Can’t afford a vacation or can’t get the time off of work to explore the world? Maybe there’s another way to transport yourself… without actually transporting yourself at all. In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss virtual and augmented reality including the tools that give you the best virtual experience. They also talk about the different ways you can use virtual reality besides video games. As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
This episode features an audience question about social media etiquette for lawyers and their clients. If you have your own technology questions, the new Dennis and Tom’s Tech Question Hotline is up and running! Call 720-441-6820 for the answers to all your tech inquiries.
Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.
The Kennedy-Mighell Report
Exploring Virtual and Augmented Reality
Intro Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, hear how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to The Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode 195 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in St. Louis.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode we debated whether drones were ready to play a role in the legal profession. Unfortunately, once again Tom won the debate for now. I’ll have to check back and see how I did in a few years when I’m probably more right than Tom was.
In this episode we get back to reality, and that’s Virtual and Augmented Reality and look at some of the recent developments and announcements in the world of VR and AR and whether VR and AR might have gotten our attention at this point.
Tom, what’s on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report we will indeed be talking about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, and whether it’s time for our listeners to dive in.
In our second segment we have another question from one of our listeners, keep those questions coming in, and as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots that one tip website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over.
But first up, VR and AR or Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality along with Artificial Intelligence, VR and AR are I think the hot topics in technology today. Unlike Artificial Intelligence these are actually some technologies that average consumers like you and me, and us, can check out without completely breaking the bank.
Dennis, once again, I will put the job of defining our terms on you. What actually got you interested in talking about this topic and what do we mean — what do we mean when we talk about VR and AR?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I was listening to the Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast and they did an episode on VR and AR and it was just striking to me, and I started to really think about VR and AR in some new ways and there’s also been a number of developments that they talked about and some other things out there in Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus, other things like that that we’ll talk about later.
So when I was thinking today how I wanted to define the terms, I started to think that there’s this sort of general notion of immersive display that I think was helpful for me to think about Virtual Reality.
So you can think of immersive displays ranging from the IMAX theater at the big end to this personal displays that something that would actually sit on your face that you look into. So it could be the Google Glass, it could be the Google Cardboard VR thing, it could be something where you just have a VR mask that you look at.
And I think there’s a range of these things and so I start to think of it in terms of are you looking through the device to see what’s going on in the outside world or are you looking at something that blocks you off from the outside world? And so, Virtual Reality to me it’s that sort of contained field of viewing. So you are kind of separated from what you might see in the outside world. So it’s kind of like this closed system or a closed mask that you view through.
Then I think the other end you have what I would think of it is the heads-up display where it could be something like in a car windshield, the Google Glass sort of thing where you say, I’m looking through something, I see all of the outside world, but there are other things happening that I can see that are sort of overlaid onto my view of the real world. And so, I think that’s the other end, and then there’s a kind of continuum between them, and then when I think about Augmented Reality I see now that can take place in any of those areas, and so I see Augmented Reality as saying that there is information that’s being pulled or displayed to me in those context that is contextual, that it provides information. So I could maybe look at a — I am a tourist, I look at a tourist site and I get information about what it is I’m looking at.
So I’m in art museum, I see, I get information about the painting I’m looking at on the classes that I’m looking through. And so that Augmented Reality is that providing that extra information that could be in a form of a data stream, telling you maybe information about health or what you’ve done or time or anything like that or information about something that you’re looking at.
So, I don’t know, Tom, that’s sort of how I look at VR and AR and in that context of what I call a very immersive display as opposed to the sort of the monitor or the screen view that we most of the time have been thinking about in terms of computer display.
Tom Mighell: Well, I think that’s a good introduction to kind of what we’re talking about by the two different types of reality that we’re going to be discussing. Maybe it’s time to start talking about the equipment that people use to use Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality apps or other tools that are out there.
I think that the — well, I would say that Virtual Reality tools have been out there for long, but I don’t know that that’s true. I think that Augmented Reality tools have been there for some time. Google was putting tools out there where you could point your camera down the road and it would show you sites on the street through your camera lens that you couldn’t see otherwise, it would point out features that it recognized and would tell you more about that or you could click for more information. But in sort of in my memory the Virtual Reality devices have kind of at least taken center stage more recently. I think you described sort of the major heavy hitters when it comes to the Virtual Reality devices.
