Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Neuroscience must read for change leaders

Note for strategists and change agents: I make a strong recommendation that you read the article “The Neuroscience of Leadership” by researchers David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz in the latest Booz Allen Hamilton online magazine Strategy + Business.

In short the authors espouse that: “Managers who understand the recent breakthroughs in cognitive science can lead and influence mindful change." Rock and Schwartz use compelling examples backed by clinical research to offer managers a portfolio of tools to better understand, lead and make change.

Thoughts: Particularly interesting is the discovery of the powerful role that our mental models or dominant logic plays in driving our current perceptions. And the corollary logic that "large-scale behaviour change requires a large-scale change in mental maps."

KEY WORDS: Change; Organisation; Leadership; Organisation; Strategy

Teledildonics and avatar sex

While hunting out emerging future trends and disruptions associated with robots and robotics I ran across a fascinating convergence of virtual reality, artificial intelligence and robotics – avatar sex and teledildonics.

  • Sinulate Entertainment offers products which enables people at two distant computers to manipulate electronic devices such as a vibrator at the other end. The emerging field is called ‘teledildonics’.
  • XStream3D Multimedia offers a web game called "Virtually Jenna" in which the player has simulated sex with realistic cartoon of porn star Jenna Jameson.
  • Visitors to RedLightCenter.com can adopt virtual characters called avatars and use them to live out their sexual fantasies, including having 'intercourse' with another avatar

Thoughts: At first glance this may all seem a little perverse, but this joining of social, physical and virtual worlds signals yet another play out of the merging of humanity and its own technology. Science fiction has well explored such 'social virtuality' ideas: for example in the movies Total Recall (1990) and The Lawn Mower Man (1992). Some questions arise - will the ability to move from relationship development via email, chat and dating services, to full virtual consummation be good or bad for us? Will it become the safer and even the preferred norm?

KEY WORDS: Avatar; Communications; Internet; Robots; Sexuality; Society; Virtual reality

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Scenting food packaging drives a new dimension

American company Scentsatonal Technolgies has commercialized a way to allow food grade flavours to be imbedded into plastic packaging materials. Now food manufacturers will be able to entice consumers to their shelf in the supermarket with compelling aromas. As their website says “ScentSational Technologies adds another dimension to your marketing with CompelAroma®. Nothing rivals the sense of smell for making an immediate impression about a product's flavor and freshness.”

Thoughts: This new aroma packaging technology has potential in markets other than food – Socks Allure, Keyboard sur la Plage and even Book Scents.

KEY WORDS: Food; Packaging; Marketing; Consumer