View from the Summit – 3 technology trends to look out for in 2016

NavMotion CEO Pete Davies spent last week at Dublin’s Web Summit working with our partners at Eventopedia.
Web Summit 2

This year’s Web Summit was a fascinating week shared with over 40,000 technologists, entrepreneurs, investors and content providers from every part of the world and every sector of enterprise. Surprising then that any broad themes could emerge from such a melting pot. Here are 3 trends to look out for in 2016.

 

MAN VERSUS MACHINES – THE WAR IS OVER

 

‘I know the human being and fish can co-exist peacefully.’ George W Bush

Dubbya was kind of right. But it’s actually machines and humans working together in harmony that are having most impact across the web. Thinking about it, maybe George wasn’t so right.

The apps that are making much of the headway use machine learning to evolve their services. ML works in an automated way to understand audience behaviour and learn from our online actions for the benefit of the next users. But its at its best where the machines are amplified by real curators and actual communities who ensure that its not just a bunch of algorithms but a real human experience.

Instagram, SnapChat and the Eventopedia venue listing service all embrace this approach.  See more:

CNN Money | Tech – Instagram

Eventopedia #SummitPeeks – Instagram

 

VISUAL IS THE NEW TEXT

As someone who has built a 20 year career in moving image I’m delighted to hear that ‘visual’ might be the new ‘text’. Could it be that video is set to supersede much of the communication we currently make with each other using the written word?

Whilst YouTube has empowered video bloggers, cat aficionados and home grown sports rights pirates for years, the next frontier might well be with live video messenger platforms such as  Glide.Me, driven by forthcoming  camera integration into smart watches.

The rationale is simple – talking is more natural than typing with ten fingers – let alone using two thumbs on a tiny smart phone screen. And visual media re-establishes some of that missing non-verbal communication that leads to the countless misunderstandings and misinterpretation we all encounter through text based conversations.

For 15-30 second visual snippets from the Web Summit, search #SummitPeeks on Twitter or Facebook.

 

WE LOVE DEVICES

The big brands are struggling to unpick the complex ways we like to switch devices as we shop, interact and consume content. Live Nation and countless other brands report highly unpredictable user behaviour as you and I discover goods and services on one device and then switch hardware to make our purchase or continue the ‘customer journey’. Often it seems, we don’t trust our phones for the final purchase, but what’s driving our actions is much more complex than that.

Cross-device engagement looks set to continue with phones, tablets, desktops and games consoles all likely to remain in the mix for years to come. It seems that each of our screens has its advantages without being able to evolve to kill off the rest.

But our eclectic behaviour gives data hungry corporations a nightmare trying to track and understand just what we’re all up to, what we’d like to be up to and how we might be evolving on planet digital.

Speaking of which, whatever happens next the idea of ‘digital’ as an entity separate from human existence looks increasingly irrelevant. The future is as it always has been – human beings engaging with each other to give meaning to our lives and using whatever means we can to make this a richer, more rewarding experience.

Roll on the future!  Viva friendly fish and hard working machines.

 

NavMotion are an interactive video studio delivering the connected media experiences to global clients.