'Technology and Cultural trends for 2017' - A guest lecture

Northumbria University London Campus recently hosted an exciting evening for students currently studying on our programmes.

Guest lecturer Sophie Harding, Research and Insights Director at media agency Mindshare, spoke to students in detail about the current trends in technology and the new ideas and inventions that will shape the years ahead. This was an opportunity for students to hear expert opinion from industry as well as being able to ask insightful questions and network with one another.

So what were some of the key trends discussed during the evening?

Reality Check

One of the key talking points to arise from our guest lecture was the huge growth and continued investment in Virtual and Augmented Reality experiences. The possibilities for using VR and AR for businesses are huge; the ability to transport a consumer to another ‘world’ and letting them discover it offers huge potential for innovation.

Businesses are still relatively new to these technologies and although significant investment has already been made. Mindshare itself believes that this is predicted to grow by $80 billion by 2025, highlighting the need to keep up with this emerging technology.

Connected Me

The idea of technology interacting with the human body was another key area touched upon by our guest lecturer. Consumers are already able to use their voice to control technology with services such as Siri, Google and Cortana. Voice powered technology such as Google Home or Amazon Echo are increasingly finding their way into consumers’ homes and themselves present challenges for businesses.

It may seem a little far-fetched but looking 5 to 10 years in the future, we can expect implantables, embeddables and ingestibles to be a fairly normal part of our lives. The idea of us being intricately connected may soon shift from a quirky Hollywood idea on the big screen to everyday reality with our small screens.

Digital Dieting

The idea of people cutting back on their use of smart devices seems counter-intuitive when all we see around us is the growth in use of technology. However Mindshare’s research has indicated that there is an emerging trend where people restrict their own use of technology. This ‘self-policing’ attitude is not a rejection of technology in itself, it is instead the fact that people are looking for the right balance of technology in their lives.

Digital dieting is an important concept for businesses to be aware of, as technology permeates into most aspects of modern life, there will be some resistance. In the age of big data, consumers are ever more aware of the trail that they leave in their digital lives and may begin to seek a little more privacy away from their smart devices.

The whole evening was a fascinating insight into the current trends in technology and provided an interesting view on the challenges marketers and business leaders face in the years ahead.

A huge thank you to Sophie and Amber from Mindshare for presenting to our students, we hope to welcome them back in the future to share some more useful research and insights.

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