Category Archives: Trends
With some tipping Google Glass to further evolve change our day-to-day experiences, DT’s creative technologist and Glass sceptic Tim Devine found some surprising results after a week with the device.
In a kind of tribute to Steve Mann, the father of wearable computing, and so that I might have at least something of an informed opinion on the subject, I wore Google Glass for a week — everywhere, all the time. For thirty years Mann has worn far less sophisticated versions, so I figured it couldn’t be that onerous, and if I was to give Mann and Glass proper shrift nothing less than full immersion would do.
Aside from my Mann crush, as a creative technologist and practicing media artist my work has at times suffered from crushes on various technologies. There is something wonderful about expectations for a new technology — beyond the new toy anticipation the potential for a leap to occur, even if only in the imagination, is sufficient to begin all manner of feverish speculation.
My relationship with Glass as a technology reminds me of a girl I was seeing a few years ago. While crashing on a friends couch in Brooklyn after an epic romance and break up I noticed a card that read, “I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you”. Love is blind but temporarily.
So the question this led me to suppose was do our relationships with technologies form in a similar way to our relationships with people? A hot flush at the beginning, fading slowly to something you could reasonably take for granted but pine for when you’re apart, replace with the new and shiny, or even do away with altogether?
A few weeks ago I found myself, a youngish creative technologist, contemplating an arranged marriage with Google Glass. Our agency, DT, was fortunate enough to acquire a couple of sets and as I run the creative technology lab I felt obliged to engage.
To be honest, if I could solve a brief with a single fold in a sheet of A4 paper I would. I’ve spent years trying to neutralise the effect technology has on me, while endeavouring to deeply understanding it — when a technology like this is pre-released and inevitably polarises the community, it ends up shrouded in media hype, shrill denunciations and misrepresentative guesswork in the rush to be earliest non-adopter.
The most useful commentary comes from direct experience no matter the device. So I flipped the SIM from my iPhone 5 into a Nexus 5, (Glass needs to be tethered to an Android phone) and strapped on Glass for a week.
Wearing Glass is like dating a celebrity
All week I scored free drinks and double takes as I went about my everyday. It was with me everywhere — driving, golfing, the beach, cycling, the cinema, a rooftop bar, work, watching a band, a restaurant, rock climbing and importantly while I lay hungover in my lounge room hammock. I didn’t skydive, fly a stunt plane, frolic with reptiles, trapeze, sword fight, juggle fire, ice sculpt, own a catwalk, hot air balloon or figure skate — though I was ready for it all, Google.
Glass brings voice interaction into a far more functional context. You have to give over to it, to the point where it sounds like you’re talking to a puppy — very conspicuous if there isn’t a puppy around. If you enunciate, and the sound environment is at a reasonable level, it’s pretty good.
Halfway into my week I found myself engaging in conversation with other computer generated voices, similar to accidentally swiping a non-touchscreen, or mentally pressing “Command-Z” when you pour salt instead of sugar into your tea. In a most illustrative case I was in the part harried, part dazed condition induced by self-checkout in the supermarket.
When asked if I wanted a receipt I accurately turned to face the machine and robotically, in perfect oral formation, enunciated “No. (Pause) Thanks.” Under normal conditions I’m as irritated and diminished as the next person by the automated voice of those machines yet here I was naturally, if automatically, having verbal exchange with one as I would any corporeal service entity.
Fear of blinking in bathrooms
Glass is great for capturing content by voice or wink detection. It’s some kind of wonderful snapping photos with the wink of an eye. Every time I posted something to Facebook it was tagged ‘via Google Glass’, and shot from my 203cm perspective. The result is a peculiar kind of kink in the cultural and visual aesthetic to the content glass captures — it will always be shot from slightly above and outside your right eye, though I eventually figured out how to take a selfie without looking at a mirror. I did find myself trying to warp my neck or body for the best shot, but generally I took photos with a quick wink. If you wish to you can imagine my cold, blinkless disposition while I line up in a bathroom at the rooftop bar.
Being unusually tall I’m used to people compelled to ask questions about my experience up there. With Glass I’ve added an entirely new set of icebreakers. Mostly I found myself looking awkwardly out of windows on trams so as to not to have passengers opposite feel like they were in my camera’s field of view. Maybe there will be a mechanical shutter door in future releases to alleviate this awkwardness. Or better still, maybe we need a new type of necklace that emits powerful infrared light visible only to Glass and not the human eye, blowing out all photos taken with Glass, like a kind of urban camo! Tech, counter tech.
Google Glass sits somewhere between the hype and a hands free bluetooth headset with a screen/camera
My original view of Glass was that it was a thing you wore all the time and that it would more or less replace your phone. Personally I wouldn’t wear it all the time. In the Glass Explorer forums there are countless tips on when it’s appropriate to wear it or how to avoid confrontation — like a dojo really. That said, it’s been 24 hours since the end of my experience and I’ve caught myself peering longingly up to where my Glass once satiated my visual cortex… I miss it… if only a little.
