In 2018, trends, cultural changes, and consumer behavior have evolved rapidly. But what does 2019 reserve for us?
The Ethical Internet
Tech brands need to take a more proactive approach to explore the ethical implications of their platforms and products, says journalist Kara Swisher in an NYT article.
In May 2018, Amnesty International, Access Now and other organizations launched the Toronto Declaration, which protects the right to equality and non-discrimination in machine learning systems. More and more technology companies are realizing the influence their products have on societal issues such as mental health, isolation, cyberbullying, and suicide.
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, wrote in a blog post on Medium: “Despite all the good we’ve done, the Web has become a driver of inequity and division, influenced by forces powerful, which use it for their own purposes. Today, I believe we have reached a critical tipping point. An important change for the better is possible – and necessary. “
The Cities of the Future
Technology companies are now focusing on all aspects of life and reinventing these areas with technological solutions. Today, urban design is being redesigned for a hyper-connected future.
Technology giant Alibaba is developing an artificial intelligence layer called City Brain. He tests AI elements in Hangzhou. Thousands of outdoor cameras are used to collect data to control traffic lights, optimize traffic, detect accidents, and deploy help. However, constant monitoring and the data it generates have the ability to harm the common good and privacy.
As technology companies implement their solutions to urban issues, privacy advocates are sounding the alarm about the potential abuse of monitoring.
Technology companies are trying to integrate with our homes and our bodies to enter our daily lives. The turn will necessarily be towards services that integrate harmoniously with the user.
The information is presented in a fun and non-threatening way, with carefully crafted imperfections and idiosyncrasies. These companies try to have a friendly identity, as shown for example by the new rounded fonts of Uber, or the creation of Kinder by Grindr – to foster a more welcoming environment. Curved, rounded and tactile audio speakers that blend in with the interior design also contribute to this.
To Real Time
Advances in technology are increasingly incorporating devices and materials with biological capabilities, transforming them into an extension of the wearer’s body. Products and devices that instantly adapt to their environment show how intuitive the technology is.
In August 2018, Reebok launched a changing-shaped sports bra that adapts to the wearer’s movements. The material incorporates a thickening fluid that changes texture in response to movement. The bra stiffens to provide more support during movement and softens while the wearer is at rest.
Puma, in partnership with the MIT Design Lab, has created adapted shoes that respond to wearer fatigue. Inner soles use bacteria that react to perspiration and collect biological information about who wears them. Electronic circuits detect changes, transmit data to help prevent fatigue and improve performance.
Social Networks: Towards Well-Being?
The increasing pressures caused by the use of social networks have a negative impact on mental health. Tension due to the use of social networks can lead to anxiety and depression.
And that affects a lot of people. There are more than three billion social network users in the world, according to statistics from Hootsuite and We Are Social.
The Facebook research team said in December 2017 that “when people spend a lot of time passively consuming information – reading but not interacting with people – they say they feel worse after the fact.”
Companies that manage social networks must, therefore, take responsibility by cracking down on excessive consumption and anti-social behavior, and educating users. And that also has an economic meaning: finding a reasoned way to use social networks is essential before everyone permanently gives up their use, in fact.
Mobile Devices: Sound Mutations
From the explosion of sound entertainment to the expansion of listening formats, your ears become a key gateway for technology companies. The Apple Air Pods, launched in 2017, become “always connected” headphones.
Another example, Spotify introduced Spotlight, which integrates video content into podcasts next to audio. According to the New York Times, Audible, owned by Amazon, has released 77 original audio works between 2017 and 2018.
And according to the Ericsson TV and Media 2017 report, 70% of consumers now watch television and video programs on their mobile devices. A figure that has doubled since 2012.
This trend is expected to continue, with Ericsson estimating that by 2020, half of the viewing will be on a mobile screen. These platforms represent a shift to mobile entertainment first, especially among young smartphone users.
Society: Hidden Figures of Technology
As with all aspects of culture and societal discourse, the #MeToo movement, the new feminism, and the discourse on the patriarchal power of white men are starting to have spin-on effects for all industries.
In the field of entertainment, the representation of diversity is becoming more and more a pre-requisite, films produced by directors of all origins with much-diversified distributions having achieved sensational results at the box office. It is clear from this point of view that the diversity of points of view is important and that it also opens the way to new audiences.
For example, new books and movies are ready to explore the female experience of working in Silicon Valley. And that goes from the discovery of the low-profile – but critical – contributions of women to the growth of technology, to the exploration of stories about the treatment of women in the industry.
Susan Fowler, a former employee of Uber, has become famous by telling her time and experiences about sexism and harassment within the platform. His article is titled Reflecting on One Very, Very Strange Year at Uber.
Transport: Uber’s Ecosystems
Uber is rapidly positioning itself as the ultimate architect of transport on a macro and micro plane. In 2018, the company announced the design of vertical take-off and landing electric vehicles (VTOL) to create the world’s first network of shared-flyer aircraft.
Under tries to become the ultimate service for all your needs. Even its UberEats service aims to be available to 70% of the US population by the end of 2018.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said: “We are committed to bringing together multiple modes of transport within the Uber app, so you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you are, whether in an Uber, on a bike, in the subway, or more “.
Culture: unexpected formats
As the culture of experience continues to explode, artists are pushing the boundaries of art and science to attract public attention.
These creators and innovators tend to create increasingly technological experiences. Digital formats, artificial intelligence, new technologies, and games create new and rich creative paintings.