Awane Jones
I am the president of Zone 3 (Virtual Reality) and the founder of 'Merchlar', a company that pioneered the Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) sector in Canada. A Co-Founder and former partner at 5thWall agency and the Montreal Chapter President of the VR/AR Association. I am also a bilingual keynote speaker and have presented at several international conferences including SXSW, C2, G20, Capital Innovation Défi MTL etc. My award-winning agencies, have built immersive experiences for a number of high profile global brands such as Universal Pictures & Twitter.

You can find out more about Awane and Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality at

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Entries by Awane Jones

Robots And Virtual Reality

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2017 | 4:08 PM

Robot Control through Virtual Reality: A Look at the Present, Potential and Future Applications

Immersive media and entertainment aren't the only applications demonstrated by Virtual Reality (VR) technology. In fact, an often-overlooked one is the capacity to provide an intuitive interface for controlling real-world devices; primarily, robots. It...

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Evolution Of Virtual Reality: A Near Future Projection

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2017 | 2:58 PM

Co-authored by Timothy Schoonhoven

Virtual Reality technology has come a long way since its inception as simple, stereoscopic goggles in 1939. In the last few years, it has transformed into a variety of electrical devices and exploded onto the market as a surprisingly immersive media. Even so, the hardware and...

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Augmented Reality Is A Game Changer For Self-Improvement

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2017 | 3:21 PM

Why do we always conform to our habits and never follow through? How do we
stop compromising our growth for what we find to be convenient? I believe augmented reality (AR) is the tool for self-improvement.

mobile applications

According to Forbes, only eight per...

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The Future Of Marketing Is With VR

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2016 | 7:41 AM

Co-Authored By Averie Hah

It is no surprise that fewer millennials are going to theatres to watch movies. Nielson and MPAA have reported a decline of 15 to 17 percent in number of movies watched at movie theatres among 12 to 24 year olds. While there may be...

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Pokemon Go's Success Promises Bright Future For AR Tech

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2016 | 1:51 PM

Co-Authored By 5th Wall's Averie Hah and Alan Shekhtman

Pokemon Go is everywhere, all over the world, in the palms of all our hands. By now, everyone probably has googled "what is Pokemon Go," but to give a short answer, it is an augmented reality game created by...

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V-Commerce: Virtual Reality Shopping Is Closer Than We Think

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 12:59 PM

By Alan Shekhtman and Averie Hah

For a long period of time, the future of virtual reality in retail remained unclear. It was unclear whether or not consumers could ever shop in virtual reality or whether or not they would put on the headsets to watch brand experiences. However, the...

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Achieving 24/7 Customer Engagement For Your Retail Brand

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2016 | 12:38 PM

Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality Shopping
Co-Authored by Averie Hah and Alan Shekhtman

(Source: Harvard Business Review)

Stay Mobile
It comes as no surprise that more shoppers than ever are staying connected online via mobile devices, with the...

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Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality Are The New Tides Of Digital Pharma Wave

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2016 | 1:38 PM

Augmented Reality Virtual Reality in Pharmaceuticals Marketing
Co-Authored By: Averie Hah and Alan Shekhtman

It's natural for any industry to undergo changes, but few industries have experienced as many rapid changes as the pharmaceutical and health care ones. The core idea of the business remains the same; In addition...

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How VR Can Help Executives Rehearse For Big Moments

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2016 | 1:51 PM

VR mental rehearsal
Co-authored by Alan Shekhtman and Averie Hah


We often feel that competition is all around us and that so many elements are trying to block our success. After we finish important meetings, exams, or public speeches we often...

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Reconnecting With Arts Using Virtual And Augmented Reality

(3) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 6:16 PM

Virtual Reality Museums and Augmented Reality Guided Tours

Co-Authored by Averie Hah and Alan Shekhtman

When was the last time you treated yourself to a cultural event to enjoy the music, art, and lively atmosphere that it had to offer? Hopefully not too long ago, but if...

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Virtual Reality Already Shows Potential To Revolutionize Real Estate

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2016 | 11:34 AM

Co-Authored by Averie Hah and Alan Shekthman


You hate wasting time. Whether you are looking to purchase a residential home or invest in real estate property, the thought of hours spent driving, visiting and standing around in open houses instantly turns you off....

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Virtual Reality Can Help Donors See The Impact Of Charitable Giving

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 4:15 PM

Co-authored by Averie Hah and Alan Shekhtman

Examples of How to Raise Money for Charity Using Virtual Reality

You see a pamphlet or a charity commercial about suffering kids in third world countries. Do you feel the kind of empathy that facilitates generosity, or do you feel the uncomfortable guilt that you try to avoid? At first, the shocking statistics and graphic photos worked -- the message was powerful and emotive. But after one too many pamphlets and commercials, the message is plain.

