66: Dane Bjorklund on tech cultures
Welcome back to the top of the podcast about a better future I'm John Biggs. Dame Bjorklund. This is technophobia. This episode of Topi is sponsored by cheap transcription dot IO. Cheap transcription offers ten cents per minute. Transcription using are happy robots for eighty five cents per minute using our human assistance. Cheap transcription io is cheaper and faster than everyone else. Chief transcription dot ISO. This episode technophobia brought to you by typewriter dot plus typewriter dot pluses, a full-service editorial agency that brings amazing editor's from places like the times and techcrunch to work on your writing a blog post, a white paper of presentation, the typewriter team can write or edit anything on nearly any topic. VISIT THEM TYPEWRITER DOT COM for a free quote. That's typewriter, dot plus typewriter dot plus. Welcome back to technophobia the podcast about a better future I'm John Biggs tennis show. We have gained Bjorklund ease. Your senior creative over at be real. You used to be a New Yorker. MOVED OUT TO LA about a year and a half ago. You abandon us. You abandon us. Everybody does that doesn't get to come back. You realize that I do I know I and I hit the about the eight year marks I didn't even make it to the official ten year. Status got just in time. Just in time I. Don't know, did you? Did you by any real estate while you're out here? No, no, sir. You actually made you made many choices. In the past year all right, so tell us what you're what you're working on over at the euro. Yes absolutely. Be Reels. It's a really interesting company especially right now. We are in. International independent creative agency. We operate five offices. Around the globe, each a bit of a different focus in La, we specialize in product, development, product, design, and experience design. At the moment, that's meant a lot of experimenting and working in touch, list, design or gesture. Jess Gerald as a design. Probably have to say touch this design just because it's an easy to say. But we've got a lot of exciting projects going on right now. Obviously, the the pandemic shook up everything. I think the probably the best example we were developing a lot of. Demos for for different tech conferences obviously with all of those conferences getting canceled the we had to change course in and bring those demos online, so that's been a big chunk of our work load lately. It's just been the the digital conference experience in in thinking about. How the. Of course garbage collection time. I apologize for that. I live in downtown. LA, so it's A. No shortage of noise. But, yeah, we. We've been thinking a lot about. Touch this design and how the pandemic? Obviously is impacting how we interact with our devices. interact with people. And we're developing a lot of products to hopefully solve some problems for people. Let's talk? Let's talk about touch. This design. I think that's that seems like something that we weren't thinking outright. Just. I don't know. Gosh five months ago and now it's vitally important, right? Yes. in your, you know you're seeing kind of pop up more and more. There's obviously things like. Touch Menus that the restaurants are starting to incorporate? Obviously you know apple pay mobile pays has been a thing for a while, but you certainly GonNa see a lot more of it I always I think about it. I have a family friend. He used to joke about certain airport bathrooms as being perfect. You could go through the full. Bathroom without touching any surfaces. And I think you're GONNA. See a lot more of that kind of perfect experience. Whether it's restaurants, offices or Retail stores Eliminating doors. Bobo pay Trying on clothes in augmented reality, you know using your hands in motion to dictate HOW ITEMS AROUND YOU INTERACT! I think we're GONNA. See more and more of that. What some of the some of the coolest technologies that you've seen in that space. That's a good question I a couple of projects that we've been working on V. Real specifically We have a deep relationship with the pixel team over at Google and We've been a partner with them to develop They're living wallpapers of live wallpapers With the Pixel for you know the big challenge. There was how we could incorporate They're motion sense. Rissoli into some of our wallpapers which was in an incredible. And we, we had a lot of fun messing around with hand. Gestures kind of turning your phone on as you're reaching for your phone. Or as simple as you know, waving clouds or or tree limbs, as you Kinda, wave your hand over the device to just. Give a sense of the phone being a bit more president. in your surroundings I think that. The rumor is now that that the Pixel for as potentially. Giving up on radar tech for the time being I think. That's up. They think Google might be thinking of it more about now as A touch less is becoming more and more present in our lives. I think that'll be an interesting project to keep an eye on. Another another. Touch this design space. That I think is really interesting that we're. We're spending a lotta