Ken Lonyai

Digital Innovation Strategist, co-founder, ScreenPlay InterActive

Ken is a 15 year veteran of interactive project development including some of the industry’s most unique experiential systems. His skills span the on-line world and nearly every realm of human/computer interface used by brands and retailers – mobile, interactive kiosks, experiential displays, and more. Known as the man with the miniature R&D lab in his head, when he’s not working on a client project, Ken can be found designing, tinkering, and developing some cool new experiential device in SPIA Labs.

He is a consumer engagement expert using cutting-edge, unique, and enticing brand experiences that encourage “like”, “share”, and “buy now” behaviors, as well as a creator of true consumer excitement by baking-in fun, social, and gamification actions that generate results. Focused on producing “amazing user experiences” for brands and retailers, he helps companies transform into destinations that consumers seek out and want to interact with.

Ken is a subject matter expert in user experience, most things interactive, experiential marketing, mobile app strategy/development, and digital UX/UI.

Additionally, he is a co-founder of NUI Central™, an organization to promote using natural human traits (voice, gesture, eye movement, etc.) to bi-directionally interact with smart devices.

Other Links from Ken Lonyai:

SPIA blog

  • Posted on: 12/09/2016

    Amazon offers incentives for Prime members to wait on deliveries

    As described, the gray area around the incentives is especially weak for Amazon, which usually is very direct about things.Overall, this is a big lesson for competitors trying to stay in step with everything Amazon does: if they are having trouble with their very sophisticated, proven and well-developed logistics system, overreaching may get others into serious trouble.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2016

    How can retailers prompt customers to write product reviews?

    Jasmine -- in theory your proposal sounds good, but I've seen it fail miserably on more than one website. is a great example. They were crediting just 50 cents per review and it generated endless useless garbage. Here's an example I just pulled about a specific Vitamin B product: "We LOVE pureformulas and all their products!" So paying people to go through the motions is, in itself, a failure.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2016

    Can facial-recognition assist in gift giving?

    Ian -- great perspective! The reality, though, is that as a country the U.S. keeps getting lazier. So if these types of technologies are made available in a way that allows people to take the easy way out of gift selection/giving, they will. Think of how many husbands that don't know what to buy for their wives will welcome input like this.The culture is to blame, not the technology.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2016

    Can facial-recognition assist in gift giving?

    Having worked with a number of emotion detecting technologies, I know this is a portent of things to come. The same can be done with a desktop computer or mobile device and some secret sauce. So if approached in a positive, openly-disclosed manner (kudos to eBay on that!) other brands can definitely use emotional measurement/tracking as another tool to aid personalization and targeting. Expect it in future versions of Google Home, Alexa and other voice-interfaced devices.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2016

    Does Alexa need a screen?

    The answer is no, it doesn't need a screen, it's a choice that Amazon is making to slowly morph it into a multi-modal Amazon "computer." It could be seen from one perspective as the rebirth of Fire Phone in an enhanced, home-based footprint.Working in this space, which we branded Humanized User Interface, the question of which interface modality is best comes up regularly. The answer is almost always multi-modality, so adding a screen kinda-sorta addresses that. What I've been expecting is a camera with the ability to do facial and object recognition and eventually gestural input and positional awareness. Expect that in all brands of these devices in future versions.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2016

    A small retailer makes a bold move against big chains

    Interesting campaign approach indeed! I like it because, for Atlas, it doesn't seem like there's much to lose. My instinct is that most people will nod in agreement yet be unmoved and won't change their purchase habits, a tiny minority will be offended, and some, who the message resonates with, might give Atlas a try. A prolonged campaign, though, will likely wear out its welcome.
  • Posted on: 12/02/2016

    Is transparency next for grocery private label?

    I agree with Steven Howell, " ... if you’re not saying, consumers will assume the worst." It's especially true among Millennials who fit the L.A.T.T.E. ( local, authentic, transparent, traceable and ethical) mindset, and they are the growth market.Shoppers generally don't look for private grocery labels unless they're looking to save money. Nowadays with the number of corporate scandals and recalls, it's an easy leap for shoppers to become skeptical of exactly how store brands are capable of selling a cheaper product. Transparency can alleviate those concerns by spelling out ingredients, sources, processes and ethics and, in doing so, build both trust and loyalty. It can be a big win because those products are store exclusive, but the huge caveat is that store brands must offer products that walk the walk and are indeed in alignment with the shoppers that value transparency. No GMO QR codes here!
  • Posted on: 12/01/2016

    Could digital advertising be replaced by a subscription model?

