Disclaimer: While the views in this article are mine, please be aware that I work on metaverse things for Microsoft.

There has been a lot of talk about the metaverse lately. Not as a pop-culture vision, but as a real thing. Or rather: The pop-culture version of the metaverse (as depicted in books, movies, ..) was used interchangeably with the metaverse as it is currently being developed. And whenever a strong vision is at odds with the real-world implementation, it leads to problems.

For example: Snow Crash is maybe a good book about a metaverse, but it is bullshit in…


In March 2020 I read a tweet by Kaila Colbin. This was early in the COVID-19 pandemic and she warned:

“Here is the thing to understand about flattening the curve. It only works if we take necessary measures before they seem necessary. And if it works, people will think we over-reacted. We have to be willing to look like we over-reacted.”

The tweet really resonated with me and got me thinking about the phenomenon she was describing in general: The success of a mitigation effort might lead to the perception that the effort itself was not required in the first…


As I scrolled through my news feed I came across Virgin Hyperloop’s new video documenting their first-ever Hyperloop passenger test. According to their website they traveled 500 meters at 48 m/s (172 km/h) using electric propulsion and magnetic levitation in a near-vacuum environment.

All I could think was: They are still taking care of this domesticated white elephant? Aww, bless them!

Rare animals: White Elephants

The history of white elephants is actually quite interesting. The original white elephants were kept by rulers and kings in Southeast Asia to show their wealth and power. The animals were considered sacred and they were protected by…


Relationship Design is the profession of crafting and orchestrating digital aspects of our lives into meaningful and personalized experiences. That however begs the question what would actually constitute as a “good” relationship between a human and a digitally augmented thing or environment — and how it could be measured.

A vision of relatable objects and systems, based on Star Trek TNG

In Star Trek TNG it is interesting to look at the level of intelligence the computer displays, especially when simulating virtual agents in the holodeck. The intelligence of these holographic agents is fluctuating wildly, based on whatever fits the desired story line of the respective episode. But this might actually make…


In 2016 Jules Ehrhardt posted an article called State of the Digital Nation on the Marvel blog. In it he described the current and future state of the digital consultancy industry. Back then I very much agreed with one of his central points: The (digital) agency business model is broken.

I spent almost 10 years in a high-end digital agency and it was always weird to me how the industry on one hand glorified their own creativity as the miracle that only true members of the inner circle can wield. …


In my job I get to see and talk to a lot of great VR / AR companies, from indies to startups to huge organizations. A lot of them are asking the same question: “How do we make money with MR?” Similarly, some more forward looking companies ask: “How do we sensibly start with MR in our organization?” Both often run into the situation where they create solutions that don’t seem to gain traction and just bumble along.

OK, so let’s talk about the current challenges and one or two potential approaches how to create successful MR solutions (for different…


A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article to help businesses and organizations understand the terminology and challenges when creating digital product configurators. It was well received and readers started reaching out to discuss other digital trends. A lot of questions were around assessing the potential of new Augmented Reality technologies, specifically headsets. This was probably driven by a huge number of announcements during CES2020.

So let’s dive into AR a little bit to understand the terminology and challenges around the topic, with the goal to better assess the potential of individual solutions.

First, the usual disclaimer: While the…


For a while now I have been talking about strategic digital trends, specifically about their impact and how they influence businesses and organizations. Strategic trends are long-term, society scale trends that will affect individuals, groups as well as businesses. In regards to digital, these strategic trends are commonly described loosely under the term “Digital Transformation”.

When looking at these trends, people tend to look at them in a vacuum. In my view it is also important to understand how individual trends interact with each other and how they change the landscape as they scale throughout society. …


I like watching videos about digital product configurators. Having worked on a lot of them for different industries (from automotive to construction to coffee machines), I still enjoy seeing how different people and teams have solved “the usual set of UX, UI and technical challenges”.

Here is a one that recently popped up in my LinkedIn timeline:

Augmented Reality car customiser using Unity & ARKit/ ARCore by Parth Anand

First of all: This is excellent work by Parth Anand, congratulations to him and the team. …


Lately I am thinking about camera equipment, specifically professional, studio grade equipment. There have been really cool innovations around computational photography in smartphones lately, for example with night sight. Google is taking a more algorithmic / machine learning approach and Apple seemingly a more physical / sensor based approach to this concept. In any case they challenge the notion of what a “photo” is and extend the environment in which photography can be used.

Also, I’ve been working out of a professional photo studio for the last couple of weeks (disclosure: It’s my wife’s studio 😊) and I was able…

Dirk Songuer

Living in Berlin / Germany, working at Microsoft, loving technology, society, good food, well designed games and this world in general. Views are mine, k?

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