We spoke to Austin Powers, Weber Shandwick Creative Lead and Technologist, to get his take on the biggest technology advances to hit marketers and brands over the last ten years.
“For hardware, the mobile phone, without a doubt. Specifically; the iPhone. It was really with 2007’s iPhone that smartphones started becoming a hot commodity, something everyone didn’t just want, but needed. Part of what caused that popularity, I think, was just good design – the first iPhone was more aesthetically pleasing than any mobile phone that came before it. Which may also be the same reason Google Glass has yet to succeed (because really, only geeks like me would be caught dead with those things on their faces!).
The arrival of the smartphone opened up new real estate for marketers and brands with the mobile internet, provided new form factors in terms of apps and mobile games and precipitated the continued growth of social media as a channel – easily one of the biggest advances of the last ten years.
For mediums, though, it’s a little harder to say. Virtual reality is still getting a huge amount of attention, and it’s really a lot of fun, but I think augmented reality may actually make a more significant impact on the marketing world.
Without a doubt, both of these mediums are and will continue to be very significant. Augmented reality’s biggest struggle at the moment is that in most cases it still requires an action on the part of the audience to be seen at all – taking out a mobile device, or navigating to a web browser.
You can compel people to take those actions by making the content engaging – which is why it still works right now. But at the point when the hardware catches up to the medium, and we’re able to truly seamlessly integrate this digital content into the real world – thus augmenting reality, I think that’s going to bring about some pretty significant changes in the way we work. To me a medium that removes you completely from the world around you and transports you into another space is truly game changing.”