Michael Boland

  • Is the Camera the ‘New Search Box’ for Local Discovery?

    Is the Camera the ‘New Search Box’ for Local Discovery? October 6, 2017 by Michael Boland Leave a Comment Filed Under: Road Map This post is an excerpt from an upcoming Street Fight white paper. Entitled “Local’s Visual Future: The Rise of AR and Visual Search,” it examines how trends in visual technologies are manifesting in local commerce.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Social- 18 readers -
  • Where Will VR Fit Into Local Advertising? Part II

    As Virtual Reality (VR) expands and contracts, it’s starting to overlap with local commerce in a sort of Venn diagram. That’s even truer of augmented reality (AR), but that’s a separate topic. One small signal is the ink VR has received here on Street Fight from columnists like Tom Grubisich and myself.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 19 readers -
  • iPhoneX, AR & Local: How Do All the Pieces Fit?

    There are lots of ways that augmented reality (AR) is a natural fit for local commerce. We and others have examined it closely. But questions remain: How will AR will materialize in local? How long it will take? And how do these factors signal local startups and media companies where to place their chips? One place these signals were frustratingly absent was Apple’s iPhoneX ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 15 readers -
  • Where Will VR Fit Into Local Advertising?

    Early television ads often showed a solitary individual reading a script for Ovaltine or Lucky Strike (or insert 1940’s quintessence). The reason: that’s the way it was done in radio. It took a while for TV ads to grow into their own skin. This is the dreaded “habit creep” that saddles emerging mediums.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 12 readers -
  • How Big Is the Promise of Local AR (And When Can We Expect It)?

    The world has reined back its excitement over augmented reality (AR)… or at least its realistic timing to consumer ubiquity. It will be revolutionary — especially for local — but the fully realized vision (smart glasses) is more of a 2022 thing than a 2018 one. This has to do with size, cost and most of all, style. But there are a few caveats to that sobering claim.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Google- 14 readers -
  • Building a Local Stack: The Rise of ‘SMB OS’

    Walking the Streets of New York — the embodiment of SMB density — I was recently reminded of local’s next primary battleground: The SMB Operating System (SMB OS). The idea is that local’s true opportunity isn’t SMB advertising, but all business functions. This isn’t a new concept, though it’s now emerging and crystallizing in new ways.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 21 readers -
  • An Unsexy Truth: Emerging Tech Hinges on Local Data

    I spend a lot of time talking to people in the augmented reality (AR) sector, and one factor continues to be overlooked: local data. In other words, the shiny vision of graphical overlays that augment our perception ain’t gonna happen without hordes of geo-relevant data. Take for example Google’s new self-trumpeted visual positioning service (VPS).

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 15 readers -
  • Google’s Next Local Conquest: Visual Search

    Indoor mapping continues to be one of those “holy grail” topics in local. It picks up where GPS drops off, tracking consumers all the way to the cash register. That’s been beacons’ battle cry for years, though I’ve been skeptical due to their implementation and opt-in friction. The latest move comes from Google, with an approach that could leapfrog beacons by using the posit ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Google- 26 readers -
  • Will Social AR Be the Next Local Battlefield?

    I’ve been obnoxiously bullish on native-social advertising over the past few years, including its potential to erode traditional display ads. Its growth will follow the trajectory of its supporting tech (mobile broadband, bigger screens, camera optics), as well as millennial affinities. But another factor has emerged — where I’m also bullish — to boost that potential even fu ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Social- 25 readers -
  • Mobile Payments: Does Local’s Holy Grail Have Holes?

    Mobile payments continue to be equally opportune and elusive. I continue to stand by my 2014 assertion: the potential benefits for businesses are huge, but I’m skeptical that mainstream consumers will alter their entrenched habits when they still don’t see cash or credit cards as a pain point. When I say mobile payments, I don’t mean Venmo or Amazon transactions on your phone.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 20 readers -
  • Will Native-Social Ads Dominate Mobile?

    Snap Inc.’s successful public market debut last week answered lots of questions and investor uncertainty, at least for now. One thing it clarified for me is native-social advertising’s staying power. After Facebook’s success with News Feed Ads, the format now has its second public torch bearer. This is validating because I recently projected native-social to be the most oppo ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Google Facebook- 40 readers -
  • The AI Wars in Local Have Already Begun

    In the annals of tech, we’ve endured the browser wars, the OS wars, and of course the standards battle between VHS and Betamax. Now the latest battle is upon us: the personal assistant app wars. This AI-centric battle is being waged by heavier contenders than any before it, including Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), and Google (Assistant). And the winner will sway the next era of local commerce.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin Google- 19 readers -
  • Local’s Next Battleground: In-Car Media

    I’ve always considered Uber to be a wild card in local advertising. It knows where you’re going and where you’ve been, which has bred speculation about delivering local ads. And your buying intent is arguably heightened when Ubering about town. But I’ve been skeptical about Uber actually delivering ads.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 18 readers -
  • Local’s Next Hurdle: The Impressionable Use Fallacy

    Among the rampant cliches endemic to bad op-eds and conference sessions in the digital ad world, my favorite has to be the cringeworthy and often vapid “right person, right place, right time.” A close second is the delusion that ads actually “delight” anyone. And third place goes to the decade-old-but-still-somehow-invoked “walk by a Starbucks” coupon scenario.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 22 readers -
  • Foursquare’s Rosenblatt: ‘Location Is the Atomic Unit of Mobile’

    Due partly to its former notoriety, I often say that Foursquare is one of the most misunderstood companies in tech. It’s gone from check-in darling to an under-recognized data powerhouse. But in that transition, it’s more successful than ever. And its primary emphasis has remained the entire time: real-world consumer behavior. Meanwhile, the ad industry’s hunger for location data grows.

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 20 readers -
  • How Apple’s Subtle AR Play Could Impact Local: Sights and Sounds

    Apple just entered augmented reality, without anyone really noticing. Though the iPhone 7 was met with a collective ‘meh,’ the real impact is below the surface, where the world’s biggest company collides with tech’s biggest opportunity. Disappointment stemmed from Apple’s failure to launch a VR product, or at least a blatantly obvious one (read: headset).

    Michael Boland/ Street Fightin How To's- 19 readers -
  • Why Augmented Reality Will Eventually Take Over Local

    As I’ve written and others have forecasted, virtual reality (VR) will come first, but augmented reality (AR) will be bigger. That statement especially applies to location based applications. AR will be all about local. Graphical overlays to the physical world will amplify everything from retail shopping (store navigation and product info), to finding a restaurant (ratings &am ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 25 readers -
  • Pokémon Go and Local: Why Now?

    It seems like we’ve reached peak Pokémon Go. The phenomenon will likely escalate then eventually flame out, but for now it’s the most downloaded iOS game in history and has eclipsed Twitter, Pandora and Netflix in active usage. Beyond thousands of headlines and millions of hazard-prone players roaming the streets like zombies, what does it all mean for local commerce? The ga ...

    Michael Boland/ Street Fight- 29 readers -