Category: Connected Living

Sanj Suran of Tiger Heart knows what it takes to pull together an interesting conversation.

What an honour to join Amalia Agathou of 18 Havas UK, Sel-Vin Kuik of Smack Digital, and Marija Butkovic of Women of Wearables in conversation about the ever-evolving relationship between Humans and Technology.

Our conclusions:  The convergence of tech from all sectors is creating new opportunities for Retail (operationally and external facting). Consumers will always make tech their own.  Data is the new gold dust.  Retailers are struggling to move as quickly as consumer expectations change.

What a day, what a conference!

Delighted to have had the opportunity to share insights on BioMetrics, Big Data, and IOT from Hitachi’s arsenal of global tech, now aimed at improving Retail Operations and Customer Experience.

Maureen Hinton provided GlobalData’s insights.  Shell Oil delivered an illuminating insight to mobile tech for the busy driver.  Holland and Barrett explained how customer insights drive loyalty.

If only the San Pellegrino folks had been present to really understand this!



I can’t help it. I get teary eyed with pride every year when the finalists compete in the apps for good marketplace and pitch their app concepts

Look at these 8 – 18year olds who as teams identified a problem that they felt could be solved with technology, researched the market, conceived and designed the app, pitched it to executives in true “dragons den” fashion, and then pitched it to executive guests from all industry sectors in an evening marketplace


The team who produced The School Council App–helping kids stay in touch with school issues and participate in local policy making


Pitching for My Allergy Basket. At 8 years old, these guys developed an idea to allow allergy sufferers to scan as they shop in supermarket to avoid hazardous allergic reactions to food


Helping you find your way–team Destination for You


Team Yum–promoting healthy eating


Torr–these Scottish girls propose an app aimed at helping hikers find trails and mountains to tackle

This year marks the 5th year of this not-for-profit’s work: creating nurturing and sustaining the educational curriculum that makes it all happen with the support of individuals, educators and corporate sponsorships.

For a complete list of winners visit the website.

I didn’t try to find Augmented Reality; it just found me!

This week’s theme has been Augmented Reality–All randomly

Which means to me, AR is coming of age and increasingly important

It started Monday at charity:water’s UK launch. I love this American based charity. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. As they enter their 10th year, they have funded 19,819 water projects in 24 countries helping 6.1 million people.



At the UK launch, oculus rift was used to provide a 360 immersive experience into 13-year-old Selam’s village life in Northern Ethiopia. More than a glimpse into her village and life there, you are transported; to empathize with her and her people. In the end, you feel the thrill of the water geyser rising up as the drill taps Into the underground water reserve.

Wow, who knew AR could be an empathy machine!

On Tuesday a Shea Collins, a marketing and branding colleague and I played with Interactive AR at Somo.

We manipulated objects in 3D–Pretty cool

And then Thursday I had lunch with Charly Leven of the agency Happy finish and via AR I was fully immersed in a world that few until now can understand. I could feel what it’s like to be Autistic.


Later we romped through Rihanna’s bedroom!

It appears to me that AR has finally found a use case: Immersive storytelling. AR is indeed a gateway to emotional storytelling

PS that day ended at the Worship Street `Whistle Shop were I was served—wait for it: the Augmented Martini! A dry martini with a gelatine ball that as it melts it augments the dry into a dirty martini. Ahhhh.


Big Bang Data Exhibition

Let’s face it; we hear a lot about the power of Big Data. But who’s really harnessing it?

The Big Bang Data exhibition at London’s Somerset House (Dec 2015-March 2016) brings together science and art in a thought provoking display of what we currently give away: lots of personal data.



An example: Owen Mundy’s I know where your cat lives. A million feline photos (that contain latitude and longitude coordinates in their metadata) are surfaced up through APIs from popular photo sharing websites such as Instagram. Using a supercomputer at Florida State University, the photos are run through various clustering algorithms to reveal on a map where they “live.”

Since its start in 2014, only 14% of the original cats remain in the project as owners involved changed their privacy settings on their social media, showing awareness is meaningful to most of us when it comes to data sharing.


Other projects include an overhead “galaxy” of moving “stars and constellations” that were formed as global banking institutions processed transactions.

“A high school kid could do it” reveals how Safecast’s sharing of knowledge and open-source allowed people to rapidly prototype low cost Geiger counters in response to the 2011 tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi. The data collected and shared has made them the main source of independent radiation data in Japan.


Which look is right for me?

Which look is right for me?

From Blippar to Oculus Rift to Make up Genius, the future of Augmented Reality in Fashion and Retail was explored in a fun, relevant and engaging way.
Left to right:
Matthew Drinkwater, LCF Fashion Innovation Agency
Jonathan Chippendale, Holition
Mikela Eskenazi, Blippar
moderator Lynne Murray
Mária Rakušanová, Samsung
Me judging at the hackathon!

Me judging at the hackathon!

Loved being a judge at Adpreneurs & Product Hunt hackathon which urged young entrepreneurs into becoming real founders! As the Adpreneurs tagline goes: “Make shit happen”!

Kick off shot with Nicole and Richard

Kick off shot with Nicole and Richard

Second place winners Sign with trophy printed by 3D company My mini factory

Second place winners Sign with trophy printed by 3D company My mini factory

Click here for The Drum’s article and more info on the winners!

For this zone 1 tech savvy Londoner, getting to the London ExCel center seemed to be the hardest part of this day long event: honestly San Francisco seemed closer! But for many of the attendees, I suspect that the concepts the SalesForce teams and clients presented were more challenging.


Customer centric retail was the clear theme throughout the day. And in today’s economy with many retailers competing for the same consumer wallet, it makes sense that personalized product assortments and personalized retail experiences for every consumer will become best practice.


A daunting journey for many retailers who are only beginning to “think digital.”

Indeed omnichannel is still a heady challenge for most (and not surprising since ecommerce started as a separate silo for so many established brands).


As Coca-Cola’s Erfrischungsgetränke AG CEO Ulrik Nehammer told us, “The most dangerous place to make a decision is in the office. Make decisions at the point where it matters,” Nehammer admits to running his business off of his phone.


With the release of the Apple Watch and Salesforce’s suite of watch apps, can running our businesses off of our wrists be next?

Salesforce: Run your business from your wrist



Interacting with the new synthetic humans on Regent Street London.

The billboard advertised the opening of Persona Synthetics “new store” where you can get your own synthetic human, an innovative digital promotion for Channel 4’s upcoming drama, ‘Humans’.

To see more of the new persona synths, check out their website:

While waiting for the tube recently, I received a text from O2 about free underground Wi-Fi. So I tried to register to get online, but was denied access until I went to the nearest hotspot.  The nearest hotspot? The local pub!

Furthering my annoyance, their online billing system is not easy to navigate or read bill details.  In fact, it’s so bad, that after several failed attempts to open my bill on mobile, a phone call with one of their workers led her to conclude “it’s easier to just mail you your bill!”

How can a mobile network provider afford to be so NOT mobile-otpimized?