activities where we move around.

This can be resolved. We are in the process of better integrating the machines in our lives. With this next major conflux, we will be connected to our devices in an intuitive way. These physical limitations will begin to disappear.

A combination of factors makes this possible. First, after enduring decades of false promises, we are finally seeing AI deliver results, thanks to new learning machines and neural network technologies. Programs like Siri and Google Now show how our voice can command actions on our screen, and the last few years have proven that they only get smarter.

Add to this the Internet of Things, which emphasizes how the Internet is beginning to transcend our phones and laptops to operate within our watches, glasses, audio speakers and thermostats. These devices are connected and responsive.

Integrate the concept of mixed realities and you can begin to see the possibilities.

In our weekly labs at HTML Fusion, we focus on how this future will look and feel. Our visit to Microsoft’s HoloLens Academy gave us a peek into what was possible. We continue to learn more and more about manipulating augmented reality spaces as we spend our weeks teaching machines to respond to our movements and desires.

We call this work the Holo UI. It is our platform for exploring how we control augmented reality, and it’s a small window into the converging future. You can consider it a seed.

This is a tool for a much more immersive experience. Our machines are integrating into our physical world, learning to interact with us naturally. Our cell phones, laptop, and desktop computers will slowly disappear and be replaced by more human-like interactions. We can still be productive and connected without staring at the screen.

Humans were designed to be moving, not stuck behind a screen and keyboard. This convergence will let us move again.

I am excited to work with my team, and a growing community of inspired entrepreneurs, to actively create this future and the way we use these machines — and make the impossible possible. This convergence is happening now, so the time has come for us to define how we will interact with technology, the Internet and each other. Now is our a chance to make this technology more human.

Follow HTML Fusion’s blog and @htmlfusion on Twitter for a weekly window into their latest tech discoveries.

You can also see innovative speakers in Virtual Reality and beyond at Tech in Motion Events across North America. Check out the event calendar.

team_philippeAbout the Author

Philippe Lewicki, Captain at HTMLFusion

HTMLFusion is a Culver City-based team of veteran developers working with mixed reality environments and creating successful businesses with entrepreneurs who have great ideas. Most recently, they were invited to the HoloLens Academy to share and explore their augmented reality work.

Their current project is a user-friendly virtual reality platform for real estate called OpenHouse VR.

Finding Success on Product Hunt: From Bond’s Founder

Written by guest author Manan Rokani, founder of Bond 

To give you a little background about me, I grew up in India, moved to the US about 9 years back. I went to grad school in Chicago, lived there for about 5 years and then moved to California around 4 years back for work. I have lived in different places but everywhere I have gone, I have met amazing people and made really good friends. Also professionally, I’ve met some really smart people at every company I have worked at. But what I realized was that, as soon as I moved or switched jobs, I was not able to keep in touch with the people there. You know how it is sometimes, out of sight is out of mind.

It was my 30th birthday last year. I got lots of calls, texts and Facebook messages from friends and family. I felt guilty that I was no longer in touch with a lot of them; just because we don’t go to the same school or college any more, live in the same city or work at the same company any more. These were all the people that I was really close to at one point but then life happened, we went in different directions and got so consumed in our new lives that we just completely lost touch. I wanted to change that. I started looking for apps that would help me get better at keeping in touch with people but I could not find anything good. I put together a small team and we decided to build one ourselves. The result was Bond.

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We wanted to build something simple with a great user experience. I had the design and the flow in my head so I quickly built the mock-ups and our developers got to work. We got to mvp in 6 weeks, spent another 6 weeks polishing it up and pushed the product to the app store. I only invited a few friends, family and colleagues to help us test the app in beta. Because we were in the app store, we also started getting some organic traffic. I was also going to a lot of meetups here in LA trying to get the word out about the app. I was getting pretty good feedback from everyone who saw the app.

See the lineup of Tech in Motion meetups across the country and RSVP to attend here.

From the initial feedback we were getting, we knew that we had a decent product in hand. But we had to get it validated from a larger audience. We submitted the app to Product Hunt…(Note: Product Hunt is a curation of buzzworthy new products, every day. It started as an email list and evolved into a competitor of TechCrunch and other tech blogs with it’s ability to surface the latest mobile apps, websites, and tech products that everyone’s talking about.)

