Tech Is Expanding Human Capability But What’s It Mean For Brands?

Tech Is Expanding Human Capability But What’s It Mean For Brands?
SHARE
THIS



The Account Planning Group’s Hamilton Jones, chief digital officer, and Sophie Price, chief strategy officer, UM Australia, offer a planners perspective on SxSW.

This year ‘usefulness to humanity’ was a core theme at SXSW. The festival celebrated and awarded utility based ideas that have the potential to transform the very fabric of our society.

From Project Daniel, the 3D printed prosthetics project that allowed a boy in a war torn area to get a perfectly fitted prosthetic so he could feed himself for the first time in his 12 years. Or Vocal ID, a tool that helps people who are speech impaired to have their own unique voice by blending their own sounds with those of another person so they don’t have to sound like a machine when using speech assisted technology. Through to Edgehome, a one off setup ‘smarthome’ system that sits in your switches, lights and power points to give you universal reporting and remote control of your home to drive energy savings.

The Internet of Things (IoT)- a world of connected and intelligent devices that bring convenience and new functionality to our world – promises to not only enhance our lives through the connected home, automated car and wearable devices, but to help solve the global problems through improvements in farming, clean water and smart cities.

The list goes on and it shows that tech (now and in the future) will solve very real human problems in simple, day to day ways.

The opportunity for purpose driven brands is to think about the utility that they can bring to consumers lives – to better them – to relieve some of the pain points. Brands need to start by identifying the problem (the human need) and then design the experience in which technology can help solve it. And in taking on this greater role, brands have the potential to become the connective tissue between new technologies and people.

Using data to improve people’s lives

As connected devices and tech innovations continue to grow in application, so too are the individual data footprints we all leave behind. Yet with this new level of data comes widespread concern. There were over 40 sessions at SXSW with privacy in the title; everything from ‘WiFi privacy’ to ‘You’re not as safe as you think’.

There’s a need to be responsible with how we use the information. Like the tech itself, we need to use the data to add value to lives, not simply to track their lives. We need to think about the data from a human perspective. If there’s value to be added to their life by responding to the data, then the brand will have more permission to play.

For example, Adidas7 discussed how footballs and shoes have the potential to track and record motion and movement. GE showed us how its data and analytics could engineer the perfect output from a pit BBQ. Health related sessions highlighted the benefits of data capabilities for Apple’s research kit, discussing how it will have direct impacts on improving health outcomes in a range of fields.

Mississippi Uni’s Michael Thompson talked about a beacon product (Unacast) they use to reward loyalty, on return to the stadium, a fan that has visited several pizza restaurants in the last month could receive a personal food coupon for pizza at a game.

Virtual reality will help us experience life in new ways

Virtual Reality (VR) was a hot topic again this year. Whilst no longer new, we have witnessed how the VR technology is broadening; both in its ability and function as well as the areas of content that is being explored.

From a functional point of view there were examples of new tech with body tracking ability (alongside the current use of head tracking) which provide improved ‘haptic’ feedback (devices that vibrate and respond to ‘virtual’ stimulus ) – which all in all drive a deeper immersion in these created worlds.

The content examples are moving past film and gaming. North Face discussed using it to bolster the in-store experience by taking people to the kinds of destinations where you’d use North Face products. A company from the Netherlands (TripleIT) is helping soccer teams like AJAX train by improving their soccer game with virtual matches and scenarios that can give a previously unseen perspective.

Whilst the more powerful headsets aren’t due to launch this year (with the exception of HTC’s), brands are starting to test ideas and look at ways to explore what’s possible. People who use this tech describe the experience as something unique in life – so when the devices go mainstream it will have an immediate impact.

Technology is changing human capability and therefore the potential role of brands in peoples lives. As planners our role is evolving to being more of an experience architect; building a connected systems for brands that helps to better peoples lives.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Shell & HSBC Launch Global Agency Reviews
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shell & HSBC Launch Global Agency Reviews

Going with the theme of ‘new year, new me’, Shell and HSBC are looking to freshen up their respective media businesses.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group
  • Marketing

Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group

Marketing events group Comexposium has absorbed its New Zealand joint venture partner MTS to deliver an expanded event solutions business across the Trans-Tasman. The deal will see Ryf Quail (pictured above) return to Sydney to lead Comexposium Australian and Kiwi team, while his current MTS team remains in place as Comexposium employees. While the business […]

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding
  • Marketing

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding

Audience data provider Eyeota has announced a $15.6 million Series B capital raise to spearhead additional growth in 2018. The company was founded simultaneously in Singapore, Australia and Europe in 2010, and has remained independent and enjoyed strong growth locally, as well as launching into the US. Peter Hunter (pictured above), Eyeota’s general manager for […]

Poem Wins Four New Clients
  • Marketing

Poem Wins Four New Clients

Sydney-based PR and social agency Poem has announced it has won four new clients following another strong year of growth. The four clients are Property NSW (The Rocks and Darling Harbour), Fantastic Furniture, Ovolo Hotels and Purpose (a conference on purpose-driven business). Poem co-founder Matt Holmes said: “We’ve hit a nerve with clients who are […]

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change
  • Media

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change

Social media behemoth Facebook has announced its second major update for News Feed to make sure the news people see, while less overall, is high quality. This week, Facebook announced that the platform will launch a small test in the US focused on prioritising news from publishers that users find trustworthy. Facebook is also exploring ways […]

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!

B&T announces its new industry bootcamp! And, if you're like us & didn't know anything about it, all's revealed here.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits
  • Media

Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits

Mystery surrounds Domain boss's surprise exit, although the Mystery Machine nor a talking dog not spotted at Fairfax.

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival
  • Media

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival

Jasmin Tarasin, director at boutique production company PHOTOPLAY, is inviting invites audiences to take a trip through the inner-workings of the mind in ‘Ghost Train’, her latest multi-sensory VR project set to feature at this year’s Sydney Festival. Working in collaboration with musician and co-creative director Jonnine Standish, Tarasin’s uniquely immersive ‘Ghost Train’ is a […]

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia
  • Marketing

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia

Independent advertising and branding agency March One has been appointed to oversee the rebrand and repositioning of Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA). FIA is the national peak body representing professional fundraising in Australia. It was established to advance advocacy and professional standards, and has identified the need to better promote its role as the industry self-regulator, […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]