The smartphone is no longer the second screen, it has become the first. There is no question about it. What is debatable though, is how innovators will leverage the platform to create further developments. Between IoT evolutions and wearable tech, the smartphone is now being integrated with our daily lives more rapidly than ever. On the other hand, beacons, in their commercial form, have been around for a little over a year but brands are still hesitant to jump on the bandwagon since the technology has yet to be adopted by the masses. Nevertheless, I believe the relationship between wearable tech and beacons is going to lead to incredible brand opportunities that will cause further proliferation of the two technologies and take developments in communications to new heights.
For us Millennials, “Back to the Future” was a big part of growing up. The future the film was referring to was actually 2014. They projected flying cars and hover boards, not to mention time travel. Well 2014 came and went, and while the smartphone can do more today then what the equipment on Apollo could do when it was launched into space, we are still waiting for flying cars. What we can see happening right before our eyes however, is driverless cars. The closest the mass market has experienced is smart cruise control that can measure distances between cars and hence slow down and accelerate as needed, based on a speed set by the driver.
Innovation is a very loosely used term today. Personally, I like the absurdity of the unknown, a concept that was brought to my attention at our sister agency PHD’s annual thought-leadership conference, BrainScape. A point of consensus is that we really have difficulty predicting what is to come and “the people who do have an idea, are under an NDA not to spread the word” (poetically put by Dan Zeff, CEO of content specialist agency Evidently). In this day and age, once we innovate, it quickly becomes the expected norm. One of my friends recently told me a funny story that best illustrates this. Someone on a London to New York flight with him was in complete hysterics because his Wi-Fi was not working in the air. Imagine that. No Internet when you are at 10,000 feet above sea level. A year ago, Internet connectivity on board was not even an option – no matter what class you were flying in. We have quickly come to rely on ‘being connected’ and now feel uncomfortable when we are not. Innovation and the future have been key subjects of events in Dubai over the last couple of weeks. In addition to PHD’s BrainScape, I also attended the Global App Summit and GITEX Technology Week. Although each approached the subject matter differently, the common thread was innovation and its many forms.