SHIFT Announces New Augmented Influence Reader

SHIFT has always been an innovator in social media, digital influence, and data-driven public relations. However, most of our employees have to do influencer research while seated at desks, in offices. While we all enjoy a collegial, collaborative environment, there’s no substitute for getting actual face time with influencers. Our new SHIFT Augmented Influence Reader (AIR) helps PR professionals make the most of every real-life interaction. Let’s look at how it works.

First, install SHIFT AIR on your Android or iOS device. Once installed, hold your phone up to your eyes. For best results, consider using an augmented reality add-on such as Google Cardboard so that your hands are free to work and interact with your environment.


Once started, SHIFT AIR will connect with your social graph and begin processing the data of people near you.

SHIFT AIR will then connect to geo-targeted social media services, identify social areas near you that you should walk to, and display them on screen:


Once you’ve found your way to a socially-rich environment, activate the Heads Up Display (HUD) and begin to scan people around you. Your augmented reality scanner will use facial recognition analysis to compare people to their social media profile pictures, then display profile data. Once you’ve found an influencer, simply choose the action you want to take to subtly attract their attention, such as retweeting their last tweet:

The SHIFT AIR will revolutionize influencer management, especially in rich interaction environments such as conferences, trade shows, cultural events, and other high-density places. SHIFT AIR will ship in Q3 of 2015. If you’d like to submit a pre-order request, click here.

Of course, this doesn’t exist. It’s April Fool’s Day, which means we invent fun things for the day. However, the pieces and technologies to make the SHIFT AIR exist today.

Google Cardboard is a very real product that uses your Android or iOS smartphone and provides a virtual reality experience at very low cost.

Facial recognition technologies are very good and getting better every day.

Geo-targeting social media data is already possible with many vendors.

Creating interactive mobile apps is easier than ever with tools like MIT App Inventor.

All that would need to be done to make SHIFT AIR a reality would be some application code tying systems together. While the world probably doesn’t need PR professionals walking around events with phones strapped to their faces, the technologies behind SHIFT AIR could certainly be put towards practical purposes. For example, forward-thinking police forces could use it to identify potential hot spots for riots and civil unrest, then proactively work with key leaders to ensure peaceful protests.

Happy April Fool’s Day, and if this post has sparked some real world ideas and applications, then it’ll be a joke that keeps on giving!

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology


Geolocation map and background audio are from the video game Ingress.
Heads up display from the mobile app Theodolite.
The Google Cardboard headset is real and available for purchase on Amazon.

Download our new eBook, Should Brands Snapchat?

Posted on April 1, 2015 in Marketing, Marketing Technology, Public Relations, Technology

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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