I think that the one that gets probably the best, the most press, the most news is the Oculus Rift, that’s a kind of a dedicated VR device and there are a couple of others, the Vive, I think that’s an HTC device, I can’t remember it’s LG, I can’t remember who does that, but the Vive is one, but really the Oculus Rift is the one that people may have heard of before mostly because Facebook bought it. So it got popular enough and so Facebook bought it.
I think that going the pure Virtual Reality route can actually be sort of expensive if you want to use it for what it was really intended for. The Oculus Rift I think it used to cost, Dennis, correct me if I’m wrong I think it used to cost north of $800. It was an expensive device and the price today if you go and look on their website it’s at $399, so it’s a lot cheaper than before. Still kind of a pricey tool, but here’s a deal about VR tools like this.
You can’t use a tool like the Rift without a laptop or a desktop PC that’s strong enough to support it. These tools are awesome and you can do lots of gaming and really interesting things with it, but you’ve got to have a computer that’s attached to it.
Some people have tried to create kind of backpack computers so you can walk around with it, but I think that there’s only one thing worse than walking around with goggles where you can’t see anything and you just no one can see your eyes, but it’s having a backpack with the computer on it while you walk around with goggles on the front of your face. It just seems so clunky and cumbersome to me.
And frankly, to get something strong enough those computers are going to cost you more than $2,000. So I think that these types of VR devices, the Rift and some of these others are best for the gamers. I really don’t think that that makes sense for the casual consumer like you, like me, at least not right now at that particular price point.
So really where I think these tools are going are to the personal level, the smartphone viewing. With Google Cardboard and some of these others which I really think is — it’s both Virtual and Augmented Reality from your smartphone. Dennis, I know you may have tried some of those out. Do you want to maybe talk about that at this point?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. So not to date myself, but so Google Cardboard is known because it was like a simple holder for a smartphone that was made out of cardboard and you sort of folded it up and you look through it and held your phone and you were able to take advantage of Virtual Reality as you look through it, and then there are sort of other inexpensive devices that operate on the same principle.
So it’s like a something that will fit over your eyes like a mask, not exactly like a scuba mask, but basically like some goggles and then you kind of slot your phone into it. And so, I was using one today that was a set of VR glasses that was given away for free at ABA Tech Show. So, if not to date myself too much, but if you remember back to the days of the old View-Masters which allowed you to…
Tom Mighell: I love the View-Masters.
Dennis Kennedy: …which allowed you to look at either animation scenes, sometimes those are sort of like cartoon scenes or nature scenes or travel scenes, and when you look through the View-Master because there were two images that you looked through, then you were able to have this 3D effect. And so…
Tom Mighell: I’ll get you one better real quick. My favorite tech toy growing up when I was a little kid was my grandmother’s stereopticon which was the first View-Master that I ever came out back in the early, what is it, 1920s or 1930s, where you put these really cool…
Dennis Kennedy: It may be even earlier than that.
Tom Mighell: …yeah, may be even earlier than that and that was such a cool thing and it did kind of the same thing as a View-Master. I just remember that. I love that thing.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so I had the same feeling here that it was like, oh wow, this is like video version of the View-Master so it’s a sort of low-tech in a way thing but it gives you the experience and the experience for me was very good. Although I do have one caveat about that, I’ll probably talk about a little bit later, especially if you don’t have great eyesight, there can be an issue there.
So I think you had this super low-cost kind of low-fi maker or sort of notion of like here’s a way to get Virtual Reality and there are a number of number of apps because the apps are very important obviously, because you want some VR apps, and so, I was experimenting today in preparation for the show with the New York Times VR app.
So there are a number of things out there and there are rollercoaster apps and other things like that so you can experiment. So there is — as Tom says, there’s this notion of the high-end gamer, extremely powerful, sort of super-immersive experience of VR, which is probably all in is going to cost you several thousand dollars, which if you’re doing a high-end entertainment system, you’re probably in the same budget area.
So it could be interesting in that sense for you, and then, there’s like this super low-end where you go, hey, this is just good enough and if I can get it a set of goggles that work well for me and I could see well enough, I have some example apps and I can get the experience.
And so, Tom, I’m guessing, I mean, that’s where I’m at is the entry point clearly to experiment and I’m guessing although you some — I think you have a like a bigger technology budget than I have lately, but I think you’re probably at the low end too right now.