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We honestly weren’t expecting much. But to our surprise, we were trending as the #1 app on their website the following day. I didn’t realize what that would mean until we looked at our numbers. In the first two days alone we got more than:

  • 13,000 hits on our website
  • 2,000 app downloads
  • Tons of emails with a lot of good feedback, suggestions for features and requests for the Android app.

More importantly, these were founders and CEOs of some famous startups, product managers at some top product companies like Apple and Nike, designers, developers and some other tech influencers. These people build amazing products that we use every day- their feedback really mattered.

Soon, other tech websites and bloggers from different parts of the world started writing about us. ABC7 News did a piece on us too. Now the word is spreading.

Product Hunt gave us an amazing platform to put our product in front of the right audience and it really helped us validate our idea. But there’s a lot of people out there who obviously still don’t know about the app and we want to be able to reach them. So growth is our primary focus right now and at the same time we’re building more ways for people to bond with people in their networks. We’re really excited for everything that’s coming up.

To become a Tech in Motion demo company like Bond, contact the organizer in your city.

Keep in touch with people that matter to you by downloading the app. If you have any feedback or suggestions please feel free to email us at [email protected]

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About the author:

Manan Rokani, Founder of Bond at www.getBond.co, is passionate about building Internet and mobile technology. With more than 7 years of experience working as a tech consultant for Fortune 500 companies as well as an entrepreneur in the start-up environment, he has now founded multiple companies including Bond. Bond is a simple app that reminds you keep in touch with people. There are different ways to keep in touch with different people. The first version of the app had options to keep in touch with people through Call, Text and Facebook, and the new integrates with WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Emails. For each service, simply select the people you wish to keep in touch with and then how often you’d like to contact each one of them. Once set up, the app schedules regular reminders for you. When you get a reminder, just swipe the notification open and you get an option to contact that person right away, leaving no room for procrastination.

Download the iPhone app for free : https://appsto.re/us/ggTu1.i

Sign up here for Android : http://www.getBond.co/android/

Security & Technology – How Secure is Your Data? Silicon Valley

With the recent news that big name corporations such as Target, Home Depot, and even the cloud have been hacked, it makes you wonder, “How secure is my information”? Tech in Motion Silicon Valley recently hosted Security & Technology: Tech Talk at the Microsoft Campus. Guest speakers included Alok Shukla, Consumer Mobile Security, Product Manager at Intel Security (a part of McAfee), Jason Kehl, VP of Engineering at Vectra Networks, and Steve Van Lare, VP of Engineering at 41st Parameter. Topics presented ranged from user security, fraud and identity solutions to real time threat detection.

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Intel Security led quite the informative discussion on mobile security, kicking off with free vs. paid apps in the app store. The majority of app developers can earn revenue through sponsorships and advertisements – among other alternative routes – and with this runs the risk of compromising user security. This risk comes from unsafe development practices, embedding risky URL’s, weak implementation, and encroaching user security along with other risks. The future of mobile security lies within implementing safer apps. This is done by informing, consenting and controlling user information submitted through the app, as well as checking for URL reputation and following privacy development practices.

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The next company to speak up, Vectra Networks, is known as the security that thinks smarter. There are three key areas within the cyber-attack life cycle they specialize in; Targeted Opportunistic with Cyber Threats, Intuitive UX Simplicity of Use through IT Consumerization, and Data Analytics Machine Learning through Technology Inflections. The presentation covered how attackers invade perimeter security systems from your laptop, tablet, phone, and even BYOD devices, and what they do once inside. The way that Vectra Networks, they give businesses the opportunity to process the attack and quickly make decisions on where to focus their attention on.

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41st Parameter informed the audience that the future of security is at an ultimate breaking point right now. With technology advancing, security has to constantly fight to be one step ahead of the curve. The most important thing someone can do is to inform themselves about where their information is going, and learn the most they can about what they are using such as apps, websites etc.

