Getting Ready for 2020: learning about SLAM and AR and the backend for XR with founder of Escher Reality (and a first use of Descript podcasting service)

Recently I sat down for a long conversation with the founder of Escher Reality, Ross Finman, which claims it has the most advanced augmented reality API.

This was an audio-only recording, so it also gave me a chance to try out the new Descript Podcasting Service that was turned on yesterday.

The 50-minute recording is here.

What you’ll see is that Descript built a text description of the entire interview (I didn’t edit it much so you can see how accurate the AI is there that converted the speech into text).

I won’t try to repeat the 50+ minute conversation here, but if you listen to it you’ll learn a LOT from one of the most technical people I’ve interviewed in my journey through learning about augmented reality.

Visit Escher Reality here.

Let’s focus on my review of Descript. I actually added names to each paragraph but when the file got uploaded to the Web that got stripped out. As you’ll see in the text file the accuracy isn’t all that high, but it’s difficult to be accurate with Ross’ speaking style (or mine).

That said, it worked very quickly and was easy to use. I hope they fix the bugs with uploading fixes to the text but I’m satisfied and it’s better than just having an audio-only file podcast.

Get Descript here.


Why I’m still so optimistic about VR/XR/AR: Wolves in the Walls shows why

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“Wolves in the Walls“, which I got an early look at, changed my life and changed my expectations of what entertainment will look like over next decade. 
If you go to Sundance make sure you experience this.
Why did it change my expectations?
The character talks to you. Looks at you. Interacts with you. Hands you things. You can pick things up. Like a Polaroid camera. Which works.
Edward Saatchi and team have done an amazing job.
It bums me out that so few will get to experience this because so few have Oculus Rift headsets.
That will change all too slowly over next five years, though, and then you’ll get why I’m still so optimistic about VR.

WEYV aims at Spotify’s weaknesses

WEYV is a new music app for Android and iOS that lets you build custom playlists. Lets you get rid of explicit music that Spotify doesn’t let you get rid of from playlists (I hit that problem all the time when listening to the top 50 music which includes a lot of music with language I don’t like letting my sons listen to). It also lets you read a variety of magazines while listening to music. Here CEO Stephanie Scapa shows me around.

I love entrepreneurs who are audacious and who try to take on big, powerful companies and this is a good example of a company that probably won’t succeed, at least short term, against Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music, but they are trying to bring something new to the table and by meeting with Stephanie I got some insights into the music and publishing business that will be useful in my book about marketing that I’m working on for the next year.

A personal note: next month I’ll be going to the Consumer Electronics Show, and will be building my new focus for 2018: helping entrepreneurs explain new technology shifts to all of you that will matter in the 2020s. More on that later as I get up another interview.

I’m still in a slowdown period as I spend more time this year with family and cleaning up my life but I can see a path to doing much more in 2018. I’ve been meeting with a lot of people off camera trying to discern where the tech industry is going, and where I should take my career. The past month I’ve been cleaning up my social media (unfollowed about 30,000 accounts thanks to the tool ManageFlitter, and blocked nearly 100,000 junk, or low value, accounts —  you can see my Twitter audit here). As always the best way to talk with me is over on Facebook at

I’m also going to be more active on my blog, as I reschedule doing more interviews, like this one.