I recently took a Gallup Strengthsfinder survey, which helps people identify their talents and what they do best in order to develop them into strengths. One of my strengths is “Futuristic.” I suppose this is why I was drawn to tech PR.
Every day I get to read about emerging, exciting technology trends that promise to change the course of our future. I’m always looking for ways to insert my clients into the news cycle. Just halfway through the year, we have already seen some mind-blowing developments among top technology brands and several newcomers.
New apps and consumer technologies are always fun to read about, but what should we as PR pros and storytellers be excited about? Whether my clients are at the epicenter of a new tech trend or not, any related industry innovation offers an opportunity for our clients to become newsmakers.
Here’s my mid-year 2014 inspiration list. These are the technology developments I see offering the biggest PR potential in the near future.
5. Securing the Internet of Things
Yes, the Internet of Things is an exciting concept in and of itself and inspires the imagination – refrigerators that notify you when you need more milk or cars that talk to parking meters to find you the best possible spot. The possibilities for storytelling seem endless, but as a member of a firm that specializes in cyber security, I see a major opportunity to lead a conversation about the security implications faced in a new world where machines interact more directly with humans in the physical world.
4. Beyond Big Data
For years we have been talking about Big Data and more recently, Predictive Analytics. We have been hearing a lot about the promise of being able to store and analyze mounds of data from improving population health to predicting traffic patterns. But up until recently, Big Data and Predictive Analytics have taken a lot of time. Now we’re seeing companies like Context Relevant and BoldIQ deliver insights at faster rates so that they can harness the data in real time. Just imagine the storytelling possibilities as more and more companies take advantage of this technology within the fields of business intelligence, energy, aviation, emergency response and more.
3. Virtual Reality
The June issue of Wired opened my eyes to Oculus Rift, a jaw-dropping virtual reality invention by 21-year-old Palmer Lucky. Currently marketed as a gaming device, this headset combines stereoscopic 3-D technologies and 360-degree visuals to provide a super realistic experience within virtual environments. The ramifications of this technology are far greater than games and entertainment. As this technology and others like it begin to reach the hands of more consumers, we will see numerous storytelling opportunities on the social, medical, education and business impacts.
2. Smart Clothes
When I attended MIT Enterprise Forum’s NW event The Augmented Self, I expected to hear a lot about wristbands and clip-on trackers, which are cool but already have wide exposure. But there is a whole segment of fashion evolving in smart clothing. Companies like Sensoria and Artefact Design are paving the way. As more people start wearing smart clothing, not just for fitness and health reasons, but for social purposes, intelligence-gathering and augmented reality, the storytelling possibilities are endless.
1. Intelligent Machines
What a year it has been so far for robotics, drones and other artificial intelligence – exciting and scary at the same time. The highlights have been stories like Amazon’s delivery drones, Google’s self-driving cars and it’s R&D in the field of robotics. While programs like these are still in their infancy, these advancements will provide countless opportunities for our clients to position themselves as experts and visionaries into a transformative future.
Will my list change in the second half of the year? You will just need to check my blog post at the end of this year to find out! In the meantime, let me know what storytelling tech trends I may have missed. I would love to hear your opinion.
What technology trends do you think will have the greatest impact on storytelling in the news media? Leave a comment below, or tweet us at @RHStrategic with the hashtag #RHetoricBlog.
RH Strategic is the PR firm for a hyper-connected world, delivering integrated media, social & digital strategies for technology, healthcare, and public sector markets.