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We would like to thank our gracious sponsors Workbridge Associates, Jobspring Partners, our Social sponsor, Vectra Networks, and our Headline sponsor, Appvance for helping fund our September event.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley is thrilled to have had our hottest event of the year last November – Rise of the Robots: Interactive Tech Talk. Want to catch up on the hottest Robots in the industry? Not miss out on the next great event? Join Tech in Motion here.   

How to Succeed in Technology: A Chat with TrueCar’s John Williams

Tech in Motion LA hosted a tech talk with TrueCar‘s Senior Vice President of Platform Operations, John Williams, on all things tech and TrueCar – a company that is making sure car shoppers never overpay again. John gave attendees some valuable insight into how to stand out in the tech industry and what’s most important for success in going mobile, getting capital and beyond.LA tech talk

Here are a few highlights of the advice he shared with Tech in Motion LA during his tech talk this fall:

Mobile:

  • Look at what other companies are doing and improve upon their concepts, strategies and execution
  • Be aware of interaction models and how users are engaging in the mobile technology
  • Think about data
  • Real-time capabilities are extremely important in mobile

Capital:

  • Start with a great product that users are interested in
  • Make it as flawless as possible upon public release
  • Figure out what other businesses you can partner with for increased success
  • Relationships with investors & VC’s are key!

Other areas:

  • Execution is most important
  • Competition drives the product demand but isn’t necessary to succeed
  • Uniqueness is desirable
  • Be ready to exploit trends in technology

For more insight from top tech execs, join Tech in Motion LA and get invited to the next event.

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About John Williams: John Williams has over 20 years of experience designing, building and operating large scale Internet infrastructure. After joining TrueCar in March 2011, John is responsible for the technology, security and operations strategy that facilitates explosive growth while still meeting strict requirements for performance, security and reliability. Before TrueCar, John was a consultant for numerous world-class technology, financial services, entertainment, military and government organizations. Previously, he was the CTO and co-founder of Preventsys (acquired by McAfee) where he created the world’s first automated security policy compliance system for large enterprise networks. Prior to that he founded and led the network penetration testing team for Internet security pioneer Trusted Information Systems. At the start of his career, John co-founded and built one of New York City’s first Internet Service Providers.

Mobile Security and Scalability: The Future (From Chicago)

Tech In Motion Chicago hosted a panel this summer to discuss the future of mobile in regards to security. A recent Cisco study showed that “by the end of 2014, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2018 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita.” With all this growth, companies are taking larger strides in determining how to make sure their mobile sites and applications are both secure and scalable in order to meet demand. Tech in Motion members in Chicago got to hear about the topic from some top mobile security experts in their field:

  • Richard Rushing is the Chief Information Security Officer of Motorola Mobility.
  • Andrew Hoog is CEO/co-founder of viaForensics, a mobile security firm whose mission is to advance mobile security worldwide.
  • Amit Shah is the Co-Founder and CTO at Vaporstream.
  • John Storozuk is a Senior Security Product Manager for Product Security at BlackBerry.

To kick the event off, Andrew with viaForensics did a live cell phone hack of an iphone where he was able to go into the phone’s pictures, contacts, emails, etc. He essentially downloaded a corrupt RSS feed and gained access to that secure data through it. According to Andrew “Your phone knows you better than your spouse. How well do you know your phone?” Because of this, it becomes all the more necessary to take precautions to guard yourself against an attack.

photo 5One of the attendees asked our panel the pertinent question of how, as a mobile user, you can best secure your data. Our panelists answered “iOS (iPhone) encrypts by default. Always make sure you use a passcode – this is just a basic precaution. For Android, turn the encryption on in the settings. Only about 1-3% of Android users use this feature.”

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According to Richard, there is a general lack of concern about security in some sectors. The devices that we use know us so well and if someone is a hacker, it’s a dream that all of the info that we cherish is kept in one spot that goes with you from place to place. Take a look at security – even with PCs – they have had the same problems forever. Mobile has better platforms for security than PCs ever did.

photo 2Another topic that seems to be a buzzword right now in mobile is the idea of BYOD (bring your own device). According to John, BYOD allows users to choose their own device but in order to implement this in the most secure fashion, the best practice is for the corporation to tell its employees which devices are more “secure” and more easily managed by the IT department. Andrew suggested that companies take BYOD one step further and implement BYOS (bring your own security) which allows companies to turn their employees and customers into the first line of defense. He feels that BYOS is a game changer.

