PROFILE

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

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  • Posted on: 08/26/2016

    Are wearables on the way out?

    Wearables have a different trajectory and fill a different need than smartphones. The phones were more groundbreaking, offering mobile computing at a time when most people were chained to desktops for computing needs. Wearables are largely an incremental advancement over mobile and some devices or features require tethering to a mobile device.Adoption will continue to grow over time but, to date, the killer app for wearables has yet to surface. If one surfaces, it may reignite the market, otherwise as prices drop and small conveniences rise, the market will slowly expand. Until then, they are more targeted to geeks, those with more disposable income, fitness freaks, etc., vs. the general population that mobile serves.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2016

    Amazon tests one-click product placement

    This idea is completely old. Many startups have tried a similar concept going back many years and since I don't hear much about them, I believe it has gone nowhere. However, they were not Amazon.There are two factors that favor Amazon succeeding where others failed:
    1. They are a trusted brand that people already have a history with.
    2. Logistics. Part of the experience is getting the just-seen product as close to "in the moment" as possible and no one has the capability of doing that better than Amazon.
  • Posted on: 08/12/2016

    Are store closings a positive sign for Macy’s?

    Shrinking its overall footprint is a positive for Macy's. They have to find a better balance between brick-and-mortar and m-/e-commerce if they want to avoid losing further market share.While it may not drive more business to remaining locations, if Macy's is strategic, they can leverage the closings as a way to drive more digital sales. And they definitely need to be strategic or they will hand over customers to Amazon.
  • Posted on: 08/11/2016

    Did Amazon bring down Beauty.com and Drugstore.com?

    It would be easy to give Amazon all the credit, but who knows. No doubt big A was a factor, but there had to be other causes too. When there's cash at hand it seems easy to buy into a market but, given lots of factors, an acquisition is a starting point, not an endpoint.At the very least, to attract customers who have been influenced by the environment set by Amazon, execution at all levels is crucial. In other words, UX, UX, UX.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2016

    Is it OK for brands to have emotions?

    Having emotions (brands) and touching emotions (consumers) are two different things. It's crucial to touch a shopper's emotions and core values, but not necessarily for a brand to have emotions. It really depends on the product, brand and audience. Whatever a brand does, it needs to be authentic and not create fake emotions -- a sure way to fail.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Is a ‘DARK’ cloud looming for brands over GMO labeling?

    Ian, we're in agreement. Yes, "technology" was an oversimplified word. Aside from what you mentioned, logistical technology and weather tracking, even potentially robotic weeders, are all technologies that can help food democracy. Still, waste control and better distribution is the ultimate solution.BTW — last week I saw an article that organic (maybe conventional, but I don't think so) rice and probably potato farming in a region of India, set new yield records. I've seen before that they've out-yielded GMOs, so while the straw argument for GMOs keeps taking a hit, the point here is put it on the labels and let consumers decide.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Is a ‘DARK’ cloud looming for brands over GMO labeling?

    The article is very concrete. You simply disagree. I've read the language of the bill, you can too. And... if it is so principled, why was it negotiated behind closed doors when many, including Senators, called for open debate?Also, the point is about labeling and giving consumers choice, not stereotyping one store's shoppers over another. Bromide (brominated flour) and Fluoride are labeled with simple text. Many people believe that they are very toxic chemicals and thanks to the text on the labels, can read that they are an ingredient and choose to buy or not.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Is a ‘DARK’ cloud looming for brands over GMO labeling?

    Nikki - good summary. FYI - the solution to starving millions is not technology, there's more than enough food being produced right now. The solution is less food waste and some countries are taking steps in that direction.
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Is a ‘DARK’ cloud looming for brands over GMO labeling?

    Ryan: first, happy to explain “nefarious language” but there's a limit to article size here. "Whole Foods who stakes their reputation on carrying no GMO products..." Sorry friend, Whole Foods is loaded with GMO's in most every aisle. You are buying into some false marketing hype that I don't believe they ever made. More I can say if you'd like...
  • Posted on: 08/09/2016

    Are loss leaders a losing proposition for stores?

    There's definitely a curve. Some take advantage of the deals and nothing more, others are lured in and then make the extra spend. Macy's has always had a predictable range of sale discounts yet enough people have paid full price as well. Good pricing strategy and experience will find the right balance.
  • Posted on: 08/04/2016

    Would Walmart + Jet.com be an Amazon killer?

    Amazon killer? Nah. It might get Amazon to look over its shoulder a little bit, but Amazon's 31 percent online market share isn't evaporating anytime soon.The people at Walmart aren't dumb, they see something that they need in Jet. If they're wrong, Big W can easily absorb a misstep. My guess is that the software for pricing and logistics is the real aspect of interest. They can set up a lot of warehouses for $1 billion and don't need to buy into that. An immediate expansion of market demographic never hurts either.
  • Posted on: 07/28/2016

    Is it time for marketers to embrace radical transparency?

    When a few e-tailers do this, it's a gimmick that works. Industry-wide, it is the superhighway to commodification, also spelled F-A-I-L-U-R-E.
  • Posted on: 07/22/2016

    Will AI mobile apps replace associates on Macy’s sales floor?

    AI such as this is the future and for savvy retailers the future isn't far off. Sure, today the technology is nascent and retail implementations are basic, but it is a huge growth area that will be coming to e-tail and brick-and-mortar retail, as well as other areas of business.That said, it's an opportunity for retailers to move associates into roles that are more human-centered.
  • Posted on: 07/15/2016

    Will personal shoppers lift retail sales?

    As a niche, human personal shoppers might ad value to some stores that offer products on the upper half of the scale. However, there is no space for a scalable roll-out due to many factors, especially cost.AI shopping assistants have a much greater opportunity to scale, but from my work with developing the technology, it will be many years until there's a noticeable widespread adoption. As is always the case, retailers will move slowly, there will be many misguided fits and starts and eventually after a successful model emerges, more retailers will get it right and then and only then will shoppers be willing to use the technology in meaningful numbers.
  • Posted on: 07/14/2016

    Viewers can now ‘Watch & Shop’ with Amazon Fire TV

    Ron Popeil must be shaking his head at this. It sounds like these shows are higher-level, technology-infused versions of infomercials. I imagine there's more unbranded content in a show, but probably there's an underlying flavor of commercialism. I hope there's no "but wait ... " moments.Plenty of start-ups have tried this sort of approach with YouTube and maybe a few with cable, but none have had Amazon's technology and consumer audience inherently built in.I can't predict which way this will go with much confidence, but my guess is that it won't take off into anything big. We'll see ...

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