Technology And The Future Of Advertising: What Do The Experts Predict?

What will the next five years of marketing look like? Will Virtual Reality advertising actually take hold? The UK edition of The Guardian recently held an online discussion about these very issues, asking leading marketing experts how they thought technology and digital platforms would transform the industry.

According to Jide Sobo from MEC, advertisers should view tech as the 'enabler' of how to deliver messages, but not be the message itself. He also felt that creativity needed to keep up with rapidly-advancing tech; for example, tech such as QR codes and near-field communication are already available, but marketers still don't know how to utilize them.

Looking ahead to the next five years, Fergal Downey from BoscaBox points to the vast potential of the Internet of Things to radically disrupt communication as a whole. In advertising terms, this means entering a whole world of potential new markets, as everything will become connected - from ads down to product packaging.

Meanwhile, xAd's Monica Ho, predicts that out-of-home (OOH) advertising will become more prominent, thanks to mobile technology extending the capability of billboard messages - allowing marketers to engage individuals on their device, and even track whether they have actually seen the ad.

RetailMeNot's Matt Wilkins feels that there is still lots for advertisers to learn about smartphone and digital screen ads; but they will need to adapt to this growing market as they realize the evolving nature of the opportunity. People's buying habits are changing - from browsing on their smartphones to visiting retail websites while actually in store - and digital screens can help brands to reach these individuals even more easily.

Commenting on the topic of virtual reality (VR) technology, Mark Brill - a lecturer, consultant and media strategist - predicted that it was unlikely to become a specific media channel for brands. However, it will prove popular in the gaming industry and could be useful in health applications, he added.

Keep Forgetting Your Passwords? Why Not Implant Them In Your Body?

It's a common problem of our age: forgetting your password, clicking reset, then forgetting the password to your email account so that you can't access the password reset link. But the solution being offered by PayPal might be an even less appealing option.

According to The Wall Street Journal, PayPal is currently developing a range of devices that could either be injected, ingested or embedded into our bodies so that we can be identified without the need for traditional passwords.

PayPal's global head of developer evangelism, Jonathan LeBlanc, told the publication that the technology would enable "natural body identification" using bodily functions such as vein recognition, glucose levels and even heartbeats.

While fingerprints and eye scans have been used for some time now, PayPal's vision takes things to the next level - including brain implants, ultra-thin silicon chips that are implanted into our skin, and ingestible devices powered by the acid in our stomachs.

The silicon chips would contain ECG sensors able to monitor the electrical activity of our heart, and transmit this data to "wearable computer tattoos" via wireless antennae.

By supporting passwords with something physical - or 'biometric verification,' as it is referred to - internet users would have tighter security than ever before.

"As long as passwords remain the standard methods for identifying your users on the web, people will still continue to use [...] 'password123' for their secure login, and will continue to be shocked when their accounts become compromised," LeBlanc explained.

PayPal is now said to be in talks with partners to develop vein recognition technology and heartbeat recognition devices, while early prototypes of high-tech ID verification are currently being produced. However, for now it seems that PayPal's statements are just a way to position themselves as thought leaders in the market.

"I can't speculate as to what PayPal will do in the future," said LeBlanc, "but we're looking at new techniques - we do have fingerprint scanning that is being worked on right now - so we're definitely looking at the identity field."

"I ground a lot of my talks in reality, but toward the end of the presentation things get a little strange," he added.


Every click, swipe, "like," buy, comment, deposit, jog and search produces information that creates a unique virtual identity - something we call

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Robots, Digital Transformation and Intelligent Process Automation

Robots bring to our minds images of dangerous humanoids, but business process robots look different and behave in very positive ways.  In this important conversation with three robot and automation experts, they reveal the presence of robots all around us, and their expanding roles in companies today.  Enjoy!

 Read the report - The Robot and I: How New Digital Technologies Are Making Smart People and Businesses Smarter.