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Amit was able to give his opinion regarding security from a startup perspective. Basically, startups look at the security dilemma as “I need security but I need money.” Most startups aren’t evaluated on security until it’s too late. They have real decisions that have to be made as an app developer, and these decisions need to be made based on a balance between security and functionality. His advice was to be sure to at least protect yourself (your app) against the most basic attacks.

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After the panel discussion wrapped, there was some great Q&A from our attendees and the event ended with additional networking. Thank you to everyone who came out to our mobile event! Please check out what Tech In Motion was up to in August while exploring the ed tech field in Chicago.

As always, a huge thank you to our sponsors Workbridge AssociatesJobspring PartnersChicago SmallBizDev Hackathon and headline sponsors Microsoft and BlackBerry for their generous financial support. Also thank you to Bonfire Wines who was onsite sampling.

Recap: Tech in Motion SF’s Panel Discusses The Future of Mobile

This summer, Tech in Motion San Francisco hosted over 200 attendees for The Future of Mobile Panel Event at Tagged HQ, home of the social network for meeting new people.The panel of experts included talented mobile developers from San Francisco and New York: Jeanine Swatton, Technology Evangelist; Bill Magnuson, Co-Founder & CTO at Appboy Inc.; Tom Anderson, Senior Developer Evangelist; and Alex Gaber: Mobile App Technology Developer.

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The night began with a full hour of networking prior to the panel, proving very productive and fun due to the color coded name tags. Name tags were divided accordingly between networkers, job seekers and hiring managers, so everyone had the inside scoop as to who was attending and why.

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With Tagged HQ’s cozy couches, Tech in Motion’s home-made sangria and a keg filled with Hefeweizen, the evening felt like a comfy tech talk at a buddy’s house. Once the moderator Owen Thomas, Editor-in-Chief of ReadWrite at Say Media, kicked off the discussion, the panelists were on point and engaged in talking tech.

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Owen initialized the discussion with the broad yet appropriate question of “what does the future hold for mobile development?”  The overall response was that the future of mobile is clearly seen in the amount of control mobile devices have over every aspect of one’s life.  Controlling your house, your health and even your business are all platforms mobile technology will have substantial advances in over the next years.

“The potential of mobile has just begun,”  claimed Bill, CTO of Appboy, Inc. “Mobile will continue to find new form factors, new populations and enable products and services to touch our lives in unexpected and fantastic ways.”

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He also pointed out how wearable tech is becoming a normal part of life. Simple yet complex gadgets can be worn while doing daily activities – and give data results that have never before been possible. Bill illustrated with the example of racing against friends down a mountain at a ski resort, and being able to track speed, location and video. Wearables and mobile smart phones are the commonalty nowadays. Although everyone has their limits on how many wearables one can wear at one time; Owen joked that the max is three wearables at once.

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Our dependencies and safety are increasingly becoming an even bigger issue as mobile technology advances. The gravity of how much information our devices hold and how we share our information has extreme pitfalls in addition to the extreme advantages.

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Jeanine, a Technology Evangelist, stated a startling truth: “People fear losing their phone more than death itself!” This comment won a shared laugh, as well as a genuine acknowledgement among Tech in Motion attendees.

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“For me, the take away was to remove the limits,” shared Tom, the Senior Developer Evangelist, on his view of breaking limitations in mobile. “People should stop thinking that the future of mobile is tied to the handset. It may be a watch, a TV, a car, a train table, tablet, almost anything you can think of.”

“Mobile is about getting access to your data and performing the tasks you want wherever you are with whatever device you have. Even going so far as to have the devices around you anticipate your needs and wants and perform those actions for you (i.e. a car that reroutes to avoid traffic).”

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With BlackBerry as the headlining sponsor, guests were given the opportunity to win a free device, the Z30 mobile. They were also introduced to the state of the art technology BlackBerry has to offer.