time in. Is just conversation design I think in a strange way. That quarantine almost kind of saved the home computer. In a lot of. Obviously a big generalization, but a lot of you know homes that the kid has a tablet and there's a smart tv that's streaming and there's a smart home. That's Serving up recipes and that's how you're. You're kind of. Getting all of your temperature, these more ambience, devices versus the home computer, but. Certainly with. Everyone, working from home now you're seeing a lot more of of. The computer kind of taking presence and everyone's makeshift home offices But specifically around. The the conversation is the the smart home One project we've been working on. Is basically around Gabe, defying the passive. Smart Home Experience. So we think about this. As something that can give us. Reminders can turn on music and. Changed the volume. And we, we basically took that technology and thought about you know. How can we game a FI- and so we're working with a partner in their their voice assistant to developed. Really Fun Games That allow for kind of a more passive Experience that I think we'll. We'll see a lot more. So is that is that a is the idea that the that the home? So gamification obviously kind of a kind of A. It was a bad word in mobile because it turned into, it turned into. I guess you could say like micro micro transactions and things show, but but this is this. Is this an idea that would help you to? Turn off the lights properly or practice good sleep hygiene. That kind of thing or what's what's the situation? Yes, certainly could and. You know I think there are. There's some some cool kind of bettering your life. Games that are out there I. Think what we're trying to develop were some of our gamification of of? Sparked homes is is just kind of providing these moments to spark imagination and provide a bit of joy so some of the Games that were that were working on our Games that you are able to converse with the tech in a very natural way to. Cause different responses in different reactions, so it's a one game is about growing a garden, and there's a a playful garden gnome that. Asks you these kind of simple questions throughout the day? As at your will as you as you want to speak with it, in each of the answers that you give result in a different kind of plant flower or a garden item growing, so you get this sort of. Passive Ambien experience of. Seeing something result from a simple playful conversation that she can have another game that we're working on is is kind of more of a a group Parlor Party game. brought into the contemporary world. You can imagine playing with a group of Friends a charade style game. Where all of the The. The driving force behind it is kind of this passive screen. That's in the in the space, but isn't disrupting from your interactions with your with your friends. So there's a lot of it's almost like almost like Ray Bradbury, and what you're what you're describing here is that is that kind of the mission is that the is the goal to change the house into? A place where everything is done. I don't think our goal is to Tennessee -sarily Tell us a bit like a computer from Star Trek this kind of always present being that's there. We see we see the the smart screen is is the kind of a companion who's who's in the house? You know where it is It's not some am like not some hidden. Tech that you don't know. Another another character in the house. Right exactly exactly you have your the sister brother, and then you have the the computer friend right right right I understand. What do you think the world looks like in twenty years when you guys are done with a? Twenty years. I was I. I listened to your your episode with faith. Popcorn and I think he's better suited to give a twenty year outlook in well hurt her. If you remember she was she was probably one of the biggest donors I've had on. She was great. It was amazing to talk to her, but she was she she saw us all like scrounging for for scraps out of dumpsters. And Twenty twenty five, so it's going to be a whole different story right right, right? Yeah I mean! Twenty years is is really. Interesting to think about I, I'm. My current mindset is thinking you know how. In a couple of years, how is this the the pandemic and affect what what our homes look like and what our jobs look like in in what are our experiences with technology? Look like I I'd like to have A. Hopeful outlook for for twenty years. I think? One inspiring pieces is just seeing how how a lot of young people are embracing technology to raise awareness and to. Insight charitable. Projects I. Think the the best. Use case was from last week with. It is what it is gate or the the. The mouth I'd FM, which was just kind of lighthearted fun story that that ended up raising a lot of money and poking fun at at Silicon, Valley But I think you're seeing instagram live. Introduce a donation feature into You know their platform or On on twitter, you know it used to be. If you you had like a viral tweet, you would add your your soundcloud Lincoln. You're seeing a lot of people Include