We’re all aware of the immense impact that technology has had on the ways in which consumers interact with brands.
Think about some early inventions—such as the telephone in 1876 and the television in 1926—which gave businesses an easy way to connect with consumers on a more intimate level, from the comfort of their homes. Fast-forward to the late 1970s, when people could purchase personal computers, and next, 1991, when the Internet became available to the world. Both brought with them dramatic changes.
The next wave of technological disruption came with the smartphone. Marked by the launch of the first Apple iPhone in 2007, this new era put a personal computer into people’s pockets and made way for the notion of “always on.”
A decade later, technology disruption might seem like something out of a sci-fi thriller. Headsets that transport a person to another reality, wearable devices that measure biometrics, machines that can learn from large sets of data and chat with customers, and software that can see and understand faces in photos are all part of the new normal. We’re entering a new frontier of technology that will transform business and allow us to be more connected, creative, and productive than ever before.
Here are six technologies we think will make a lasting impact.
1. Virtual reality.
Virtual reality uptake is pacing quite well, according to Gordon Meyer, director of marketing for YouVisit, a company that creates interactive virtual reality experiences.
“Right now what’s happening is that consumers are increasingly understanding the various use cases for the technology,” Meyer told CMO.com. “I think at the moment video games for VR is roughly half the market. The other half of the pie gets cut up among a number of industries, some of which are for enterprise business use.”
Travel brands, in particular, are highly interested in this technology because of its ability to convey a sense of space in fine, rich detail that can “present various locations in a new light,” he said. There’s a great retail use case as well, Meyer added, where consumers are able to explore a product, engage with a brand, and make a purchase at the same time, all while within the experience.
Many major brands are looking to recruit with virtual reality, Meyer said. “If you want to expand your circle beyond short-driving distances, virtual reality is an amazing way to get out your recruiting story,” he said. “And if you have a great location, perhaps a high-tech campus with a lot of amenities, virtual reality is very effective in getting candidates excited about working for your company."
The United States Army also does a lot with virtual reality to convey the life of a soldier in an emotionally captivating way. Colleges use VR, as well, as a means of attracting students, whether they are in another state or across the globe.