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Sinch acted as the social sponsor for the night and had prizes at their table too.  Sinch understands the needs of developers who want to create the next big thing. Apps are better when they are more social and with their tried and tested SDK, integrating communication features into yours is quite literally a Sinch!

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The guests finished out the evening with a question and answer session, sending the discussion flying. Tech in Motion members played off each other’s questions and concerns about the future of mobile. Each of the panelists stressed the importance of security, especially when building an app. They even incorporated personal stories of triumph and failure.

Tom made jokes about how long he’s been in the tech industry, and how he genuinely holds a strong optimism for this ‘new revolution of mobile technology’ that is happening right now.  Upon closing the formal portion of the night, guests mingled and networked over a final drink before heading home. To read some more live tweets visit MobileFOMO mobile marketing news, titled Tech in Motion Hosts Future of Mobile Panel at Tagged HQ: Recap.

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Don’t forget to check out the Tech in Motion event lineup for a chapter near you, or join San Francisco’s meetup to be at the next event there!

The Future of Mobile in Boston

On Tuesday, June 17th, the Boston chapter of Tech in Motion held an exciting tech talk that was all about mobile at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge. The panel included some great mobile representatives from the Boston community, including Yoni Samlan, Head of Mobile at LevelUp, Dan Bricklin, Chief Technology Officer at Alpha Software, Greg Raiz, Founder and CEO of Raizlabs and Manny Elawar, a BlackBerry Developer Evangelist.

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The evening started with some food and networking before the panel convened to to discuss the topic at hand. To kick it off, the moderator Mark Eisenberg faced the panelists with the simple, but fitting question – where does the panel see the future of mobile going?

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The entire panel was in agreement that mobile phones are everywhere and they have become a common part of the average person’s everyday life. To illustrate the impact of mobile tech, Greg prompted the audience to raise their hands if they had a smart phone – and almost everyone had a hand in the air. Greg also mentioned how if you have a great idea, mobile apps make it easier to reach an entire population. Yoni spoke about being excited about wearable technology, predicting that they will seem as normal as a smart phone in the upcoming years.

From there, our moderator dove into other topics. There was the popular question of bringing your own device to work as opposed to having one supplied by the company. Many of the panel agreed that as smartphones advance, people would prefer to work on their own device due to the comfort and convenience of it being their own, personal device.  However, there is also the complication of security when dealing with high profile companies and projects.

Greg pulled from his own personal experience to say that “it’s important that my employers have the devices that they need in order to get their jobs done; [we want] to empower them to have the choice on what device they use”.

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Our panel then went into the discussion of creating mobile apps across various platforms; with the emergence of not only smartphones, but tablets as well. Several developers have to think of ways for the apps that they are creating to be supportive over all kinds of devices. Dan Bricklin spoke highly of using HTML5 to create apps.

“If you try to program an iOS without HTML5, you have to be a really good iOS developer,” Dan said. “It’s really good at a lot of business stuff, so you can build for a lot of different platforms.”

“For every enterprise you run into, you have a different legacy system and you have to put all the pieces together, which is the hardest part,” Manny chimed in. “So when we have a solution that allows developers to bring everything together, that is a great thing.”

Things got a little heated, however, when Greg wanted to mention that HTML5 isn’t the only way to go when creating applications. It is simply up to the reference of the developer.

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At the end of the discussion, Manny reflected again on how he feels mobile is going to be shaped.

“Everything is going to be connected, and there is going to be a new definition of mobile,” Manny commented.

Mobile will be defined differently in the sense that phones will still be the most important part – but new technological advances will change the way that we connect to stationary objects that we use every day. They are what will help redefine mobile. Manny gave an example that he hopes one day when he can get into a car, connect his phone, be able to adjust things like his radio preferences or whether he wants the windows open, all based on the information given from his mobile device.

Following the panel discussion, the speakers took questions from the audience.  Inspired by what had been discussed, the audience came up with some amazing questions that sparked further conversation between the panelists. Once the official panel discussion concluded, a large number of audience members pushed their way to the front of the room to see if they could get one-on-one time with our speakers. This panel definitely left the audience thinking about the future.