Lakes to make donations. that. That charitable initiative that a lot of people are. Grabbing onto is a is a good sign it. It gives me some hope for the long the long future. That sounds that sounds hopeful. How do you? How do you compare the cultures? You worked in New York. You worked in L. A.. How do you compare the? Creativity cultures the the tendencies. Places I know it's obvious it's kind of a cheap shot, but it's like. you worked at the Atlantic and you also worked over here working on like I. Don't know some kind of crazy funhouse, so how how? How do you? How do you see the the two? The two coasts Competing comparing yeah totally. It's been really fun transition. you know my background? My experience has been in publishing and media world in New York. I started working at scholastic in children's Publishing and product development in licensed publishing, and and spent four years at buzzfeed on the great team. And, so I was a bit more an ingrained in in the media world in New York. on the creative side of the media world. And then when I made the move to La, was my first kind of experience in the in the agency side of things. So there's A. I've experienced a ton of changes and I think a big part of it is certainly the new. York I L A shift. There's also the publisher agency shift that I've gone through As well as just the physical move of relocating. So, there's in terms of The tech culture. I would say It's surprisingly similar. There's you know there's a similar amount of meet UPS in conferences in gatherings there's. Tons of different. Companies doing tons of different things There's a willingness to to share ideas into collaborate. We've been able to to host a couple of events at be real. Were you know inviting the industry to come over and check out some of the work? We're doing to bring some guest speakers and that was certainly something you see a lot of in new. York is this kind of meet up culture in this outreach culture. I think in. One of the benefits of La's. Just, having more space, physical spaced to Cather. People I. Think in New York. There's probably more kind of smaller get togethers smaller gatherings of meeting after work, a bar to share ideas and to talk about you know work in projects in L.. A. Those can kind of take place in bigger environments with more people If as long as you can. Drive to those locations and get around. A lot of subway action right exactly exactly that that's been a big shift the car life. Is Interesting. Guy But in terms of in terms of the way, people think about technology what the uses are. It's all basically you think there. It's basically the same kind of thing because I the way I imagine it does over there that everybody's thinking about I. Don't know. Like more creative endeavors, whereas here, it's other media where it's completely like where it's almost old school to a degree, you basically have to fill in to fill in the blanks for people who who may or may not know what kind of media that you're talking talking about. What kind of tools that you're talking about if that makes any sense? There it's a little bit more imaginary imagineering style sort of stuff, but. Yeah, I think that's a fair comparison. It's it's interesting. Be Real we have. We have a team in New York and they focused more on traditional communications versus our La Office where we're a bit more product. Focused, but but we certainly you know collaborate on a ton of projects and they're doing a ton of really interesting things So I, wouldn't. I wouldn't necessarily. Generalized new. York quit specifically. I'm just trying to I'm just trying to start a starter for. Go here absolutely very cool. Working, people see some of the stuff that you're working on especially if we're. Where will they be able to see these? These amazing rooms that you guys are building. Yeah, absolutely. Worlds. There you know we're launching a few products coming up seeing if you keep an eye on our our website be Dasril R.. E.. L., DOT, com, or anywhere anywhere you follow. Things were were. Twitter instagram medium We've got some some big projects coming out so yeah, definitely, keep an eye on what we're up to. Dane Bjorklund senior creative over at be real. Reporting from La. Over there. There's no there's no no Cobra, not not a huge covert activity in your in downtown. LA I. We'll see we'll. See. We're all GONNA have to see. Thank you for joining us? This has been on. It's been pretty cool. Create a good one. Thanks Been Topa. I'm John Biggs. We will see you next week. technophobe brought to you by happy. Fun Corp Happy Fun Corpus Design Driven Technology Company in Brooklyn New York that specializes building, mobile and web applications for startups and fortune five hundred companies. Whether. It's a new mobile web application that will help people experience the Internet in a fun new way or software that will interface with a new piece of top secret hardware. Happy Fun Corp is always after the challenge. Bigger small happy fun for Love Building Software and loves working with great people. Come bill with them. Happy Fun for Dot Com.