Oliver Richardson from DB Systems takes a look at what we can expect from event technology in the year ahead.
It’s that time of year again when we’re compelled to take a helicopter-view of the year ahead and question what’s in store. Here’s an overview of the event technology landscape, from our resident tech geeks at DB Systems HQ:
Integrating existing technologies
The consensus in our office is that 2016 will be less about brand new stuff and more about improving the integration of existing technologies so that they work more effectively alongside each other to create a whole, immersive experience.
Existing technologies such as transparent touch screens, virtual reality, augmented reality, object recognition and motion activated screens will all be utilised in much more impactful, meaningful ways this year, and the combination of these technologies and more, will be where the real magic happens.
Increasingly sophisticated data capture and data analytics will mean brands will be able to more easily customise their messaging in the live environment to reflect and anticipate a visitor’s perceived needs – our software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, brandWallet facilitates this using RFID for example.
Traditional marketing has been customising, tailoring and personalising messages for years – live events and experiences finally have the technology to catch up.
Large-scale screens and particularly interactive screens, will grow in popularity – and in resolution. We’ve been doing some really cool interactive work using infra-red bars which can turn any surface or screen into a touchscreen, which means there’s no size limit, and the bars enables multiple-users to interact with the content simultaneously.
In addition, increasingly flexible screens mean we expect to see a rise in more unusual shaped displays – for example wrapping around objects, curving, going around corners – flat is so 20th century!
Virtual Reality is an incredible tool for enabling users to be immersed in an environment that would otherwise be difficult, prohibitively expensive or physically impossible to create – such as the internal works of the body, a large scale manufacturing/production process or the cavernous interior of a private jet.
The world has already seen the potential of VR hence the backing by major corps, but this year we expect to see it explode in a myriad of different directions and be used in some extremely innovative ways. We’re working on something really ground-breaking in this space ourselves which we hope to be able to share in a few months.
Kinect, the motion control technology used by gaming brands such as Xbox, has released a new SDK (software developer kit) which will enable us to create some pretty cool interactive 3D virtual environments and can also be used for augmented reality applications, and also object recognition – this could potentially disrupt the world of ultra-expensive object recognition touch tables – opening it up to a wider audience, so we’ll likely see more object recognition technology being used in the live environment this year.
Finally, a really exciting development for us is the new breed of transparent screens which will enable entire exhibition stands or experiential pop-ups to truly embody interactive, animated, responsive content.
We’ve been creating content for, and installing, transparent touchscreens for clients for years but the next generation of screen is thinner and self-lit. As this market develops and the price drops, we expect brands to really embrace the opportunity to transform their stands, opening up new sight lines and creating a fully digital stand experience.