Last Sunday, Whitney and I returned from Austin, where we attended the SXSW interactive festival, and got immersed in Austin’s startup culture. We hit all the startup cliches, from staying in a $1 million condo with the founders of Press, to hanging out with Gary Vee fanboys and drinking Soylent.
We also caught some great panel discussions, product launches and live performances. Throughout the weekend several themes emerged around the future of interfaces, retail, marketing and advertising. I’ve done my best to filter out the noise and share where I think things are going.
I believe that IBM’s space changed the perception of everyone who entered it. I went in thinking of a stodgy old brand and left feeling like they may be one of the most relevant technology companies.
Rather than trying to tell you how great they are, they put you in the middle of the problems they are solving, and showed the impact their technology can have.
Nio is an unknown autonomous car startup that has created the world’s fastest electric car. Rather than hitting you over the head with this fact, they used the space to showcase their values and debuted a second autonomous car for commuters that puts user experience first.
In addition to beautiful prototypes, a large section of the room was made up as an art gallery that explained the concept and experience of riding in an Eve.
Levi’s capitalized on their history and relevance when it comes to musicians and style. Moving forward with their expertise in denim, they explained why they were chosen by Google to be the first to launch a product using the Jacquard connected fabric technology.
The AI driven world will feel very human, as your emotions and online profile will be the driving forces behind marketing and advertising that will become increasingly invisible.
Currently, 60% of brand content is seen as irrelevant clutter, and 75% of global consumers expect brands to make a more meaningful contribution to their quality of life. Because of these shifts, advertising will take the form of meaningful utility. It will look like suggestions to add value to your day.
AI has already been implemented by Italian lingerie brand Cosabella. They replaced their agency with an AI driven marketing system named Albert. After only three months, they saw a 155% increase in revenue and 336% increase in ROI.
Other brands like Harley Davidson have used Albert for customer acquisition with significant results.
As we become increasingly mobile and on the move, marketers and advertisers will begin targeting the transitory moment and identifying third spaces on the customer journey (like angry tweets or physical moments). AI makes these moments available to us as marketers.
“The ability to leverage moments goes way beyond location – it’s understanding a consumer’s pattern and movement, and optimizing in real time.”
There is a shift happening from graphic interfaces to natural interfaces. In the past year alone we have seen Snapchat Spectacles, Apple AirPods, Amazon Dash and Google Home. There will be an entire generation of products with no screen.
The Echo was the best selling product on Amazon this past holiday season. It sold nine times the amount of the previous year. By 2020, 30% of web browsing will be done without a screen.
“Voice-activated systems are the beginning stages of understanding context, preference and conversation to help people do things seamlessly in the real world,” says Marvin Chow, VP Global Marketing, Google.
There will be 1.8 billion users of voice-enabled digital assistants worldwide by 2021.
BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
In the near future, we won’t have an internet of things, we will have one integrated experience. When we put down our phone and pick up a tablet, we don’t become fundamentally different people. The things that resonate with us remain the same.
Your morning commte will be a seamless journey navigated by your voice assistant and your home will become an expert on your sleep patterns. The question is, who will own the data?
POV by Raymond Bessemer, Interaction Designer at INDUSTRY