- Artificial Intelligence
It’s not exactly robots walking around, asking your drink order. Artificial intelligence, or the blending of the real world with a virtual reality, has actually been around since 1956, when smart guys at a conference at Dartmouth College coined the term without the proper technology. Though it has made headlines in 2017, it’s not quite “re-emerging” technology. But 2017’s technology, as opposed to what was available at that conference in Dartmouth, has made for more advancements, and provided more education, on AI. If you enjoy a good joke with Siri, or have ever asked Alexa to fart, you’re already interacting with technologies acting and thinking like humans – artificial intelligence.
- Internet of Things
Millennials definitely named this emerging technology. The Internet of Things describes objects, like your refrigerator and/or Alexa, talking back to you. Using the Internet, we can make everyday objects talk and accomplish tasks for us, intelligently. Of course, there’s more to it than short conversations – these tools need unique identifiers, software, sensors and embedded digital controls. And this trend isn’t quite new, either. We used to clap to turn lights off. Or ask Siri to schedule appointments for us. In 2017, the objects aren’t just “doing,” they’re talking back, confirming they “did.”
Never again will you spend Friday night on your couch, seeing what your friends are doing without you on social media. Instead, Google’s Gogobot, now known as Trip, extension can map out every event happening in a personalized radius from your current location. Even better, if you’re traveling somewhere out of your comfort zone, the extension will let you know the best spots in the area. And you can trust the recommendations, they’re written by natives, visitors and, who knows, maybe even influencers.
- Delivery Methods
Amazon is using a flying robot, better known as a drone, to deliver packages. This is not a new topic, with the idea starting in 2014. But we have yet to see anyone blogging about their experience opening their door to a drone dropping off their latest Prime delivery. Beyond drones, the types of products getting delivered to your door have changed. Instead of having to put on pants to go to Trader Joe’s, you can buy your groceries through Instagram, Facebook and Amazon. Not to mention, you can ensure certain items are “recurring” in your cart. With the invention of Amazon and drones, we will soon barely have a reason to leave our house.
Speaking of delivery methods, drones again are not a new subject. But their purpose is constantly being revolutionized. When they first came onto the market, drones were used to get the best aerial shot of events, cities, seminars, real estate, etc. But drones have since adapted from a good photo opportunity to a possible delivery method to, now in 2017, a way to take the perfect selfie. The Airselfie is a drone that can attach to the back of your smart, then be removed and fly in front of your face, or record video around your office, using your smart phone’s camera. Imagine the type of real-time engagement that could be amassed to customers.
- Instant Messaging
Instant messaging is not new. Need we remind you of the AOL, MSN and AIM days (and your likely regrettable chatnames that came with the desktop computer apps?) Today, instant messaging has been reborn into tools like Google Chat, HipChat and Slack, used around businesses and side hustles as forms of communication quicker than email. But to keep it professional, they’ve ensured you have to use your first and last name as your screen names.
- Paths to Purchase
In January 2017, Adweek published an article explaining the latest trend in augmented reality: shelves that watch customers as they shop. Tech vender Cloverleaf is launching AI-trained shelves that monitor shoppers take items off the shelves. This tool will help companies track paths to purchase, really understand the brand’s consumer demographic and how they purchase their items — down to if they hesitate before purchasing, and why. But don’t worry, there is no video captured or images taken. Gordon Davidson, founder and CEO of Cloverleaf said, “Instead, it’s using templates on a face that we match that then allows us to see if it’s a female or male and the level of expression.” The AI shelves simply collect basic information, like age, gender and ethnicity. And the trend is rapidly growing. The same article stated P&G is testing the same measurement tool.
By 2017, we seemed to have worked out the kinks Will Smith experienced in iRobot. At the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, all robots displayed (and there were A LOT) look eerily similar — large, illuminated eyes with the mouth being optional. And these robots can do more than simple commands they’ve been trained to complete. The latest ‘bots can have intelligent conversations with humans, in addition to fulfilling their drink order.
- Search on Social
Until January 2017, searching for your favorite brand or celebrity on Snapchat was not easy. Now, the search bar is located at the top of the screen, allowing users to search for whoever or whatever, whenever. In addition, Facebook is constantly updating their personalization features so the social media platform knows what you’re searching for before you finish typing the question. Not to mention the personalized video feature now appearing on the bottom of the mobile menu. Search capabilities can only get better as 2017 progresses, so brands SEO is going to matter more now more than ever.
- Twitter Video
In October of 2016, we had to say goodbye to our social media friend, Vine. The 6-second video clip app was bought out by Twitter in 2012, which then saw it as “a near-perfect video analog to its flagship app’s short-form text posts,” according to The Verge. Ultimately, Twitter saw it was not differentiating enough from its competitors (Instagram and Snapchat) which offered longer videos, and retired the feature. Not a year later, Twitter announced it was replacing Vine with Vine Camera – another app very similar to its former name and even includes loops, which automatically replays the video shorter than 6.5 seconds. Loops also help count the number of times a video has been played, adding to the publisher’s, and content’s, fame. In its prime, Vine was used by Downy, GoPro and multiple other brands to boost engagement. Without much change, Twitter is expecting Vine Camera to do the same.