Now, pictures aren't as moving, and statistics aren't as impactful since nearly all the shock value has faded away. The issue is that most of us are so greatly distanced both physically and emotionally from those who need help. Donors are no longer as invested in philanthropic causes because non-profit organizations fail to create empathy, let alone an understanding of the problem. So what do you do now? Where does the future of fundraising lie for charities?

The answer may lie in virtual reality. The examples below show how to raise money for charity or social enterprises using virtual reality.

1. Use Virtual Reality as an "Empathy Machine"

While the biggest problem for nonprofit organizations is the physical and emotional distance between donors and those in need, the biggest benefit of virtual reality is that you can be somewhere physically and yet still be in the center of a different environment. It immerses you into a different world. This should explain why VR is the perfect solution for non-profits -- virtual reality closes that emotional distance, and already, we have so many different nonprofits and companies using virtual reality to promote and support their cause.

But is virtual reality really worth it? The costs of VR production and its actual effectiveness are questions that need to be answered. It's true, filming and post-production for VR will cost time and a lot of money. It even costs to simply watch content in VR (from $2 cardboard boxes to a $200 cyber mask). As Felix and Paul's CGI marketing director Mochizuki describes it, the effectiveness of Virtual Reality is the $64,000 question.


The answer? It does pay to use VR. As you can see in the graphs above, donors pledged $3.8 billion in aid to people affected by the Syria crisis after showing "Clouds Over Sidra," a VR production that was shown at the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference, easily surpassing the projected amount of $2.2 billion. To further prove the effectiveness of VR as a fundraising tool, UNICEF is pilot testing the production with its face-to-face fundraisers on the streets of 40 different countries. To date, one in six people viewing the experience have made donations to UNICEF, twice the standard rate of giving.

Clearly, Virtual Reality's ability to teleport someone and allow them to connect with their new surroundings -- whether it be the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake in Nepal or an Ethiopian girl's journey for water in 90 degrees heat -- generates empathy, and in turn, revenue. Once your donors start to empathize with your cause, then they can start connecting with those they are helping, and really understand the root of the problem.

2. Allow People to See the Impact They Are Making

How do you believe that you really planted a tree halfway around the globe, and that the child you are sponsoring really is getting the education and supplies that you are paying for? For charities, there will always be a demand for real evidence of the impact that donors are making. Again, virtual reality can be the perfect solution.

For example, TOMS, a leading social enterprise, has seen the results firsthand. Mycoskie, the founder of the company, said "Ultimately, whether you're a nonprofit or a social enterprise like TOMS, the most important thing is for our customers and donors to understand the real impact they can have." Through virtual reality, people are no longer helping strangers. Instead, they are now helping acquaintances and friends. Once donors witness how big of a change they can make, people are more inclined to take greater measures to help.

3. Go From Empathy to Action Using Virtual Reality

Beyond generating empathy and asking for money, virtual reality can help you put people in action. Although it'd be great to take all potential volunteers on a trip to get all the help possible, most non-profit organizations and social enterprises lack the resources. This is where VR comes in, as its use can extend far beyond just promotional purposes. "It can also be great for motivating and training fundraisers who can experience the situation on the ground through virtual reality, which is much more cost-effective than taking them on expensive trips to the field," as The Guardian's Becky Slack wrote. UNICEF's Innovation co-lead Fabian also explained that once people start to understand the situation and truly connect with others, "[t]hen we can design activities that are really out there to ask people to use their brains and use their hands and their capacity to help us solve certain problems. That's a very different thing than just saying, 'Hey, give money, this thing is really sad.'"

The sad truth of today's charity work is that it's hard to get people to care. In this busy world, it's hard to communicate your cause, and it's even harder to connect people. As seen in the above mentioned examples, it is time for non-profit organizations and social enterprises to leverage the true benefit of virtual reality. Like Chris Milk of VRSE says in the following video, "[Virtual Reality] is a machine. But through this machine, we become more compassionate, we become more empathetic, and we become more connected, and ultimately, we become more human."

Learn more at Merchlar

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4 Reasons Why Fashion Brands Are Adopting Virtual Reality

(1) Comments | Posted May 24, 2016 | 12:44 PM

Co-authored by Averie Hah and Alan Shekhtman

Virtual Reality in Fashion Marketing

From luxury smartwatches to virtual reality catwalks at Fashion Weeks, major fashion influencers and retail brands like Topshop and Dior are adopting technology to increase their scope and profits.

1. Oculus Rift Delivers Dior and Topshop Runway Experience...

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