What will be the next transformational technology?

Posted By Bethany Simpson On February 4, 2013 @ 10:46 PM In Opinions | 2 Comments

I wish I could package all of the conversations we're having at the iMedia Brand Summit. The topics have ranged from the practical to the theoretical, and have given me a valuable list of ideas to take back to the office.

One of the most interesting conversations was with Tom Garrett from Universal Technical Institute. We were talking about the pattern culture goes through of incremental and transformational shifts, and wondering what the next transformational shift will be. Here's the context. iPhones? Transformational. iPads? Incremental. (Though amazing.) Laptops? Transformational. Ultrabooks? Incremental. We're currently in a period of incremental change. And while advancements in social platforms, programmatic buying and mobile interactivity have all changed our jobs, they haven't been cultural game changers.

One of our companions at dinner defined transformational shifts as the ones that makes consumers nervous. I like that description. For example, here's a great clip of Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel discussing the internet on the Today Show… in 1994. (Bob Thacker used this clip in his presentation this morning.) In the clip, they describe the internet as "…that massive computer network; the one that's getting really big now." It's incredible to watch in 2013:

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What will the next shift be that makes use nervous? Maybe "sensorized" devices, in other words analog devices with chips added so they can learn and respond to us? Or maybe Google Glass will bring us into a new era of augmented reality and real-time sharing? (Though will that truly be transformational? Or incremental?)

Whatever it is, marketers have to be ready. We'll be ready to explore it with you at the iMedia Summits and at iMediaConnection.com.

OK, discuss. Brad Berens, I'm looking at you.

(By the way, there was also a great bourbon tasting party tonight. Thank you to Eric Wainwright for telling us the history of bourbon (did you know all bourbon has 51% corn content?) and for introducing us to Pappy Van Winkle (pictured).)

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[1] Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUs7iG1mNjI

[2] Image: http://blogs.imediaconnection.com/files/2013/02/photo-e1360042988735.jpg

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