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March 10, 2021

Digital Transformation with Professor Karen Cham | Building New Realities Podcast

Welcome to Building New Realities

Welcome to our bi-weekly podcast, Building New Realities. Future Visual’s fortnightly podcast discusses ideas and stories around building new realities with today’s XR thought leaders.

A warm welcome this week to my guest Professor Karen Cham.

Karen has an impressive 25 years experience in technology transformation and human centred design and she is an expert in harnessing human/machine convergence to drive complex socio-technical systems change. Karen also excels in R&D for Next Gen, ensuring the DX of values at scale by leveraging the user experience (UX).

What makes Karen curious and why does she think we might be losing depth perception in lockdown? Tune in and find out.

Notes on Ep 12 with Karen Cham by Tim Fleming

I start by asking Karen how she first got into digital design. An electric guitar purchase swiftly turned into a passion for pedals (of course). This started a lifelong fascination with machines and how you can get qualitative experiences from them. Karen found herself funnelled into Fine art sculpture – as she experimented with sound and vision in space, print or painting it was not! She delivered her first VR experience in the early days of the superclubs working with the likes of The Ministry of Sound setting up a dentist chair with a headset revealing moving green and red dots – this was in fact an early brain machine! By the late 90’s, Karen was one of the only people who had designed for big interactive installations.

In this era of Building New Realities, I asked Karen what drives her. Karen has always been interested in people and machines – it’s all about where the two converge.

We chat about the semantic gap between users and machines which leads us into a conversation around our capacity to self make – Karen thinks we self make on more sophisticated levels like language and content etc. I lockdown we are possibly losing depth of perception – we are already adapting to lockdown like most species. Time is also standing still during lockdown, it may even be compressing! 2020 was a year long freeze frame – like a Polish Art movie!! There are very particular outcomes of the pandemic……

For the post pandemic era, I asked Karen what the future looks like. Karen hadn’t expected the rapid digital transformation of this last year – a lot has been done very badly – but it’s now at a point of no return. We move onto AI – Karen is more interested about the evolution of humans, not the robots.

Immersive Tech is becoming richer and richer in remote deliveries. There are more calls for deeper experiences and there will be a virtual retail.

We continue to buzz about VR, 5G, Virtual sports stadiums like Future Visual’s e-sports venture with Weavr and how big brands still underestimate the impact of digital.

And if Karen could spend £100m on a social programme, what would that be? Tune in and find out.


Marshall McLuhan – The medium is the message.

Shannon and Weaver Model of Communication – transmission, reception and feedback – it’s about how you send a message and It’s a model for interaction.


Norbert Wiener – The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics And Society

Marshall McLuhan – Understanding Media

Brenda Laurel – Computers as Theatre

Building New Realities is available on: 

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Building New Realities Episode 12 was presented by Tim Fleming, Founder of Future Visual, the award winning VR & AR company. Future Visual helps teams achieve faster routes to competency at a reduced risk with VR & AR business solutions. Ground breaking immersive experiences delivering ROI. Future Visual’sVR collaboration tool VISIONxR™ extends your workplace to join remote VR training and team meetings from remote global locations to collaborate and learn, enhancing high value productivity.

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