Free Press Journal

The future is AR & VR, says Florian Radke from Meta


Florian Radke-Senior Director of Marketing, Meta

Florian Radke, Senior Director of Marketing at Meta, describes himself as a storyteller who helps companies in telling their story to the world. He feels as people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge about products and services, markets are getting smarter, often times faster than most companies. Stories fascinate. Facts bore. Yes, facts are important, but stories make us care, and when we care, we respond.

Q- Your profile describes you as a storyteller? How is this helping a technology oriented company like Meta?

I have over 15 years of experience in brand communications. I know what it takes to craft a compelling story that will make your brand and product stand out from the rest. I work with brands, non-profits and sometimes with personalities in telling the world about the work there are doing. When I jointed Meta, I found they were a smart company with an excellent leader with futuristic vision. But they were perceived as a cold technology company. Now I am highlighting achievements of the company in simple terms so that people accept Augment Reality (AR) with daily life examples and are not scared of it.

 Q- Give us some insight into the working of the company?

Meta is at the forefront of designing AR future since 2012. The company launched the first see-through glasses that allowed wearers to move and manipulate 3D content intuitively, using natural hand interactions. Now with its new Meta 2 headset, we are delivering a new generation of natural machines that will become a the healthy, vital extension of who we are. Their focus is not on creating experiences that distract or pull us out of the real world, but ones that enhance our natural environments and facilitate greater learning and communication than has been available.

 Q- What is so unique about the technology?

Due to AR, suddenly we will be able to interact and emotionally connect with anything we can imagine in a hands-on, three-dimensional environment. The possible applications range from more immersive classroom learning to a collaborative creative tool that can be used in real-time to bring storytellers together from around the world. We have always learned the best through experience in the natural world.

 Q- What exactly is the difference  between AR and VR?

They often go hand-in-hand. The two use the same languages and game engines, but many would argue that AR and VR have very different uses. The goal of VR is to dispense with reality and create a whole new reality for its users, whereas AR aims to enhance reality by adding virtual components such as digital images, graphics or sensations. An obvious example is how we communicate today via devices such as our phones and computers. We have a vision to unglue people from screens and encourage them to see the world as their canvas. This means, for instance, sending a message to a friend using an AR user-interface, perhaps with a hand-drawn smiley, à la Minority Report.

 Q- What changes are Meta’s product going to bring in the day-to-day functioning of companies?

Meta’s products enable people to manipulate digital objects or holograms with their hands, as well as create and share digital content with others in the same room or miles away. For the first time, friends or colleagues can view and manipulate items together with their hands, changing the nature of what it means to collaborate. The technology feels like a natural extension of the human mind and hand. Also, the designs are grounded in a deep understanding of the human mind and body, to ensure the most comfortable and natural experience possible.

 Q-Which industries do you foresee using AR the most?

AR technology is set to redefine the future of both business and consumer processes and interactions in the region. Across industries, AR is going to be the next platform for people to explore and create experiences based on the world around them. Gaming has always been a good usecase for any tech. On the education side, it will enable people to learn everything about everything. So much knowledge will be available to the human race that it will change the way we grasp reality itself. Imagine you look at a tree, wonder what it really is, and Google immediately pops up a wiki right besides it.

 Q- What kind of response have you received from the market and users?

When I tried the technology I didn’t find it impressive. But when CEO of Meta explained to me the concept and the vision he had, I could imagine that children who are now in the age group of 10-12 years would be not be using mobile phones and devices only for communication but would like to live in the world of AR with them. It is similar to the situation when my grandfather told me about black and white television, which was the only technology available to.

 Q- What next?

We are in discussion with Facebook, Snapchat and Apple, and would be planning the use of AR for these websites.