Tom Mighell: I am at the low end. I started using — I didn’t use the actual cardboard version of Google Cardboard. I was a little bit late, I wasn’t kind of an immediate adopter when Cardboard came out but Cardboard was really cool because it was what just 25, 30 bucks and it was easy and it had a nice pair of lenses in it and it wasn’t perfect but it was enough to kind of give you a taste of that experience.
Right after Cardboard came out, there are a number of companies that used the Cardboard technology to create their own cardboard compatible headsets that actually had straps on it. The regular Cardboard doesn’t really have a strap and there’s a reason for that, but it didn’t have a strap on it. The one that I bought was about $25 or $30, had a strap.
The real problem, and I think you alluded to this before us, but I’m going to jump again and talk about a little bit is, is that these are not really made, those types of devices are not really made if you wear glasses, if you wear contact lenses, fine to use. But I couldn’t wear my glasses, and if I took my glasses off I really couldn’t see well enough, it just wasn’t strong. My eyes are not good enough to be able to see without my glasses.
However, when I got my Pixel phone last year, which by the way, I still love, still one of the best phones I’ve ever owned. I got free as part of that, I guess promotionally, I got one of the Google Daydream headsets, which aren’t terribly expensive, they’re $79 but they are still more expensive than the Cardboard, and that is actually a pretty nice little device. And it is big enough so that I can wear my glasses with it. I will say, it’s not the most comfortable experience with the glasses. It kind of feels like it’s weighing my head down and that’s the main drawback for me for using one of these tools is that I would spend a whole lot more time doing it, if it felt comfortable on my head wearing with my glasses. So that’s the only issue that I have.
I will say some of my favorite apps that I was able to download, Google’s Arts & Culture app is great, you can go and look at artwork all over the world and get educated on it and they’ll talk to you about it. You can watch Netflix or Hulu so you can have your own little private movie theater and watch movies there.
But, frankly, personally, my favorite app that I use with my Google Daydream is Google Photos because when I am out, when I was on vacation, multiple vacations you can with an Android phone take a panoramic picture, not just a panoramic picture but a 360 picture. So I can just turn around in a full circle and that’s made for Virtual Reality. So I can go and I can immerse myself in places where I went on vacation and just turn around and around and around and I’m right there standing in the middle of it again, and it is just such a cool experience.
I think for me that’s what the whole immersive thing is nice is that I’m not just forced to look at what’s in front of me, I can look around, I can look up, I can look behind me, and it’s always different, and it’s a little bit disorienting. I mean, I can get a little bit not dizzy, although they say you can get dizzy if you use it for too long, but I just — I think it’s a great experience and at that $79 price point, with some of these apps, I kind of think it’s a no-brainer to not try it.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, there are — when you mentioned that there are these little odd feelings that you get, so today I love…
Tom Mighell: A little bit.
Dennis Kennedy: …I could look up and see the sky and the clouds, but when I look down like straight down in front of me, I couldn’t see my toes and my feet, and that was like kind of an odd feeling.
Tom Mighell: When you stretch your arm out in front of you, you can’t see anyway.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, so I want to talk more about Google Daydream because that’s what really got me going on this, but I thought it was worth talking about the return of Google Glass. So Google Glass came out through these glasses, there’s a lot of hype about it. They kind of really flamed out and then recently Google Glass 2.0 came out. And I think in a way that really makes sense, and so, it seems like what they did was they looked and said, what are places where people are already wearing glasses and looking at screens and just need extra information?
It’s sort of like in the manufacturing setting in factories and other places like that, perhaps in medical. And so, I think that the Google Glass is now being focused in those areas and that’s kind of interesting to me because this is sort of the flip side of VR because you are seeing what’s going on but you’re also having other information visible to you and fed to you at the same time. So, I think that’s an interesting thing but probably it becomes a specialized thing.
So I guess all the concerns we had about Google Glass and people videoing you all the time and people just looking weird in those glasses which tend to be a little, a little buggy and then it became the subject of jokes. Now, we may find a niche that really makes sense. But I did want to talk about Google Daydream, so Tom…
Tom Mighell: Hold on, wait, wait, wait… before you do that, let me get my piece in about Google Glass so we can get it all out of the way at once.
Dennis Kennedy: Okay.
