As the world hurtles into a future which is defined by more
content, more information, and more intrusion of technology into
our lives, the need for curated, simplified and relevant
experiences will grow. To achieve this, our interaction with
technology will become ever-more tactile. Instead reams and reams
of copy, we'll drag and drop, zoom in and zoom out. We'll skip
videos and skim articles - all with our fingers. We'll pull files
across screens and widen our fingers to open or zoom in.
We already find touchscreens in places we could not have
imagined them a few years ago - from mobile phones and tablets, to
billboards and signage. Soon we will be surrounded by objects with
responsive, interactive glass interfaces. The 'internet of things'
will be born, as our refrigerators communicate with our shopping
trolleys to remind us to get milk, and the GPS in our partner's car
lets our oven know that they're running late, so don't start
cooking just yet.
The future is hands on. But there is more to this trend than
predicting a peak in sales of hand sanitisers! Brands will be
digging in deep and becoming ever more immersive in our lives. But
they need to do it in a subtle way, a way that feels like they're
not there at all. Our tactile, hands-on relationship with
technology will bring us closer to each other. Technology will not
push us into isolation, as was once thought. It will make us get
out and see each other more, and winning brands will be those who
Research conducted by the University of California found that
increased access to telecommunications technology did not provide a
substitute for business travel, as was hoped by the business
executives hoping to cut travel costs. Telecommunications was found
to increase air travel. The more people connect virtually, the more
they want to connect in the real world, and the more they want to
explore the real world.
It means that brands need to think of innovative ways to use
technology to help us connect with one another. Brands need to be
affirming and nurturing our humanity; they need to facilitate
real-life interactions with real people, and to create meaningful
experiences for their customers.
Some leading brands of today already understand this shift.
Volkswagen tapped into exactly this sentiment with their recent TV
ad campaign featuring a woman who impulsively decides to drive down
from Johannesburg to Cape Town overnight to hand deliver an email
she had been about to send. (With the line "Some technology
connects us. The best technology brings us together.") Google is
working on ways to integrate social activity into everything we do,
with innovations like Google Glass.
But you don't have to be a technology company to get this right.
Think of interesting ways to allow people to get their hands dirty
with the swoosh of a finger or new experiences and activations that
encourage people participation. Build video community forums and
webinars, organise crowd-sourced philanthropic activities, make it
easier for people to share and give and meet like-minded customers.
Stop expecting the cold and sterile predictions of our
technological future to take over and use technology in tactile
ways, in ways that make us feel warm, social and human.
This article first appeared on www.trendlives.info