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We want to send out a big thank you to all of our speakers for their participation, Mark for moderating, the NERD Center for hosting us, and our monthly sponsors Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners as well as Fisku and Blackberry. Please join Tech in Motion: Boston to hear about our upcoming events!

The Future of Mobile (Tech in Motion LA)

Tech In Motion LA recently hosted the Future of Mobile Panel Discussion, which was graciously sponsored by BlackBerry. The panel featured senior developers from Urbanspoon, Beats by Dre, Microsoft and BlackBerry. With the mobile market at an all-time high, the panelists dug into the state of mobile today and talked about what the future may hold.

The event took place at Loyola Marymount University – not too far off from the Los Angeles tech hub, “Silicon Beach.” Before the panel began, we polled a few guests to see what they are most excited to see in mobile’s future. This is what they had to say:

“I’m excited to see advances in the visual design of mobile applications.”

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 – Jesse Brownstein

“I’m interested to see how mobile apps will have the ability to control things around us. Like remotely starting your car, turning on lights in your house, etc.”

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 – Jens Zalzala

“I’m really into fashion and technology, so I can’t wait to see the next big thing in fashion/clothing related apps!”

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– Hillary Creech

All in all, the event was a hit with the crowd of techies, entrepreneurs and mobile tech enthusiasts. The lively discussion ranged from mobile security to cross platform development and kept the attendees attentive throughout the night. The audience Q&A that followed the formal discussion was a great opportunity for developers and entrepreneurs alike to share their ideas, concerns, and questions with some innovative industry leaders.

To get invited to Tech in Motion LA’s next event, don’t forget to join the meetup group. Thanks again to our sponsors: BlackBerry, Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates.

From Russian Linguist to CTO: A Recap of Philadelphia’s First Fireside Chat

On Wednesday, March 26, Tech in Motion Philadelphia hosted their first ever fireside chat at CityCoHo Philly Nexus with Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Richard Bunker of the Neat Company. Led by Christopher Wink of Technically Philly, the conversation covered Bunker’s journey from Russian Linguist to successful CTO, with a healthy dose of insight into the future of the Neat Company.

“I was paying to go to school for Russian literature by doing jobs as a programmer for Polaroid and Pepsi,” Bunker said about his beginnings, “and I discovered there are better paying jobs as a programmer than there are as a Russian literature student.”

Bunker’s path to CTO was never a straight line, but instead a varied path that included positions such as managing director, president and CIO. His first leadership gig was at SEI, as Vice President over about 50 software developers, followed by a stint as CIO for Procurian.

“CIO’s don’t become CEOs, so I made the move to the front office,” said Bunker of his transition to a Chief Technology Officer position.

Bunker leads the tech department as CTO of the Neat Company, which offers an integrated system of software, hardware, cloud services and mobile applications that allows users to perfectly scan documents and manage them in Quick Books, Constant Contact or other programs. Neat’s technology recognizes the type of document that is scanned with their hardware and intelligently parses the data accordingly.

“We’re going to keep selling hardware. We have groovy scanners,” Bunker acknowledged, “but the value is in our software…And I went to high school in the seventies; I’m allowed to say groovy!”

A little known fact about the Neat Company is that they process 12.5 Lowes receipts per minute, according to Bunker. Anyone with a small business has receipts and is going to keep scanning them. While Bunker believes this could be done directly with an in-browser application, Neat’s clients still prefer the mobile app.

“A lot of the hard stuff – synchronize, categorize, move things around – is going to move to the cloud,” said Bunker, indicating that the mobile app would soon become just a thin app. “We’re operating a cloud business at scale.”

When the conversation turned from cloud services to the Philadelphia tech scene, Bunker was full of optimism for the city, citing the high number of students and how the money made when companies are sold stays in the area as the former founders begin new startups. Neat Company even sponsored a code camp recently to give back, but Bunker sees the real growth for the community coming in the future.

“We are hiring people and we are doing things very close to what you would find in Silicon Valley,” Bunker told the audience. “These skills are becoming part of the community; those skills become a part of Philadelphia.”

