Emerging Technologies

25 disruptive technology trends for 2015

Brian Solis
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Emerging Technologies

Hello from CES 2015! I’ve joined tens of thousands of brands, geeks, startups, investors, and technology enthusiasts from around the world to see what the future, or this year, holds for consumer electronics.

While in Las Vegas, I’m also presenting at Brand Innovators “Mega Trends” event at the Four Seasons. I was asked to share some of the biggest trends that brands and consumers need to know heading into the new year and beyond.

This list represents technologies and trends that I’m paying attention to and also high level thoughts around them. It’s not complete. There’s more to add on each topic of course. But this list is definitely worth exploring and I also invite you to share your ideas and the technologies you’re watching.

1) Social Media 1.0 is Dead Social Media becomes part of a digitally transformed ecosystem Real-time and content marketing becomes more sophisticated and portable Social becomes key hub for shaping customer experiences Social connects the Zero Moment of Truth and the Ultimate Moment of Truth

2) The Future of Search and SEM Also Lies Outside of Google

More than 88% of consumers are influenced by other consumers’ online comments. Customers are also starting searches in places such as Youtube, Pinterest and also in apps directly.

3) Messaging Apps Become the New Social Media

4) Asia and Other Foreign Competitors Will Compete to Gain Share and Push Messaging Forward

5) Notification Windows Introduce a Thin Layer for Rapid Engagement.

Apps such as Yo, while a novelty at first, will redefine what an app is and will be…no kidding.

6) Chinese Innovation is Going to Disrupt the U.S. from the Outside In and the Inside Out

7) The Internet of Things is a Hot and Beautiful Mess Until It Becomes the Internet of Everything

By 2020, the number of devices connected to the Internet is expected to exceed 40 billion.

8) Wearables Will Struggle to Find Their Place in Everyday Life.

The Apple watch will start create a rising tide. Wearables are all over CES, but most are single purpose, redundant, cute or just plain useless. They need a killer app!

9) Virtual Reality Experiments with Killer Apps for Consumer and Vertical Markets

10) Focus on the Kids! Generation Z is Mobile First and Mobile Only and They’re Nothing Like Millennials

11) Youtube, Vine, etc., Represent “A” New Hollywood

Youtubers and Viners and the financial ecosystem emerging to support them is reminiscent of Hollywood in the early 1900s. More kids can name online celebrities than they can traditional movie and music stars. To capture attention, advertising and content will require an entirely new approach.

12) Cyber Security Becomes Paramount to Prevent the Next #Sonygate

13) Some Companies are Still Greedy and Believe the Internet Should Not Be Open for the Sake of Profitability. This Will Impede Innovation.

14) Music Streaming Will Continue to Undermine the Music Business and Artistry. Artists Will Fight Back.

15) Wall Street Becomes Influential Again Forcing Brands to Trump Customer Experience for Revenue

16) Crowd Capitalization Accelerates Disruption…Everywhere.

17) There are 163 Cryptocurrencies in Circulation

Bitcoin is Widely Known. Though Its Market Cap is Down, The Bitcoin Stack Will Revive the Movement. h/t Joel Monegro and Fred Wilson.

18) Mobile Payments Early Today, but Will Soon Skyrocket

In late 2013, just 6% of US adults said they had made a payment in a store by scanning or tapping their smartphone at a payment terminal. It will go up to 8% this year. Apple’s introduction of the Apple Pay will be the key factor that will drive this percentage up.

Mobile payments are already gaining traction. Nearly 15% of Starbucks customers already pay with their phones. And, 60% of consumers use their smartphones to pay because of loyalty benefits.

19) The Sharing Economy is Really About Renting or Borrowing. Everything Will Become “On-Demand.”

New supply will stimulate new demand. Mobile platforms combined with geoloco will continue to bring everyday people and businesses together to do interact with trust and efficiency serving as facilitators.

“Technology has made renting things (even in real time) as simple as it made buying things a decade ago” – Fred Wilson

20) New Enterprise Drone Management Platforms Change the Game for Logistics

21) Cyber Warfare: Political Battles Will Play Out in the 5th Dimension

22) Your Privacy is Gone: It Was Traded for Perceived Security and Also Better Customer Experiences

23) Big Data & Beacons: Connect online, in-app, and in-store experiences. Also opens the door to new forms of engagement.

– Footfall, visits online, visits through apps

– Regency and frequency of visits, behaviors and transactions

– Brand affinities

– Favorite products

– Demographics

– Location

– Loyalty program utilization

– Service quality, queue and abandonment

– Capacity planning and resource utilization

Beacons provide businesses with endless opportunities to collect massive amounts of untapped data, such as the number of beacon hits and customer dwell time at a particular location within a specified time and date range, busiest hours throughout the day or week, number of people who walk by a location each day, etc. Retailers can then make improvements to products, staff allocation in various departments and services, and so on.

24) Webrooming becomes more common than showrooming (69% to 46% respectively), according to Harris poll

– Millennials prefer webrooming

– Amazon remains #1 destination for both showrooming and webrooming

– Emerging connected in-store experiences link online and offline, leveraging both

25) Mass Personalization and Full Funnel Marketing Suites Reset Vendor Landscape and Change How Brands “Think”

New adtech companies will focus on strategy + programmatic context, content AND ads

Optimized mobile affiliate tracking capabilities

Publishers will offer in-house capabilities for behaviorally programmatic targeting of premium advertising

Omni-Channel finally becomes mainstream. Brands must think like their customers to create seamless omni-channel shopping experiences that keep customers engaged at all stages.

This article is published in collaboration with LinkedIn. Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology.

Image: Members of the public use their mobile devices to take photographs in Brisbane, April 19, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble.

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