Some people will love Glass and wear it all the time (afforded the excuse to wear prescriptionless designer frames). For others maybe it’s a part-time screen, with similar utility to a hands free earpiece. Either way Glass, or some other brand of face-screen coming soon, is definitely going to be part of our mediated life.
Tim Devine is a Creative Technologist at DT.
This article was originally published on mUmBRELLA.
This week, Nextness has been home to ‘Five trends disrupting the communications industry,’ an in-depth report by James Collier (@james_collier), Head of Digital and Partner at STW’s Bohemia Group. This is Part Five, the final installment.
The last trend is that of content management becoming a business priority. As the ‘community’ fascination and like race that burned through our industry 12 months ago continues to calm we’ll see more brands begin to realize just how valuable fresh and timely content is. That realization though will extend beyond the walled garden of the Facebook page and confines of the company blog and begin to permeate the entire business.
That said the primary driver of this shift will still be social. As social customer service continues to flap in the wind, a recent study illustrated that only 3% of customers prefer to use social media as a service channel1, brands will need to change the conversation from one of ‘if you DM me your details I can help’ to one of brand interest and engagement.
We’ll also see the current search vacuum of decreasing CPC’s driven by mobile collapse courtesy of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns. This will again force brands to invest in content to build out their organic presence in a drive to better balance their paid and owned programs.
The growing importance of prospect and customer comms, a hot topic in many boardrooms will further accelerate the branded content need. As marketers look to personalize content and communication, agencies will be forced to supply a steady stream of fresh and relevant content.
This will bring changes to the way content is viewed within the campaign mix.
- Content will infiltrate campaign planning as the conversation shifts from one of ‘content is king’ to that of ‘content is currency’. As a result campaigns will include their own content long tail to help extend the life and depth of the message(s) in market.
- As a result there will need to be a re-evaluation of the current content production model. Campaign shoots, client commercial arrangements, talent contracts, post process and delivery methods will all need to be rethought. A process of optimization will need to be agreed that embraces flexibility and feedback that allows for inefficient creative to be altered mid campaign.
So there we are. My two cents on what will affect our industry in the coming year or years.
The final point I’ll make?
These trends rarely happen in isolation so if one begins to accelerate the others are likely to follow.
- Emarketer & TNS Omnibus Social Customer Service Survey 2012
James Collier (@james_collier) is Head of Digital and Partner at STW’s Bohemia Group. This is the final installment of his report, ‘Five trends disrupting the communications industry.’ Part One: Real time marketing | Part Two: The web leans back | Part Three. Brands take user generated data seriously | Part Four: From mobile to mobility.
This week, Nextness is home to ‘Five trends disrupting the communications industry,’ an in-depth report by James Collier (@james_collier), Head of Digital and Partner at STW’s Bohemia Group. This is Part Four.
2013 will definitely not be the year of mobile, but it might be the year of mobility.
After all the behavioural statistics are compelling with 15% of Australians total media attention spent on their mobile screen. Yet the medium only commands 0.4% of all advertising investment.1 Why? What is broken?
Consumption and usage certainly isn’t heading backwards. In fact in the next 5 years mobile data demand will grow 13 times to 11.2 Exabytes per month!2 Yes, you may be wondering what an Exabyte is. To try and put that in perspective in 1999 the University of Berkley concluded that every single piece of information ever created in any form by humanity equated to about 12 Exabytes. So soon roughly 2000 years worth of data will be consumed every month just through the mobile screen!3
Consumers will also increasingly use their smart phone in a lean free way, accessing information on the go and using it to make decisions on the fly (95% of smartphone owners use their device to find local information with 88% taking action on the same day4). Brands and agencies alike need to get to grips with this third (location) contextual dimension or risk seeing their upper funnel activity become less effective as customers make more decisions in the moment.
Mobility has also been recognized by one of the established cornerstones of the web. Google’s recent refresh of AdWords and the roll out of Enhanced Campaigns blends deep contextual insight with the power of search intent to create a hyper relevant screen experience with mobility front and center, and if anyone can make mobility work, it’s Google.
As a result we will begin to see the conversations we are having evolve:
- Brands will begin to embrace the idea of mobility over mobile. This means moving beyond a device or operating system toward creating a truly location neutral experience that adapts based on the context it is being consumed in.
- There will be a significant lift in hyper local marketing, albeit off a low base, as brands (especially retailers) offer solutions to some of the markets bigger problems. We will see brands successfully and consistently bridge the physical/digital divide, retailers will conquer show rooming, agencies will unlock the power and pathway of mobile analytics delivering increased accountability and insight and we’ll see brands find additional value streams for their customers which can be delivered on the fly.
