Squared Online News

Q&A with Martin Talks, one of Squared Online’s Expert Speakers….

Jenni Armstrong

Former Brand and Content Manager, Google

Squared Online has a hand-picked team of the brightest and best in digital who deliver weekly live classes, presenting the latest case studies and adding colour to the content with their experience.

Our roster of industry stars features brand strategists, digital consultants, MDs, data specialists, Client Partners, futurists and the Head of Interactive Experience at Ordnance Survey. Their combined expertise covers social, mobile, content, search, display/programmatic, data and insights, innovation and change and digital trends, and they work at the cutting edge of their respective fields.

We recently sat down with Martin Talks, our resident expert on disruption and digital trends, to find out more what he’s currently working on and the part he’s playing in the VR revolution.


 Martin sporting his favourite piece of wearable technology: the Emotiv EPOC Brain/Computer Interface

Hi Martin. How did you become involved with digital?

I am fascinated by the impact between people and technology. Sometimes there are good results and sometimes bad. These collisions are happening more and more regularly as digital technology becomes an ever-present feature in our lives. I work on several projects related to those collisions. I provide consultancy to businesses through Matomico; I help people and businesses to become the best versions of themselves in the digital age through DigitalDetoxing; and I develop technology in the areas of virtual reality, wearable technology and the Internet of Things through 10x Army.

All of those projects sound fascinating. How did you get involved with 10x Army, and what are you working on with them?

Through 10x Army, I have created a virtual reality viewer called 10x Spex (available here via the 10x Army Shop). My co-founder is a product designer called Graham England, who was one of the original designers of the Oculus Rift. The 10x Spex project takes inspiration from the Oculus Rift, but also from Google Cardboard. It is more robust than a typical cardboard VR viewer, has better lenses that are adjustable to match phone size, and is easily constructed with two folds.

How do you see people using this technology?

The line between the physical world and the virtual world is becoming increasingly blurred. Virtual reality allows people to be present in another reality – a complete wrap-around experience. This can be a fantasy place with animation, or a real-world location using video. This means virtual reality has a very wide range of applications. It is particularly good at creating empathy for people in another situation because you can put someone into someone else’s shoes. The 10x Spex were recently deployed in China to promote student accommodation in the UK and US for Student.com. The 10x Spex enabled students and their parents in China to walk around the accommodation in the UK, ensuring that it was well equipped and culturally appropriate. At a fraction of the cost of an Oculus Rift VR experience, the 10x Spex were sold (along with the VR app) at student fairs across China. The results have already proved very exciting, as VR is a load of fun and great at giving people a sense of being present in another location.

What do you enjoy most about being a Squared Online tutor?

Ideas always seem to grow when shared. I’ve found that the lively interaction that goes alongside Squared Online classes helps to shape and develop my thinking.

How do you think Squared Online helps students?

Squared Online provides a safe, supportive and energetic space for anyone to get up to speed with the ways businesses and people can thrive in an increasingly digital world.

You can follow Martin on Twitter via @Talksy, and read more news and comment from the Squared Online Expert Speakers here.

Find out more about Squared Online: you can give us a ring on +44 (0) 20 7173 5938, or download the brochure to read about the course and the Squared experience.