How Smart Phones Changed Tech

1/24/2017
— Joseph Gahan, WE 

10 years ago, smart phones hit the scene and changed life as we know it. Since then, tech has moved at an unbelievable speed - but how have we benefited? I remember my parents telling me that once upon a time, people had to rent boxy TVs with only one channel. How did they cope without Game of Thrones boxsets and music streaming on their phones for the daily commute? I can’t imagine.

Joking aside, every business from health, industrial, creative and even communications has benefited from the evolution of technology in the past decade. Gordon Moore’s law – the observation that chip performance would double every two years - has held true since 1975 and in doing so, moved us forward at an exponential rate.

Computers that used to be the size of a room have gradually shrunk down in size while growing in power. Doctors are able to carry out keyhole surgery using robotic arms saving millions of lives around the world. Scientists have developed robotic limbs for amputees and people with paralysis, making the impossible possible for these individuals. Drones are now everywhere and are being used to deliver Amazon goods to help with war efforts, bringing food and essential resources to people who can’t be reached by land. We can delve into computer games and create worlds with the advent of virtual reality, allowing gamers to experience universes we couldn’t conceive until now.

These devices are much more accessible due to prices dropping and allow communicators to create varied and creative opportunities to converse with the public. VR can transport customers to the realms of the underworld and bring Diablo IV to life! These new experiences will be invaluable to those in the communications industry. If video trumps text at engaging a reader, then VR will be on a whole new level. And as the technology becomes more slim-line and mainstream, the lure to this medium is only going to increase.

In terms of other entertainment, machines can now beat world champions at some of the most complex games (such as Go) after just a couple of years, while humans have been developing strategies for centuries. This advancement in AI technology will give researchers and marketers far more insight, allowing us to target customers with effectiveness and bring relevant content straight to them. The possibilities are endless in that regard.

On the topic of TVs, if I’d told my father that they would one day be 60 inches, flat, viewed in 3D and able to access the internet, he would have laughed in my face!

The progression of Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook etc. and their new features such as ‘Live’ video and ‘Stories’ give communicators a window into a customer’s life, and provide a prime opportunity for them to gain their attention, that more traditional methods such as print, may have lost in recent years. These social media platforms will stay as an integral part of modern communications, and it’s up to us to figure out how best to optimise these devices to drive content and engage with users.

As far as technological advancements are concerned, we’ve had a lot to celebrate. Technology has helped us solve hundreds of problems but has uncovered thousands more that we need to develop solutions for. And that makes life interesting for us in the communications industry. Things are ever changing and we’re learning and experimenting every day on how to assess and respond to these new and exciting technologies with our clients.

To quote Mr. Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Always keep a finger on the pulse. New technology is always being invented that could provide you with a new angle to deliver your message. Always look to see what young bright minds are developing, you never know…apps like House Party have seen large growths in teen users in a very short period of time. A prime demographic, staying on trend to keep up with these volatile movements.

Humans’ natural curiosity will always push us to keep building and evolving technology. So rummage in those cupboards and dust off those ancient iPods and get nostalgic. Looking to the future, the question is: what technology might we once have scoffed at that’s in fact just around the corner?