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    Sep 14, 2016

    8 Things In Tech Wicked Cooler Than AirPods

    As you and everyone else in the universe knows, Apple recently had their annual ‘We Make Cool Stuff and Add Upgrades You Don’t Need/Want but Will Inevitably Use’. One of the most buzzed about products was the (soon-to-be infamous) AirPods, their “solution” for everyone that suffers from TCD, Tangled Cord Disorder. This new gadget is supposed to bring us closer to the Smart House or iRobot life you’ve always dreamed of, but at a great nuisance (and $159 price tag. Thanks, Tim.) So, we decided to compile the ten things that are actually bringing us into the future, so you’re ready when Doc comes around to take you to 3015.

    1. More Than Just Pokemon Go: Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality

    Via giphy.com

    For a good month or so, Pokemon Go was invading your conversations, feeds, and dreams until bad press and the physical demand of playing the game cut the hysteria short. Many trainers have abandoned their Pokemon and gyms before marketers could really come into the field. AR/VR isn't a new hot topic, but Pokemon Go was the first time we really saw interest go from 0 to 100. There are leaders in the field like Beverly Jackson, Ben Clark, Lindsey Cramer, and Steven Kane that are looking at how using AR/VR IRL can bring marketing and people If you're interested in reading more about AR/VR, Scott Kirsner is the man leading the pack from the Boston Globe.

    2. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better: IBM Watson

    IBM / Via ibm.com

    Remember that dude on Jeopardy that lost to a robot? Guess what?, That robot has a name. Watson. IBM Watson. Our dearest Watson has most recently been in the news for curing cancer (NBD), creating the perfect scary movie trailer and helping Conde Nast pick the next social media star. Behind the machine is David Kenny, General Manager of the IBM Watson program. He's essentially the Mickey to Watson's Rocky Balboa. In this case, his goal isn't to defeat Creed, but to revolutionize every industry by implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help maximize potential, production, and efficiency.

    3. When Two Become One: Cyborg Anthropology & Calm Tech

    A24 / Via giphy.com

    While Watson is making humans feel useless, Amber Case is making the argument (no pun intended) for modern-day cyborgs. If you want to know what a modern day cyborg looks like, just look in the mirror! Amber's research shows that our "addiction" (read: native use) of technology is the fruition of every Sci-Fi movie and book you've ever consumed. Tech is so intertwined with our daily lives that if you're not a cyborg you'll be left behind and forgotten. It's up to you to decide: do you want to be Optimus Prime or Wall-E?

    4. Break It Down Now: Integrating and Consolidating Industry Silos

    AdWeek / Via giphy.com

    If you're like me, you've had one of those jobs before where it seems like no one communicates with each other so you need to ask five superiors for the answer to a very simple question. Luckily, there are leaders that have heard your cries for freedom and the latest hot take is breaking down silos. Carlton Doty (Forrester), Chris Davey (Publicis.Sapient), Adam Grossman (Fenway Sports Management & Boston Red Sox), Alicia Hatch (Deloitte Digital), John Lee (Merkle), and Suresh Vittal (Adobe Marketing Cloud) are all leading the way at their respective companies and kicking down doors that get in their way. If you want to know what this looks like in action, look into what they have done for their workspaces.

    5. Diving Into Volcanoes (Seriously)

    Sam Cossman - Diving Into an Active Volcano | gif by FD / Via vimeo.com

    Now you're probably asking why on Earth would anyone entertain the idea of jumping into a pit filled with lava that averages around a casual 1,000 degrees and I have one word for you - innovation. GE and explorer extraordinaire Sam Cossman have teamed up to get wifi in Nicaragua's Masaya volcano. Why does a volcano need wifi you may ask - this particular hot head is located just outside the capital, Managua. GE is installing 80 wireless sensors that'll potentially predict the next eruption by picking up on changes in temperature, pressure, and various gas levels. They are transmitted via wifi to Predix, GE's open-source database, and then posted online to a non-volcanologist-friendly site. This astonishing feat is spearheaded by the superhero-like Cossman (who's manually installing those sensors fyi) and GE's wunderkind, Sam Olstein.

    6. Come Together, Right Now: Customer First Approach in a Mobile World

    Via tenor.co

    Moms are essentially required to dote on you and make you feel like you're #1, but when you're no longer a toddler, that attention just isn't enough anymore. That's where your phone comes in. The only thing in the world that'll love you through thick and thin, for better or worse, until a bad connection or dead battery does you apart. What you don't know is that behind every 'OMG that meme is SO me' or 'how did Facebook know I just Google'd that?' moment is an algorithm coded by a real human meant to cater to you and make you feel #1. For all the real humans out there who dedicate their lives to this initiative, there is a leader who comes up with these absurd ideas and says 'hey, we can make this a reality.' My favorite just happens to be Boz (aka Andrew Bosworth.) Facebook's VP of Engineering was on that fateful team 10 years ago that made that absurd idea, known as News Feed, a reality. Since then, Boz has (un)knowingly influenced other brands, services, devices, etc. to think of YOU first and while profit is the bottomline, it's a win-win for all parties.

    7. Down With Millennials (the term, not the people!)

    Via buzzfeed.com

    Juliet said it best when she shouted "what's in a name?" because by any other name, would millennials still be dissected and vilified? I think not! For anyone born between the early 1980s and the mid1990s, the constant over-analyzation of their behaviors is quite mind-boggling. Their ability to treat technology as an extension of themselves (literally and figuratively) has been cause for hundreds of think pieces and research projects. But honestly, it's not rocket science. It's not difficult to understand why this demographic is digitally-sync'd when you look at the benefits and efficiency tech brings. I Luckily, Shingy aka AOL's digital prophet has expressed here and here and here that lumping a group of people into categories based off of their date of birth (which, if you've forgotten, they have no control of) is illogical. Just because this demographic was lucky enough to have access to tech from a young age, does not make them a homogeneous bunch with the same behaviors and beliefs.

    8. Legen...wait for it...

    Via narvii.com

    That's what people have been saying about all the blockbusters in theaters the past few years. It seems as if production studios can do no wrong whether it's a reboot (Dark Knight, Jurassic) or an original (Straight Outta Compton.) The genius behind these movies is Matt Marolda, King of Hollywood Analytics. Matt's role at Legendary is to essentially break down the cool parts of a movie (analytics-wise) and take that back to the creatives and c-suite executives so they can make decisions that improve your theater-going experience. How is this cooler than the AirPods? Well to begin with, it's never been done before! Wireless listening devices already exist, but using analytics to create the ultimate movie experience has (surprisingly) never been done before.

    ...DARY!

    Now if you're at a loss as to how these eight things are connected, check out FutureM in Boston from September 21-22! Listed as one of Forbes' "Marketing Conferences That Will Keep You Ahead of Trends" for three years in a row, FutureM brings together marketing and technology innovators to contemplate and celebrate cutting edge technologies and innovations fueling the future of marketing, technology and design. Lucky for you, FutureM isn't one of those stuffy, $1,000+ per ticket marketing conferences, so get your pass to all the action and hot takes at FutureM!

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