- Bohemia Attention Study 2012
- Cisco VNI Global Mobile Traffic Report 2012
- The University of Berkley, The Data That Defines Us 2003
- Google, The Mobile Movement 2011
James Collier (@james_collier) is Head of Digital and Partner at STW’s Bohemia Group. This is Part Four of his report, ‘Five trends disrupting the communications industry.’ Part One: Real time marketing | Part Two: The web leans back | Part Three. Brands take user generated data seriously.
This week, Nextness is home to ‘Five trends disrupting the communications industry,’ an in-depth report by James Collier (@james_collier), Head of Digital and Partner at STW’s Bohemia Group. This is Part Three.
The ongoing ‘Big Data’ conversation can often spiral out of control – and although enterprise data is a rich seam of intelligence, it’s the largely unstructured and chaotic world of user generated data that is of most immediate value to marketers.
In fact 70% of the world’s data is currently being created passively by individuals and their daily digital and social actions1. Facebook is unsurprisingly the biggest beneficiary of this with its 1 billion odd users creating 500 terabytes of new user data each day2. In isolation each of these seemingly small data points (a like, check-in, photo tags etc) is inconsequential – but combined can build a really rich audience picture. Interestingly, the #2 social network, Twitter, generates a small-in-comparison 12 terabytes of new user-generated data each day!
The value of this user generated data (UGD) is starting to find traction with traditional and emerging organizations alike. Nielsen recently bought Social Guide3, a social TV analytics platform and have in fact shifted their entire social media strategy to focus on analytics as opposed to monitoring. Twitter on the back of creating the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating have also acquired a social TV analytics technology in Blue Fin Labs4, so expect more movement in this space is it continues to mature.
As the value of UGD is more thoroughly explored we’ll start to see its impact felt in different ways;
- Brands and agencies will need to invest in increased data rigor and processing. With up to 60% of the social signal categorised as noise UGD will need to be subjected to the same level of cleansing as other consumer sources.
- The increased levels of data confidence that will come with this rigor will help drive a shift in campaign measurement. Traditional media currencies will come under pressure as more insightful and meaningful alternatives emerge.
- The UGD set will grow in prominence and value to brands as they look for an immediate source of insight and feedback to power real time marketing trend.
- IDC Whitepaper – The Diverse & Exploding Digital Universe 2008
- Gigaom Facebook Report 2012
- Nielsen Press Release 2012
- Twitter Press Release 2013
James Collier (@james_collier) is Head of Digital and Partner at STW’s Bohemia Group. This is Part Three of his report, ‘Five trends disrupting the communications industry.’ Part One: Real time marketing | Part Two: The web leans back.
Since Apple launched the first iPad in 2010 internet behaviour and consumption has changed dramatically.
In fact tablets are the main driver of this trend. In Q4 2012 tablet sales accounted for 35% of all PC shipments worldwide1 and are predicted to overtake PC volumes this year. A quite staggering statistic considering the market is less than 3 years old. Australian tablet penetration is also predicted to grow to as much as 48%2 by the end of the year, certainly scale enough to push the digital marketing industry in a new direction.
That said tablets are also by and large an inert device with 79%3 of usage occurring in the home and on the couch. This leant back consumption is predominantly a new usage occasion and not a cannibalization of another screen. This is an important distinction to make and one that has driven tablet households to spend an additional 1 ¾ hours online4.
The impact of these contextual and behavioural changes are likely to be more profound then many are anticipating.
- A growing gesture gap. The vast majority of brand and campaign experiences are built with mouse based navigation in mind. Point, click and consume. It’s treated us all well for many years. However more and more Australians are accessing the web via touch screens devices, using their finger to navigate and interact with those same brand and campaign experiences. At what point do we flip the paradigm and stop offering a sub standard touch experience because of our focus on the mouse and shift perspective toward creating a gesture optimized experience?
- Think harder. Brands and agencies need to think harder about the content need that sits behind each device, and not just treat each screen simply as a gateway to a standardized web. If tablets drive a lean back, desktops a lean forward and mobiles a lean free experience then how does the content need to differ to deliver the most relevant experience.
- Measurement. Lastly since tablet growth is driving incremental usage and not necessarily cannibalizing desktop/laptop activity the cross-device measurement conundrum only grows in importance. Without a single user view, the idea of true omni-screen marketing remains just out of reach. Until this puzzle is cracked brands and agencies will still feel a sense of insecurity when it comes to managing campaign activity, frequency and investment.
- Canalys market analysis February 2013
- Bohemia extrapolated Nielsen Data 2012
- Google Global Multi Screen Research 2012
- Google UK Multi Screen Research 2012
James Collier (@james_collier) is Head of Digital and Partner at STW’s Bohemia Group. This is Part Two of his report, ‘Five trends disrupting the communications industry,’ The web leans back. Part One: Real time marketing.