Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Future of Technology and its impact on our lives

Ogilvy & Mather's Discovery Group in Shanghai have just reported on this fascinating topic. The full report is here and it's well worth reading in full. However, I hope the author, Kunal Sinha, won't mind me revealing the topline conclusions here:

1. Broadly, all technology will eventually fall into two categories: network, and interface. One will connect devices, the other will connect a device with a human.

2.Technology will enable diverse cultures to collaborate more efficiently, in every sphere. It will bring people and organizations together, closer.

3. As opposed to the 'first wave' of technology adoption when men were the early adopters, the 'second wave' will see women adopting and using technology earlier. The gap between the genders in technology adoption will reduce; however their motivations for adoption will be different.

4. The creators of future technology products and brands will no longer be engineers/scientists but people and teams with multidisciplinary skills. An engineer-doctor; or a psychologist-engineer; and artist-engineer and so on.

5. People will increasingly look for and find ways to 'get inside' technology. It will no longer be that 'black box', and technology brands will be built not on 'featuers' but on the basis of how 'human' and 'soft' they appear to be. In that sense they will assume dimensions that have emotional underpinnings.

6. By enabling unparalleled access to information, technology is already changing consumer expectations. The power that marketing departments typically had, in terms of being able to manage consumer expectations, will disappear.

7.Technology will be a potent tool in the hands of the powerless, as they will find surprising uses for it; it will bridge the rich-poor gap in surprising ways.

8. Technology, particularly information technology, will bring in more transparency & accountability in society.

9. Technology will allow people to live multiple lives, assume and live out multiple identities.

10. Technology will strengthen the institution of family and help it survive the onslaught of modernity and individualism by creating newer and richer touch points.

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