2017 Innovation Trends

Technology and consumer trends are evolving so quickly, it’s difficult to see what’s next. Here’s a quick 2017 trend report summary to help you navigate the vast sea of change.

Your smartphone battery life is about to double which will help us when we ride 15,000 miles on the world’s longest bike trail in Canada, or when we take a private trip to the the moon with Moon Express, or when we watch the total solar eclipse pass over the US in August — all while checking Instagram Live to see what President Trump is broadcasting from the oval office. Needless to say, 2017 is going to be a wild ride. Get ready people!

AR / VR is quickly becoming mainstream and the ability to layer an augmented virtual experience over a real experience is the future. We will begin to see Pokemon GO like mobile apps in all aspects of our lives. Office, retail, school and public spaces will all allow us to dive deeper into what goes on around us. Imagine a gamified world where we compete against fellow students and coworkers all while learning and experiencing a deeper connection to our environment. Top 20 AR Apps

Marketers must tell stories across all retail touch points and all content must sell by being connected to a direct path to purchase. Retail brands will immerse potential customers into their ecosystem of social content, influencers, product experts, loyalty tools, AI bots and REAL customer service people. The ability to buy at any point online and/or walk out of the store frictionless like Amazon Go will transform retail forever. Stores will feel more like home, inviting people to relax, touch and talk to knowledgable staff all while incorporating their mobile device in a sophisticated but simple customer experience. The future of retail is the future of technology.

Did you know the world’s population is is almost 7.5 billion and 2.5 of them are on social media? It’s no wonder brands have spent almost 10.9 billion dollars trying to connect with them there. It’s where we all live and social is evolving quickly with each new update of Instagram and Snapchat. Live Video is here and it’s growing more each day. Youtube Live, Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Periscope Pro are front and center and if you don’t have a Live strategy yet you are missing the boat. It’s no longer just pretty pictures, clever copy and beautiful produced video, it’s Live and it’s now. As brands are now publishers, they also need to be Live broadcasters.

Messaging Apps are the holy grail of that one on one connection that marketers salivate for. Getting to the most personal of spaces is a tricky business and Facebook, Apple, WeChat and many others are sending in the bots to take on this challenge. The bots are coming, the bots are coming, everyone open up your Messaging App of choice and let them in because you know, robots are so personal.

Internet of Things: 50 billion “Things” will be on the Internet by 2020. If you have walked into a Best Buy lately you will see that the first section is all IoT related. Connected devices, Wearables, Amazon Echo and Dash buttons, Google Home, Apple Watches, Fitbits, lightbulbs, speakers, locks, security camera’s, refrigerators, toasters, toothbrushes… You name it and its going to be connected to the Internet of Things. If you make anything moving forward it must connect to the IoT or be left behind.

Transformative Spaces — Interactive walls and immersive digital experiences lead by technology are becoming almost expected in the experiential world. Interactive wallpaper, 3D art wall paintings that move, 3D retail touchscreen walls, touch screen kitchens, talking walls, musical walls, sports walls — It’s all about transforming spaces with technology and interactivity baby. http://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/interactive-walls

I spent my Thanksgiving yelling over my nephew and son trying to control Alexa. They wanted her/it to play “My House” at volume level 6 and I wanted “Holiday Music” at level 3. It was fun and annoying at the same time and much like yelling at my Xbox for the past three years, only this time she/it talked back to me. My sister says she uses it to order things all the time from Amazon and now I’m stuffing stockings this year with Google Home and Amazon Echo’s, including one for myself. Even though we have Siri with us at all time, we love the idea of yelling across the room to a AI speaker. Much like bots, voice activated AI is the future. “Computer, set a course for the future…”

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Originally published at www.joncronin.mobi on December 15, 2016.