While Chris Wink was a stimulating moderator for the conversation, Bunker inspired quite a queue of technologists waiting to speak with him after the Q & A wrapped up. Beforehand, he left the crowd with a phrase that has become his mantra.

“I try to say yes when people ask me to do things,” Bunker said with a smile.

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In addition to an educational evening from Bunker and Wink’s dialogue, guests also enjoyed bites from the Corner Foodery and beer donated by Shawnee Craft Brewing Company. CityCoHo graciously donated their space for networking and the fireside chat, as well.

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Thank you to sponsors Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates, who made the event possible.To join the Philadelphia chapter of Tech in Motion, please sign up here.

Web 3.0: The Next Big Thing is Here. How Will You Prepare?

Rey - Head ShotWe’ve been completely captured by Web 2.0 for the past decade. We upload videos to YouTube, tweet our thoughts, post about events, and take photos of our meals to share with the world – all in real time. This change to user-created content has driven a constant change in the way we communicate online. It’s changed our entire lives.

But what’s next? Is it possible that we are on the brink of the next evolutionary wave of peer-to-peer interaction?

Welcome to Web 3.0. The next big thing is here and it’s time you prepare.

Web 3.0 is the convergence of everything we have witnessed in the past up until today. The web will eventually become a single ecosystem where the worlds of social media and commerce collide. Consider the recent holiday season. We saw gift lists on Facebook, coupons on Pinterest, and millions of Christmas morning videos showing kids unwrapping the latest gadgets. We continue to showcase our latest purchases to our peers with validation in the form of “likes.”

The New Social Experience

Social Commerce is the next stop in online transactions. To give you a picture of what this looks like, imagine a guy tweeting his buddy a beer at the bar. In this scenario, the sender selects the account (credit, debit, checking, or savings) from which to push funds. When the transaction is successful, the receiver will chooses which of his accounts to drop the deposit into. While this scenario might seem a bit silly to some, there’s a larger picture to grasp.

Take this same technology and put it in the hands of celebrities like Paris Hilton, Katy Perry, or even non-profit organizations like the Red Cross. It’s easy to imagine the impact their Social Commerce campaigns can have when offering limited perfume, VIP concert tickets, and relief to those in need. With social platforms like YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and Facebook streaming video, the ability to sell at a much higher success rate is at our fingertips. The technology to convert the last frame in a streaming video to a checkout cart exists today. It’s only a matter of time before customers start purchasing the latest products and services at this level. The question is, what are you doing to act on that accessible technology?

It’s Time to Change the Game

One of the most important factors to consider is that the emergence of social payments will ultimately increase processing volume in the payments industry on a drastic level. This is why it is vital to pay attention and be part of the change. In the next few years, we can expect drastic change as smartphones, mobile wallets, and social networking are at the fingertips of every millennial.

We will continue to see change in the way customers make payments. Do you remember the days of going to a record store and using physical cash to make purchases? Do you remember the shift from this to online purchases with your credit card? This trend will continue as consumers use social media to make purchases and share their purchases. It is important to remember that all social media platforms have one thing in common – advertising as a source of revenue. We are not too far off from these platforms competing head-to-head with e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay, or Google.

How You can Prepare

Are you utilizing a social media presence to increase sales? Are you offering exclusive deals to your followers on Twitter? Are you putting coupons on your Facebook page, encouraging fans to share and buy into your brand?

You should be.

Take a look at the big picture. Look at the future of social payments and where your company sits in the spectrum. Look at your current offerings and figure out a way to utilize social media into your campaign. For example, a local bakery could offer buy-one-get-one-free coupons that are exclusive to their Twitter or Facebook fans. You can even take it one step further and incorporate online videos that encourage consumers to share with their friends and family for a special deal. The return on this might end up being more than you bargained for.

It’s time to master the integration between commerce and social media. We can no longer be afraid of this emerging trend. By focusing on how we can better reach our target audience through social media TODAY, we will be better prepared for the explosive round of growth that takes place TOMORROW.

So the question is – How are you preparing?

Rey Pasinli, MBA, is Executive Director of Total-Apps and a featured sponsor of Tech in Motion.