Yulia, also known as PowerPoint Spice (yeah, that's a Spice Girls reference), helps leaders across industries stay ahead of digital disruption by integrating innovative technology and techniques into their work. She is always on the lookout for what’s next in visual communication, sharing insights in her blogs and video tutorials, which have over 7 million views. She is a Principal at Heidrick & Struggles focused on digital and innovation, a recipient of the Microsoft MVP award, and an active member of the Augmented and Virtual Reality Association.

In this episode with Yulia Barnakova, Digital & Innovation Enterprise Consultant and Microsoft MVP, we talk about what’s next in the future of visual communication, VR, AR, and 3D, where to find the tools now, and how the future of presentations is in 3D.

Technologies that transform industries

Yulia tells us that she is a Digital Innovation Consultant working with larger enterprises to help them understand how the future will unfold. She also assists them with noticing the emergent technology shifts that are coming and helps them prepare today for what is coming tomorrow. AR, AI, augmented virtual reality, 5G, blockchain – all those technologies are transforming industries.

Yulia’s passion falls in visual communication and presenting, as well as good storytelling. All of which you can do effectively through new technology. She tells us that we can combine even PowerPoint, which, in her opinion, is like a sandbox for creativity, with 3D, and we can create some wonderful interactivity.

What are the benefits

Yulia told us that last year an incredible acceleration in the digital and e-commerce fields has happened, and now we have a completely new world. The most prominent transition is being on video so much. Now we talk about “Zoom fatigue” as we are still getting used to being comfortable in a video call environment.

One of the pinpoints is that we are not wired to work like this, and one of the ways to create the immersion we need is going beyond the 2D screen. People are recreating the human experience of being in the same room with, for example, AltspaceVR experimentations. In AltspaceVR, everybody is an avatar, and with the VR headset, you feel like you are in the room. They recreate networking to get that sense of humanity.

Yulia suggests that when the hardware and cost barriers go down, we are going to see an explosion of these immersive events. She tells us also about a company called Mojo Vision which is now developing technology for AR contact lenses.

Recreate yourself as a hologram

Yulia tells us that most holograms now are the pepper’s ghost effect, but they are a trend and will get more widespread as we have more hybrid events soon.

She explains what volumetric video is and how it is a growing business as well. They already use it in entertainment and video – you film someone from all angles and then put that into an AR, VR experience, or make it a holo-presence. It becomes a digital version of yourself that you can put somewhere else.

Even now, you could bring in anyone in everyone’s home. For example, fashion show models could be right in your living room. Yulia tells us that there will be apps eventually where you can take this kind of video yourself.

Talking about AI, Yulia likens to the metaphor of a knife – chefs do amazing things with knives, while people can also do really bad stuff with them. She says there will be AI developed to catch the AI manipulations, for example.

What's more for presenting

In the presentation space, everything is going to give you more assets to play around with. The question of copyright is going to be transformed, and Yulia hopes lawmakers can catch up to this super fast-moving pace.

Yulia says that if you are using PowerPoint, you need to rethink your skills, especially in terms of design. She says that in schools, designers are already learning core 3D skills and that the most fundamental way to get ready for the future is to think and design in 3D.

In Yulia’s opinion, a lot of design is still very flat and screen-focused. You already can integrate 3D models in your 2D so you can feel more comfortable when eventually you take that 3D off-screen. PowerPoint has the 3D tools; you only have to check them out.

The other thing is to start playing around with 3D platforms like FrameVR, which she recommends and tells us that it is easy to use and still a free beta. You have to get ahead so that you are not left eventually behind the curve. Now is the time to dig in and start experimenting, and 3D is the next thing.


You can connect with Yulia Barnakova on her LinkedIn. Check out her YouTube channel and the Presentation Guild.

Listen to the full episode!

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