    In principle, this is a potential solution to decreasing ad effectiveness, but it has limited scalability. Facebook, ESPN and some other high-repeat traffic websites can offer an option like this, but most of the web cannot. Newspapers have put up paywalls yet it hasn't been a true solution to maximize revenue.I really doubt most Facebook users are the type that will pay for a subscription when they're already practiced at tuning out ads. And if hundreds of destination websites are adopting this kind of a model, how many people are going to pay for multiple subscriptions? Plus enough implementation of this model will drive a wedge between advertisers and destination websites whereby advertisers might look for alternative marketing avenues.
  • Posted on: 11/30/2016

    Can engagement replace transaction rewards?

    It's hard to say definitively if engagement rewards will help the bottom line. Sure consumers want to be rewarded for engagement, but that's sort of an easy mechanism to rewards, especially if visiting a website earns points. There is still a big leap from opening an e-mail or posting on Twitter to sales conversion. A lot will have to do with the brand, product category(s), conversion mechanisms and, most importantly, the audience being targeted.It's clearly a worthy idea that warrants a trial. If it works then discounts, coupons and cash-backs might not be so necessary.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2016

    How badly will Macy’s be hurt by its Black Friday outages?

    In-store is no less fallible. Here's but one example. Not to mention brick-and-mortar issues year after year around out-of-stocks, long lines, nasty personnel, etc. It's not about technology or traditional methods, it's about upper management guiding the ship properly, a customer-first mentality, preparedness and execution.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2016

    What does a record Cyber Monday foretell for the remaining holiday season?

    It's too early to draw conclusions. While this sounds like a good metric, especially in light of the continued growth of mobile shopping, it will take the entire holiday sales figures, adjusted for returns, to know if this is an increase in spending or cannibalization of the rest of holiday sales revenues.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2016

    How badly will Macy’s be hurt by its Black Friday outages?

    There is no excuse for this happening. Resources exist to handle the kind of surges holiday sale events bring. Hardening and testing methods are old hat. Whatever the cause, Macy's needed to be prepared.Clearly it was a big blow and a lost opportunity, but the season is still young. Macy's knows how to discount and drive sales, so ultimately I believe they can make it up. But of those shoppers that experienced high frustration levels, some may have lost faith in the brand and effectively defected to merchants that have a reputation for coming through -- there's one that starts with an "A" I think. Those shoppers will be hard, if not impossible, for Macy's to win back.
  • Posted on: 11/28/2016

    Are favorable online reviews critical for retailers?

    I agree with the study findings, but when Amazon is a competitor nothing can be taken for granted. Sure, reviews of service-type businesses are definitely more relevant to consumers in the moment, such as planning a dinner for later with friends. But when shoppers are concerned about delivery or return hassles at retailers, merchant reviews are very relevant. To not acknowledge the power and potential fallout of reviews is to not acknowledge that consumer experiences and interests are most important. The web's biggest retailer has built a solid reputation and goodwill on consumer delight, so how is dismissing the importance of merchant reviews a good strategy for brick-and-mortar retailers or m-/e-commerce sellers?
  • Posted on: 11/21/2016

    Will Alexa-exclusive deals bring holiday cheer to Amazon?

    Lee, FYI — I was involved in a very similar project before Alexa went public, but an NDA precludes me from elaborating. It's not a matter of being the only one, it's a matter of being the one who can execute and scale best.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2016

    Will Alexa-exclusive deals bring holiday cheer to Amazon?

    Alexa was created as an exclusive shopping tool for the Amazon ecosystem, so this is just incentivizing their strategy. When people shop with Alexa, there is no possibility they will price shop or read reviews. It's a strategic way to overcome the horrible capability browsers offer (from Amazon's perspective) of enabling consumers to shop elsewhere.

Contact Ken