On 28th November, we went along to BIMA’s breakfast briefing on the Tech Trends that really matter for 2018, which saw six-minute talks from four speakers on their tech predictions for 2018 and beyond.
The speakers were:
- Luciana Carvalho Se (@LCarvalhoSe) Business Development and Partnerships at Rewind
- Guy Armitage (@guyarmitage) CEO of Zealous
- Matt Bush, Director of Agencies at Google
- Karen Boswell (@scarletgeek) Head of Innovation at Adam and Eve DDB
Whilst there were definitely some resounding takeaways, including not doing something for the sake of doing it and ensuring you have a purpose, each of the talks offered unique and valuable food for thought. So, let’s look at each of them.
Business Development and Partnerships at Rewind
With a background in mixed reality (MR), Luciana’s talk naturally focused on the future of MR, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Luciana explained that 2018 will see the convergence of augmented, mixed and virtual reality – with visual, real-world overlays. At the moment, AR is seen as a tool adopted by the masses, whilst VR is more isolated. While VR tech is more mature, AR is quickly catching up, which will eventually converge with VR.
Luciana predicts that it will take around 5-10 years for these technologies, particularly VR, to hit the mainstream. And one thing that’s going to speed this along, is a drop in the price of headsets in 2018; with Oculus at the steering wheel.
For Luciana, however, the barrier to adoption is the fact people see these as entertainment tech. She believes that VR can put people in other’s shoes to address real purpose – breaking down stereotypes, creating empathy and tolerance. Could VR make humans more human?
The key takeaway was that if companies are thinking of adopting AR, VR and / or MR, then it is imperative that it has a purpose. She also recommended that the audience look into the VR fund, which you can find here.
Guy Armitage’s predictions
CEO of Zealous
Guy discussed the development of artificial intelligence (AI) in 2018. Significantly, Guy believes that AI won’t end up replacing our jobs- despite warnings from the likes of Stephen Hawking, who thinks it would lead to the end of mankind.
Looking at what happened with AI in 2017, Guy showed this powerful image, detailing the current AI startups in Israel alone.
In 2018, Guy believes that we will see the wider adoption of voice AI, as well as more regular communication with bots. For companies and brands, we can expect to see more contextual behavioural targeting, more real-time, in-content advertising and, finally, lifestyle automation and hyper-personalisation.
Guy’s top tips for 2018 are:
- Make sure your data infrastructure is scalable
- Define your problem before considering AI as the solution
- Make sure it’s a human-first approach
- Keep your eyes on APIs
- Inform and skill up
Matt Bush’s predictions
Director of Agencies at Google
Google’s Matt Bush focused his talk on voice assistance, looking at three big trends on the horizon:
- Universally available and accessible computing
- More intuitive human-computer interaction
- More intelligent, delightf ul experiences
Matt explained that we’ll see more of Google’s services connected, making voice assistance much more embedded into everyday life. At the moment, it’s focused on news, weather, music and time, but with the design of the latest smartphones having a key focus on voice assistance, including the Pixel 2, it will become a more day-to-day necessity.
Matt also thinks we’ll see more unique brand experiences that go beyond shopping. The Christmas campaign from John Lewis and Google, for example, allows children to use the Google Home smart speaker to interact with its story about Moz the Monster.
Head of Innovation at Adam and Eve DDB
Karen’s talk was much more of a blast through of predictions, which included:
- AR paving the way for VR adoption
- Wearables slowly starting to replace smartphones (she was sure to reiterate that this was slow!)
- Consumers becoming more demanding as phones and tech gets smarter and faster
- Edge computing replacing cloud computing
- Voice and visual search increasing, and not just with younger generations. Brands that adapt will see an increase in revenue
- The internet reaching the last billions of the world’s population
- 3D printing moving into more ‘serious’ sectors such as car chassis, weapons and health
- The battle to own the data will continue and consumers will be forced into a decision of adopting or releasing the ease of IoT from their lives
- Privacy becoming obsolete and increasing pressure on brands to be transparent; which will make or break them
Again, Karen ended with advice for brands and companies looking to adopt any of the trends: ‘true innovation puts purpose at the heart, not at the edge.’
If you want to see more, you can watch the full talk here.