Tom Mighell: So, just really quick for the people who are listening who may not know, Google Glass came out a number of years ago. It was designed as a side piece for your glasses or for a pair of glasses that provided an augmented reality dashboard for, you could videotape things but you could also, as you’re walking down the street, you could get directions on your map. If a message came in, you could read the message and it was all right in front of you on the screen that was being projected by something that was connected to a pair of glasses.
Again, like the people who had Google Glass thought of themselves as glasstronouts but everybody who watched people with Google Glass call them Glass Holes. So it was an interesting thing, people look awkward, people didn’t like being videoed because there was no way to know if you were being videoed.
I don’t think that Google Glass ever really went away. I think that Google pivoted and started quietly marketing to the markets that made sense. It actually has been in quiet use in dozens of companies such as companies like Boeing and Volkswagen are using it as quality assurance. So Google Glass is used to provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete the manufacturing process. So everybody’s following the exact same step and you can’t actually… it shows up on your screen, you can’t move to the next step until you complete the first step, you can’t cut over to them.
And what they’re showing is they’ve had some studies, some very preliminary ones that have come out that said that Google Glass is resulting in a 46% decrease in the time that it takes to complete certain tasks, which I think is pretty cool. With healthcare, some doctors are starting to use it and they’re putting it on while they do an exam and that instead of having an intern or a resident behind them taking notes about what’s going on, they’re live-streaming over Google Glass so that ascribes somewhere else is taking the notes. And they can throw up last year’s x-ray or last year’s health results so that the doctor can see what’s going on.
I think a very interesting and although maybe it may feel a little creepy that you’re live-streaming your exam to someone else, it’s really not a lot different than the doctor who’s watching you over the other doctor’s shoulder. And I think that it’s now more accessible for people with prescription glasses so I actually might be more interested in using it than Virtual Reality, and then, I think the better thing that they’ve done is you can disconnect it from the glass’s part and attach it to safety goggles so you can get stuff done.
And I know — I kind of really like what they’ve done with it because they found their niche, but the bad part about it is, I’ve just kind of wasted all of your time because it’s really not available to the consumer market, still costs about $1500, but they are really going all in on the enterprise, and I am glad it found its place, but the place apparently wasn’t with the consumer.
Dennis Kennedy: So here is the story for you. So the other day, I was replacing a component of a toilet and I was thinking, this would be so great for a Google Glass or Augmented Reality which could tell me like, oh, here’s what the next step is, or more importantly, have like a red flashing light that says, hey, you have this piece upside down, and so that wouldn’t do trial and error.
So I see the use of Augmented Reality in a number of ways, where you are looking through and you are just getting that, it’s sort of information that you might need. So, Tom, you have actually — you were talking about how Google Daydream is something that you’ve actually experimented with, so I want to talk about what I think are some of the implications of Google Daydream, but do you want to talk a little bit more about what it is based on your experience?
HYPERLINK “https://legaltalknetwork.com/hosts/tom-mighell/” Tom Mighell: Well, Daydream is as most basic. Daydream is an app that’s on specified Android devices, so you can’t really — I am not sure that you can run it on an app, on an iOS device, can you, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: I don’t think you can.
HYPERLINK “https://legaltalknetwork.com/hosts/tom-mighell/” Tom Mighell: I don’t think you can. I think it has to be right now on an Android device, and I read an article today that said that Google is promising that there will be 11 Android phones next year that can run it, but unfortunately, if you are in the iPhone or Apple world then you don’t get to take advantage of this, but we will talk about AR kit in just a minute.
But, you download the Daydream app. The Daydream app is what you need to be able to use it, you insert your phone into the Daydream Goggles, and the Daydream app kind of runs things, and it’s a nice little gallery, you look around, you’ve got like a nice little running water and you are kind of in a park somewhere and right in front of you are all of the different VR programs that you have installed on your phone, you’ve got a little remote control, so you can click on things, and move from one thing to the next, and then you just go into different apps, and take a look at them.
And, for example, if I wanted to click on Google Photos, then I could do that and it would take me to my photos and I could page through, I would have to use the remote control by just kind of swiping through all of the pictures that I had, until I came to one that I wanted to look at. Same with the Arts & Culture, I could just kind of look through the different pictures and click on the ones I wanted to hear or learn more about, and sometimes you get some text information about it, sometimes somebody is talking in your ear, you need to use your earphones when you do this, because there will be some sound that’s related to that.
