2015: The Year of Bridging Physical With Digital?

By Guy Borgford, Director of Business Development

2015 almost sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. Think back 20 years or so and what you had envisioned the future to be. Flying cars? Nope. Universal space travel? Not there either. We don’t even have universal health care, really – but hey, at least we’re working on that.

What was beyond our imagination for 2015 was a world in which we have near-universal access to information anywhere, anytime, in the palm of our hands. Mobile has quite literally changed the world and now the wonders of interactive technology are moving swiftly from specific devices to a plethora of common products. The digital landscape is changing minute by minute.

So, what does this mean for companies and producers of products that prior to this movement of the Internet of Things, were simply content to create a static consumer product that filled a straightforward need? Do people actually want, let alone need, refrigerators with internet access? What about wearables and the overabundance of health data they generate – does a device really need to tell us that we slept well? The answer is both yes and no – as it’s a combination of personal preference, utility, and creating a technical interface that both simplifies and streamlines our lives, not makes them more complicated.

It can be argued that in our modern world of 2015 there’s too much going on in our lives, and with connectivity we’re inundated with what’s going on in everyone else’s lives too. At Smashing Ideas we’re diving into the issues around disconnected connectivity or disengaged engagement – people going through their lives buried in their devices as the world turns around them. What is now needed is to connect with consumers in short, impactful bursts of engagements – you might see this new buzz of “micro-moments” floating around. A new focus on abbreviated experiences can, and most likely will, connect companies with consumers in a more relevant and prominent manner. This is what’s next.

And remember, your next big thing won’t happen in a vacuum. Nor will you and your internal team likely create a breakthrough consumer product or experience that takes your product line [in the words of Peter Thiel] from zero to one overnight. Rarely does innovation occur by chance. More often than not it’s a metered, structured, and deliberate evolution grounded in research, strategy, and collaboration with your digital engagement agency and core user group.

Regardless of what 2015 holds, one thing is sure: we are about to see a fundamental shift towards an augmented existence, powered by the digital evolution of connected devices, the Internet of Things, multi-screen experiences, and advancements in connectivity. Question is, are you ready?


Image source: Freakingnews.com 
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