- Virtual Reality – Is it the future or a fad like 3DTV? Technology brands are investing heavily to ensure that it is the former and that is why it cannot be ignored.
- The Internet of Things – Another big question mark exists over IoT. It has also been the subject of significant investment but consumers have not yet been convinced. The next 12 months is crucial for the success of this technology.
- Artificial Intelligence – Technology has moved on to a point where we can expect to see brands utilising chat bots to manage customer service queries and other points of the customer journey. Siri, Alexa, Google Home and Cortana will continue to evolve.
- Psychological profiling – Another application of AI is to utilise complex portraits of a target audience to create high performing ads. This is such a powerful use of technology it could become subject to regulation as it grows in popularity.
- Open data – Utilising customer data to provide personalised deals and service. Retail banking will implement this by the first quarter of 2018.
- Haptics – The science of applying touch sensation and control to interaction with computer applications.
- Ad blockers – There has been significant growth in the use of ad blockers, especially across mobile devices. Consumers feel bombarded by advertising online and there needs to be a shift in delivery that lets customers choose to engage rather than trying to force them to.
- Always on video – An evolution of video conferencing, technologies such as Perch instantly connects people and even automatically unmutes sounds when it recognises a conversation is taking place. This is currently focused on work spaces but could have a significant impact on consumer communication in coming years.
- Live Streaming – In 2016 the NFL live broadcast Thursday night football on Twitter, combining live viewing with analysis, scores, replays, notifications and social media tools. This could be the start of a major shift in how we interact with sporting events.
Although an advocate of future technology, Nick Watt, Head of Content at Digital Doughnut and EMEA Editor of CMO.com, urges brands not to forget about the human element of customer experience, “As AI becomes more mainstream, what happens to human touch? Just because I fit in a segment, doesn’t mean I’m the same as everyone in my segment. It’s often the human touch which sets customer experience apart. People still like people.”