Is that what you mean, Dennis, is that kind of what you’re looking for or you are looking for something different about what the experience is like?
Dennis Kennedy: No, I think that’s what I was looking for, and so, when I was listening to the podcasts, and they were talking about Google Daydream. Usually I think VR games, and I am just not a gamer at this point, and so I kind of tune out, but they sort of talking about a number of ways of using VR that really got me interested. And so what it really comes down to is to experience places that you cannot physically be, and so that was the discussion, and so they were saying like, well, you see in books that talk like a thousand places in the world you would want to visit before you die, and you go like, well, there is no way I can do that, and there is also some places these days, I mean, let’s face it, there’s none of us are going to go to Baghdad for a vacation for the foreseeable future.
So you are going like, well, would it be cool to experience some of these places in Virtual Reality? And it’s not the same obviously it’s being there, but there could be like a really great virtual reality experience of that, and then also talking about imagine being in a front row seat at an NBA game, or at a concert and having that in virtual reality, you would have this experience and as they sort of add things like the haptics, as a feeling and vibration and sound and combining all the experience, you would have this pretty cool experience.
And I sort of say, that is something that I think I could see paying money for who’s done right, so I don’t know, Tom, that kind of completely changed my feeling about VR, did I overreact to that or does that interest you in the same way?
Tom Mighell: No, it does interest me. Right now no one is, there is not as far as I can tell been an app that will live-stream an event that you can access through VR, but I would imagine that’s the natural extension, but you’ve got to get the right equipment, put the right 360-degree cameras in there, you can certainly deal with the sound the same way, but if you wanted to go to a concert or go to an event or something, there is, I think no reason why you couldn’t do that with a virtual reality tool.
HYPERLINK “https://legaltalknetwork.com/hosts/tom-mighell/” Tom Mighell: I think that that’s kind of the natural place where this is going to go, they are still a part of it that is unreal to me, and so, I still sort of want to go to all those thousand places before I die, but I really think that — I think you’re right, it’s having experiences that either you’d have to spend a lot of money doing or you would never be able to do is kind of the advantage of a tool like that.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I was going to say that on the podcast the guest of the show was talking about the experiences they’ve had at Google and how realistic the experiences can be and the effect that they have on people, and so they gave this great example of they had an application that had people in virtual reality at a pool, and you’d see a swimming pool, and then there were diving boards and you looked up and there was like the three-meter board and you looked at further and there was like the ten-meter board and then what happened, and I forget, it was like 50 meters like some ridiculous height, and people knew it was virtual reality and it wasn’t a real thing, and then you were transported up to that, I’ll call it the 50-meter level and they said, people were like crouching down, and the same way they would react if they were in Heights even though they knew it was a virtual experience.
And then they got people to walk to the edge of the platform and said, just take a step off and go down and they said that many people just could not bring themselves to do it even though they knew it was clearly a virtual experience. And so, I think that — it’s kind of really an interesting area for how it may change the way we experience and I think in immersive ways, entertainment and other experiences. And so, I’m just really fascinated by that time. I don’t know whether — like I said I — I don’t know whether I kind of went off, you know, off that platform into the deep end, it’s just in my imagination, but I’m just fascinated by this area and I could see myself kind of bumping up from the cheap approach maybe to the more expensive approach a lot faster than I would have ever thought possible.
Tom Mighell: Yeah, I know, I think it’s definitely worth trying. I think that Google — if you have an Android phone especially Google Daydream is a really great option. Unfortunately, if you’ve got an iOS device, you don’t really have a lot of options for there. Now where iOS is making some strides what I think is really interesting is that with iOS 11 they are coming out with their own augmented reality rather than relying on software to do with. They are basically taking advantage of the sensors and the cameras and things that are already in the phone to deal with it. I mean, they’re adding new software to it but their AR kit, their Augmented Reality kit is something that is kind of a little different than what Google is doing, relying on the hardware. Apple is relying a lot also on their software that they are putting in there too.
So you’re going to have to have iOS 11 to start with it, but what I find is interesting about this is, is that already developers are starting to come out with very useful ways to take advantage of Augmented Reality.
One of the ones that I thought was really cool was just a simple measurement app. You point your camera at one place, you drop a pin, you point your camera at another location, you drop another pin, the phone is aware of the space because it’s aware of the three-dimensional space in between everything and it can actually measure the distance for you, just by looking at it, which I just think is a cool practical use of this technology, and that’s going to be something great for iOS users to take advantage of in some ways that may not kind of offer that same immersive experience that VR does, but absolutely has some practical applications that you can immediately start to use.
