The email notification that I was tasked with scripting a new blog post came to me through the screen on my wrist. With a glance I saw the recommended topic. Ironic.
Like much of my generation, I grew up listening to my elders moan about faces buried in screens, terrible interpersonal skills and the watchful, evil eyes of Big Brother (otherwise known as “the cyber.” I’m looking at you, 2016 election). To many, the adoption of technology feels like a distancing from real life. Screens everywhere! On our wrists, in our pockets, in our bedrooms, on our refrigerators and on our faces! Is technology keeping us from connecting with each other?
Let’s not call this an escape. Let’s call this fragmentation what it is — an opportunity.
The last several years have felt like a land rush towards new horizons in tech. From Virtual Reality (like the HTC VIVE or Google’s Daydream) to wearables (anything techy your drape over or around a part of your body, like Apple Watches or Fitbits) and the Internet of Things (stuff that makes your house automated, like Hue or Withings), our world has expanded quickly.
For example, I can order Papa John’s pizza from the TV above my bed on a lazy Saturday morning. I met my wife for the first time while swiping through OkCupid on my phone after ordering Tide detergent on Amazon.
This digital Westward-Ho has given us an opportunity to connect in incredible new ways. Children in classrooms around the world are taking field trips to the Eiffel Tower and the bottom of the sea, thanks to VR. Stores are gathering real-time metrics on shoppers with the aid of machine learning and nearables. This big, big world is getting progressively smaller as technology opens our boundaries and expands our reach.
Advertisers and marketers are exploring this new frontier, looking for new ways to connect with their audiences at the right place and the right time, using new forms of data to help them cut through the noise. Consumers are spending more money online than ever before, because it’s easier to find the services and products that make their lives feel more complete. All of this, and the bars are still full of cheering soccer fans, the coffee shops are still full of hipsters, and people are still looking for you.
So let’s revisit the original question. Is technology keeping us from connecting with each other?
I would say that answer is a resounding - NO.
We have more chances to connect with the world around us than ever.
And at OOHology, we’re excited about the opportunity new technology has given us to help our customers find new and innovative ways to expand their audiences. We’re so excited, in fact, that in 2017 we’re diving into an Experiential Design service to round out our branding, web, and marketing offerings. Actually, we’ve already started bringing VR experiences to some of our favorite clients, and we can’t wait to see what we can do for you.
So whether you want to grow your brand or learn how to use new technology to have a greater impact, just let us know — we can help. We’ll answer your call from our wrists.