Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Invent It!

After spending the best part of 5 hours at the Microsoft London offices I am now officially a guru for all things digital in the world of Windows Live, Bing, MSN and Xbox Live. 
I think by now we are all conscious that our digital habits are changing and evolving at a faster rate than ever before:
  • 78% of the UK population now go online after work and in the evening
  • 28% of internet users own a smartphone, which is 43% of the UK population
  • By 2012 it is predicted that mobile devices will outsell PC's and laptops and there will be more internet used through mobile than on computers.
Ok. So enough facts. The question on everyone's mind is what the future will see!

Many people within the media industry have stated that 2011 is the year of the mobile but what can we expect from this platform? For Microsoft, mobile will be the 'Swiss Army Knife of media' which their range of Windows 7 phones are already resembling. The Windows mobile system embodies all of Microsoft's consumer platforms, offering complete content and technology integration.

In relation to media, if planners haven't already started they will soon be moving into real-time campaign planning as a direct response to consumers' real-time interaction with brand touch-points such as Twitter and Facebook.

Video on Demand (VOD) will continue to grow and Microsoft are trying to push MSN video into the broadcast-led market. Although YouTube dominates this space, this is partly fuelled by the increasing number of videos posted and watched via Facebook, ultimately highlighting YouTube's power of being where the conversation is.
In the last week Warner Brothers signed up to become the first film distributor to enable Facebook fans to rent and buy films via their brand page using virtual Facebook credits. Maybe the future will see us watching live TV, our favourite programmes, and live streamed events such as festivals through Facebook brand pages?

In relation to technology, Microsoft stated that every physical surface has the potential to become a digital interface and content platform through touch technology. In addition with Xbox Kinect technology, all content on TV can potentially be gesture controlled. Ultimately the digital will transcend the physical and the mobile will transcend the device.

The success of these ideas are reliant on a number of things. The technology we need to implement them already exists however we need to work out how we can use it and more importantly how open is it.

Inventing the future rather than predicting it will make the impossible inevitable! 

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com

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