Dennis Kennedy: And this will surprise you, Tom, I know that I was actually thinking that I would buy an Android phone, even though I wouldn’t use it as a phone and just for the VR experience because it does seem to be over in the Android world where it’s going to be more accessible.
So, I don’t know, Tom, you want to wrap it up. This is like the first time we haven’t like applied a technology back to lawyers, the legal profession, and frankly, I don’t care, I’m just really interested in this, I don’t really care whether it has legal applications, I’m sure it does, but right now I’m just interested in experimenting with this.
Tom Mighell: Well, I think that having devices out there that may not have immediate legal applications or legal applications that we just don’t want to talk about and we just want to say let’s enjoy this for the sake of technology, I’m always happy to have a podcast about that with you anytime you want to, Dennis, so I totally agree.
Before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsor.
Advertiser: Looking for a process server you can trust, HYPERLINK “http://www.ServeNow.com/”ServeNow.com is a nationwide network of local prescreened process servers. ServeNow works with the most professional process servers in the industry, connecting your firm with process servers who embrace technology, have experience with high volume serves, and understand the litigation process and rules of properly effectuating service. Find a prescreened process server today. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.serve-now.com/”www.serve-now.com.
Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. We’ve got another audience question from a listener who contacted us through LinkedIn, and we’re encouraging people to contact us through LinkedIn because we think that’s a great way to get in touch with us and just another channel that people can communicate with us.
So, Tom, here’s the question, and of course, I’ve forgot to get permission from our questioner to use his or her name, so I’ll follow up on that, we might give credit to that in the next episode, but — so here’s the question.
I’m curious as to what your take is on social media etiquette for lawyers and their clients? So there is what if any social networks are appropriate to use for communication or other purposes? I mean, for example, what if your client sends you a friend request on Facebook?
Tom Mighell: So I think that — so I’m going give the lawyer answer there and I say, I think it depends. I personally, in terms of professional social networking, I would generally use LinkedIn as my only means of communicating with somebody else, and frankly, I mean, I think that it’s one thing to follow somebody on Twitter or Instagram or other pages, those seem different to me, those seem like different tools where it might be okay to follow someone on Twitter where it’s different on those others, I may be wrong about that, I may not have the right sense of it, but it just seems a little bit of a different vibe following people there.
I think that and frankly there are some courts, that say it’s not ethical to follow your clients or to follow even the judge or a co-counsel. I’ve seen many stories where someone has either tried to recuse a lawyer or tried to recuse a judge or tried to get somebody just qualified from representation because of friendships on Facebook, a client who says you friended the opposing counsel on Facebook you can’t represent me because you’re friends with that person or you’re with the judge or the other opposing counsel is friends with the judge on Facebook, well, it’s biased and I need a new judge.
So I think that being friends in those areas is completely different from being a connection on LinkedIn. I think having them as a connection because the purposes of the tools are slightly different, I think, yes, legal professionals will use Facebook in a business networking way, but perception is reality and we use Facebook for our friends that’s where our friends go and that’s where we share information with each other about things, and I really think that does make a difference which is why I generally say, connect with people in work on LinkedIn, I may be a little old-fashioned about that, there may be more modern ways of thinking about that, I certainly know that there are some case law and some ethics opinions that discourage the following on social media, but I don’t know, what do you think, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, a couple different things. So, I think that traditionally lawyers have looked to LinkedIn as the primary social media outlet and the tool that they use, and it is the professional connection network and they’ve separated Facebook for personal and so I think you would use the same sort of guidelines you use on anything else about personal friendships, personal relationships with clients. So you may just have a choice that you make.
I don’t know that you want to have a hard and fast rule because I think if you go to — if you’re doing a Facebook group or you’re doing like a Facebook, I’ll call a company page, then you’re using Facebook in a different way that could have utility for clients and it’s not that pure — hey, you’re a friend of mine sort of thing, which these days with what most of the world it feels like on Facebook already and there’s that — the fact that your friends on Facebook I don’t think has the same — gives people the same sense as it once did. So, I look at those things and say, well, probably that normal approach that lawyers have had of LinkedIn versus the others, generally holds with you can be creative, you just kind of need to take through it.
