| Tech Wire |

Winners and Losers 

Looking to hire an influencer for your marketing needs? Right now it’s the Wild West

Winner: Virtual Meetings

Remote working is not going away so fast and companies are trying to find ways to engage their employees in ways other than Zoom squares. Gather.town, a new platform for online meetings, creates a virtual environment for you to walk around in as an avatar, similar to computer games. Your avatar can engage with different objects, like documents, whiteboards, recordings, or talk to different people. You can hear conversations as you get closer to other avatars talking, and they fade as you walk away. There are even private spaces where you can have conversations with just selected people — basically, it tries to mimic a real work environment.

Microsoft is trying out Augmented Reality for work meetings by using their Mesh software and their HoloLens 2 headset. Done right, people appear as holographic avatars in your own space, so you really feel like you’re in the same place. But the tech is very expensive and clunky right now. Give it some time and it’ll likely follow the cellphone evolution — thinner and smarter each year.

Losers: Luddites

People unfamiliar and uncomfortable with tech are facing more difficulty with the pandemic and the expectation that all things go virtual. While this may lead to simple discomfort for some, it can become hilarious or embarrassing for others. Take county attorney Rod Ponton who could not figure out how to turn off the cat filter on Zoom. He appeared at a court appearance insisting “I’m not a cat.” His secretary (whose computer he was using) turned off the filter for him.

Influencer Shidduchim:

Looking to hire an influencer for your marketing needs? Right now it’s the Wild West, with each influencer and company looking out for themselves. It can be tough to identify the right influencer for your brand, and just as tough for influencers to get the attention of the brands they’d want to represent. Fohr is a new platform that streamlines the process, giving influencers the opportunity to apply to work for different brands, as well as giving brands an easier way to vet influencers and get a more diverse pool. Brands like Dyson, Costco, and American Eagle are already using Fohr’s platform.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 855)

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