Michael McCauley


Augmented Reality, Persuasive Technology — and Some Apps I’d Like to Have

By Michael McCauley I’ve been reading a lot about augmented reality  lately. It seems to be everywhere. Augmented reality — the term was coined by Thomas Caudell in 1990 — is a view of the real environment merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated images. It’s likely that you’ve already experienced augmented reality.  Have you […]


Daydreaming and Problem Solving: The Deep Connection 1

By Michael McCauley Clive Thompson, writing for Wired Magazine, recently explored the idea that the act of daydreaming is a crucial part of problem solving. This is an interesting notion, since most work environments are designed to minimize or eliminate daydreaming. Instead, Thompson suggests that tools and applications should be developed to encourage mental drift.  A recent […]


Using technology to initiate and support behavior change

By Michael McCauley  We at Cerebyte talk a lot about changing behavior to support process improvement and high performance. But  how is that change accomplished?  Can the same approach be used in every situation — or at least the vast majority of situations?  Dr. B.J. Fogg of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab qualifies and categorizes […]


Can persuasive technology be fun? You bet!

By Michael McCauley  “Persuasive technology” is technology specifically designed to change people’s attitudes and/or behaviors. But can persuasive technology be fun, too? This is the question that Volkswagen asked. The results are some of the most creative and interesting uses of persuasive technology I’ve ever seen. Their idea was to see if they could change people’s […]


Keeping it simple: when “good enough” is best

By Michael McCauley An interesting article by Robert Capps,  “The Good Enough Revolution”  explores the ways in which what consumers want from products and services is changing:  buyers now favor flexibility over high fidelity, convenience over features, and quick and easy over slow and polished. In fact, their very definition of “quality” is changing! Capps sites examples […]


Does language affect our thoughts?

By Michael McCauley Lera Boroditsky is a Stanford University assistant professor of psychology, neuroscience, and symbolic systems. Recent research she’s done suggests that the words we use actually affect our thoughts. She has found that even something as seemingly small as the gender of nouns  can have a deep impact on the way we think. For example, […]


Training brains for improvement in reading – and work performance, too

By Michael McCauley Researchers recently set out to answer a question that dogs educators and parents: Why are some kids better readers than others? They used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging  (fMRI) to study the brain activity of both high and low performing readers.  Brain activity turned out to be significantly different in the two groups.   […]


5,127 prototypes? True positive deviants don’t give up

By Michael McCauley I was reflecting on Malcolm Gladwell‘s assertion in Outliers: The Story of Success that true expertise requires 10,000 hours of practice. Then I read about James Dyson, father of the modern, bagless vacuum cleaner. His story is  amazing, and he is a true positive deviant. To get his invention to market took him 14 […]


Finding positive deviants in unusual places (just look!)

By Michael McCauley Sometimes I find  positive deviants in places I might not have thought to look. If there’s an industry that’s  perceived to lack innovation and creativity,  it would be  estate planning .  Estate planning clients are very risk-averse. They want to preserve their wealth, and maximize the value that is passed down to the next […]