By: Wilson Standish, Director of Innovation, Hearts & Science
The holidays are that special time, when we pause to celebrate the past year, look ahead to the future, and indulge ourselves in that new toy we’ve been eyeing for the last 12 months. Here are our trends to watch in 2018 and some of our most desired gifts before closing out the year.
It seems the only people using the word “digital” anymore are industry professionals. In 2018, industry leaders feel it’s time we stop. For some companies, this will be a big shift, since they’ve used the word as part of their core promise for so long. However, the shared thinking is now unanimous; digital is no longer an activity. It is now simply part of our lives. To consider going online as an activity, is to consider that going offline is even an option anymore. As we’ve seen in 2017, it no longer is.
Machine learning, or as marketers insist on calling it AI, is closing in on mainstream this year, but what will it mean for the way we do business in 2018? Industry leaders expect it to make a huge change in the way companies operate, and even suggest that companies making machine learning a focal point in their business model, will be ahead of the game. For marketers, this means content created and curated by robots, and a freeing up of resources as machine learning adds augmented intelligence to traditional marketing teams. Machine learning won’t be replacing staff in 2018, but expect it to take on a companion role in ideation, research and analytics.
The Predictive Web
The predictive web will soon be less about the internet we know and seek, and more about the internet that seeks and knows us. As the controversy around the sophistication of predictive web grows, so does its ability to transform how we live our lives. While Facebook heads to Congress to distance itself from shaping political conversations, Amazon is making sure that we never run out of our daily essentials. As for the conversation in 2018, it will be about how the predictive web walks that fine line between stalker and butler; serving us the products and people we want to engage with, without furthering the current echo chamber of social media.
Need gift ideas? Look no further…
To lean into Millennials being more interested in access over ownership, Porsche is introducing its Passport program giving drivers access to a full garage of sports cars for a monthly fee. For $2,000/month, subscribers can choose from select autos or upgrade for $3,000/month to get access to 22 different models to drive on any given day. A member can have a Targa delivered to the office for a perfect date night with the top down, or bring home a Macan for a long weekend trip. The flexibility of having the choice of various luxury vehicles at your fingertips at any time makes this service the perfect gift for the Millennial in your life who wants to experience it all, or someone looking to feel young again.
If the hunt for the next “cool” gadget exhausts you, Cool Hunting will spare you from the trouble around the season. Cool Hunting, a site specializing in innovations of design, travel, art, technology, food, and style, is curating a box of products. Omakase, is a service where Cool Hunting does what they do best; sourcing the newest inventions to improve daily life. With more than 40 diverse products, created by over 30 artists, designers, and brands, Omakase has a gift for every person in your life that enjoys exclusive products like you do.
Hate it when that hot gift sells out? Here’s your opportunity to build the latest gadget all on your own. By March of this year, the Rasberry Pi sold 12.5 million units, making it the third best-selling “general purpose computer” ever. As the need for computer science knowledge is growing faster than our educational system can keep up, these single-board computers are filling the gap. Originally devised by a group of teachers, academics and computer enthusiasts to inspire children, almost anyone can use it to learn basic programming. However, this makes a great gift for a young person in your life that’s ready to take on the next century, or the next school year, with a new and important skill.
If you’re a lover of vintage stereo gear, but want to wirelessly enjoy your favorite analog amp in a modern way. This little device can bring any of your old stereo speakers back from the dead, simply by giving it the ability to work on Bluetooth. The VAMP, created by Paul Cocksedge, works with any speaker using a built-in amplifier and battery making old speakers portable and useful again. VAMP is also on a mission of sustainability with a hope to save some of the 10,000 speakers that head to landfills every year. #Saveaspeaker for one of your friends and watch them breathe life into something they thought was headed for the trash heap.