The other piece of it is, using these tools for communicating with clients, I just flat-out wouldn’t do that, I mean, I think that I would use them for other things but I think you want to — your ethical obligation on confidentiality is really high and I just — I don’t think you want to do something where it’s possible to accidentally reveal client information. So it could be — I think there’s a point where you sort of convert out of social media and for actual client communications. So that part of it I think is I can give a clearer answer, and just sort of connecting with clients using social media in different ways to reach clients in a public way, I think be as creative as you want, but I think in communicating confidentially those aren’t the channels that I would want to use.
Now it’s time for our parting shots, that one tip website or observation you can use the second this podcast ends. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: So I actually have two parting shots, one is inspired by our first topic and that is I’m pretty sure back when I read the book I made a recommendation for listeners to read the book ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline. Fantastic book about virtual reality but with an ’80s twist, with lots of ’80s music and lots of ’80s references and it was such a fun, interesting, exciting book to read. I really recommend that book.
Now they are coming out with a movie. You can go on to the Internet and find the trailer for it. Steven Spielberg is directing the movie based on the book and I cannot wait for that movie. So ‘Ready Player One’, the book is there now, the movie is coming out soon.
The website that I want to recommend today is a new tool, awhile back we may have talked about this in the past, the tool called Unroll.Me, a subscription service that could be used to unsubscribe you from basically anything that you had subscribed to. It kind of fell into disfavor once it was determined that it was taking your personal information and selling it to third parties.
There’s a new tool out there called Deseat.me, which I’m not sure what “deseat” means. But D-E, not deceit like deceptive, but Deseat.me. It’s a same kind of tool. It will review the subscriptions that you have in Google. It uses the OAuth, authentication procedure and really that’s all that it does, it doesn’t take your personal information, at least it claims that what it’s doing is, is that it’s just understanding which subscriptions you want to unsubscribe from and it gives you a platform for being able to do that.
So if you’ve got a lot of subscriptions you want to get rid of in your email, checkout Deseat.me, it’s free to use and it looks like it’s a heck of a lot more secure and more private than Unroll.me was. Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: I’ve already mentioned my parting shot, which is the Too Embarrassed to Ask podcast, Kara Swisher and Lauren Goode are the hosts of that. I just think it’s a great tech podcast that tries to answer questions that you would normally be too embarrassed to ask, because you wouldn’t want people to think that you don’t know the answers to things.
So the VR AR1 that I mentioned was great. There was a recent one on called What is Blockchain, that is one of the best and concise, plain language explanations of Blockchains, cryptocurrencies that I’ve heard and it’s one that I’m going to keep recommending to people who are as a starting point on that topic.
Tom Mighell: I have to say one of my favorite Too Embarrassed to Ask episodes was where they brought in Kara Swisher’s 15-year-old son and talked to him about what teens are using and what technology tools they are using to communicate with each other these days. That was kind of an eye-opener on what’s being used today. So, yes, great podcast, totally agree.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, that was a great episode.
Tom Mighell: Yes. All right, so that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode at HYPERLINK “http://www.tkmreport.com” tkmreport.com.
If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site, where you can find archives of all of our previous podcasts.
If you would like to get in touch with us, please reach out, send us a message on LinkedIn. We’re happy to connect with you and we’re happy to answer your questions through LinkedIn. Don’t forget, there’s also the Legal Talk Network hotline that you can call to leave your voice question. Call (720) 441-6820. If you are listening to this right now on a phone, pull out that phone and save this number, (720) 441-6820.
So until the next podcast, I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy, and you have been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus. Help us out by telling a couple of your friends and colleagues about the podcast.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies Smart Ways to Work Together‘ from ABA Books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk the latest technology to improve services, client interactions, and workflow.iTunes Google Play
Dennis and Tom answer questions about a wide array of topics like client portals, misused technology, and (Tom’s favorite) Bluetooth speakers.
In anticipation of their 200th episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell reminisce on the origins of their podcast.
This legal technology podcast explores the most effective ways to introduce technology to lawyers.
This legal technology podcast looks at the effect technology education could have on lower attendance numbers and the industry as a whole.
Dennis and Tom discuss how to deal with failed tech projects, including when to see a struggling endeavor to the end and when to let it go.
This podcast covers virtual and augmented reality and the tools that give you the best virtual experience.