Five things we learned about emerging technology at CEWeek NY 2016

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Our MakerHub team took a recent field trip to CEWeek 2016, a congregation of industry tech leaders showcasing new technology trends and the latest high-tech products – often before they launched – to media and industry professionals. Here are some of the things we learned about the future of tech and who knows, maybe you get a some side business ideas out of it.

 

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The MakerHub team at CEWeek NY 2016

  1. With virtual reality, you can take control of your viewing experience

With the emergence of 360-degree videos as a virtual reality experience (think panoramic photos that move), the way we consume media – especially film – could change forever. Rather than passively watching, you’ll be able to navigate around a panoramic video environment at will, focusing your attention only on what you find intriguing. This future technology pulls the rug out from under content creators’ feet: imagine if you were a film director, documentary producer – or even a marketer. You would not only be concerned with capturing footage but guiding users through the space, said Paul Meyhoefer, VP of Marketing and Product Planning at General Imaging. “From the storytelling standpoint there’s a lot of different tricks that content creators are using whether that’s in gameplay or experiential where they’re using audible sounds or lighting to grab you and pull you in a direction,” Meyhoefer said during a panel discussion at CEWeek.

We visited the Kodak booth to experience a 360-degree video shot on the Kodak SP360 4K Action Cam. Watching through a Google Cardboard headpiece, we found ourselves on the back of a jet ski but, unlike the actual person riding it, we had the liberty to look all around us – and not worry about being thrown off!

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This remote-controlled drone camera shoots seamless 360-degree video.

  1. Love it or hate it, VR will be part of your marketing strategy

Through play testing, developers are able to monitor what interests users in a virtual reality environment when left to their own devices. Thus, they are able to understand what users really want – and it’s just a matter of time before marketers look to mine this metadata, said Meyhoefer. “We can actually see what you’re focusing on, why you might be focusing there, what’s interesting about that piece that grabbed your attention and held you there,” he explains. This data translates into organic feedback and real-time insight, he adds, an area that might one day become a science. “Once that science actually gets to a whole other level, marketers or people that want to push a product are going to learn what is interesting to people and be able to give them that kind of experience instead of just a guided experience,” Meyhoefer added.

  1. Anyone can start 3D printing – anywhere, anytime

Can’t render on AutoCAD to save your life? No problem. Non-techies can cash in on the 3D modeling and 3D printing craze as new devices disintegrate both technological and cost barriers to entry. The 3Doodler pen is the world’s first 3D printing pen – a cross between a hot-glue gun and a soldering iron – and is capable of “printing” plastic filaments in mid-air just like squeezing puffy paint out of a tube. “You just click the button, wait for the plastic to come out, wait a second and it will harden, go off at an angle, and doing this you can create really complicated and interesting things,” said Maxwell Bogue, co-founder and CEO of Wobbleworks, which produces the 3Doodler.

  1. Children’s toys will be integrated with AI and machine learning like it’s nothing

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, the adage holds – unless that dog is equipped with machine learning capabilities. CHiP, the world’s first “smart dog” sports a ‘Like’ button that works like that on Facebook. When CHiP does something you dig, simply hit the button and he’ll learn to perform that action again and again. While he yaps and plays ball like a real canine, he also dances, wakes you up in the morning on the dot (and not because he’s bored or hungry), and charges himself when his battery is low.

  1. Third-party data is the new currency in display advertising 

As a Facebook user, you may have noticed that some of the ads targeted to you are from businesses you interacted with outside of Facebook. The social media giant knows to push those ads based on your Google searches and other online activities – intelligence collectively known as third-party data. Third-party data is when companies with similar audiences collaborate to share their own first-party data on a large scale.

They are thus able to layer their information for highly targeted display advertising: just imagine having a rich dataset to which you can apply minutely specific filters. Advertising solutions company OwnerIQ pushes for collaboration and data sharing between retailers and manufacturers, who share the same end user: the consumer. “The idea that Owner IQ came up with a few years ago was, shouldn’t retailers and manufacturers be working together in order to drive more sales in stores of manufacturer’s products?” said Bob Scaglione, senior vice president of strategic channel development. According to Scaglione, the scale afforded by third-party data justifies more spending on digital advertising – which has yet to catch up with print ad expenditures.  

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