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WARNING: Wide Leap Ahead!

A wide media leap lies immediately ahead. Marketers take heed!

Seriously. The noise factor has turned up significantly during the first quarter of 2017, alerting the media and marketing world that the future is arriving fast and it’s real. It may be augmented and virtual, but it is real and it is nearly upon us.

The evolution of media is marked by technological advancements, leaps if you will, that dramatically alter the way information and entertainment is delivered and consumed. These leaps vary in length of their stride. The wider the leap, the greater impact it has on business, society, culture, politics and government. These leaps are BIG deals and the one that lies ahead is HUGE, maybe HUGER than any before. HUGER than the printing press, motion picture machines, radio, television and even the internet.

Yeah, right… says who?

Well, for one, Ricky Gervais. The comedian/writer/director visited the super-secret demo lab at Magic Leap recently and made the bold statement that the inventors there are “about to change the world."

I first read about Magic Leap when they made the cover of Wired last year. The company has raised well over a BILLION dollars without bringing a product to market and they aren’t even in the drug business. And Ricky isn’t the only believer. The major investors include Google, Alibaba, Andresen Horowitz, Fidelity, Qualcomm, Warner Bros and more.

Magic Leap is not wed to AR or VR, rather, they are developing their own vision for the immersive future that they call MR, “mixed reality.” Like TV and the internet, none of us regular folk know, or really care, how this stuff works, the fact that it does is what gets us thinking and believing that this leap will indeed change the world. Immersive media, be it AR, VR or MR is magical, but this magic is really happening and the impact it will have for media and marketing will be astounding. When you can replicate reality and transport people anywhere to experience anything as if it were really happening…that seems powerful, doesn’t it?

And then there is Mark Zuckerberg, another smart guy who is predicting the media world will soon take a quantum leap into immersive media. The CEO of the 5th most valuable company in the Fortune 100 is betting big on the future of AR. At the Facebook Developers Conference last week, Zuckerberg introduced what he positioned as the first mainstream augmented reality platform. Like many other tech-heads, he knows that soon, and maybe sooner than we can imagine, the screens of today will be replaced by immersive lenses. “We want to get to this world in the future where you eventually have glasses or contact lenses where you can mix digital or physical objects in the digital world,” he said.

“Crazy,” you say? “No time for this musing about the future. I have to deal with the here and now. I need to impact sales, make my quarter, make my year, keep my job.” Sure, but you better keep an eye on the near horizon, because it’s real (sort of) and it’s coming fast! Take a moment to breeze through some reading here, it may convince you that the future is closer than you think and, it will be HUGE.


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