Not too long ago, Virtual Reality, driverless cars and wearables were just the stuff of Hollywood and our imaginations, but now they’re all over our newsfeeds, shop windows and showrooms. When their patents were first filed, we thought these concepts were crazy, far-off dreams, so what does that say for the futuristic patents that have graced the internet of late?
Technology, of course, has a huge impact on marketing and digital marketing in particular. Just as it impacts on culture and everyday life, technology and its adoption by wider society has a huge impact on the way in which we can roll out campaigns and, as such, is a subject that marketers watch very closely.
Everyone wants to be the first to use new technology. So which of these recently filed patents would we really love to see brought to life and how would we utilise that technology to speak more directly with consumers?
Despite giving a nod towards two Google products – Glass and its smart contact lens - Samsung has just filed a patent for a product that could better the two. Dubbed by many as a direct replacement for Google Glass, which was removed from sale early last year, Samsung’s patent even references Glass, stating that such external devices can produce ‘insufficient’ viewing quality where the viewing angle can become narrow.
Google also produced a prototype contact lens in January 2014, which measured the wearer’s glucose levels. The product was positioned as a device that could help millions with diabetes but remains in the prototype testing stage.
Samsung’s augmented reality concept is said to be powered by a wireless connection to the wearer’s smartphone and would come with an embedded sensor to permit blink controls.
How would we use this technology in marketing – in a world where brands and messaging could be as close to the end user as their eye, the possibilities are endless. Ads in the corner of your eye that could be pushing subliminal messaging while you go about your day-to-day business is a scary thought. Should the technology move forward, advertisers could virtually market towards consumers at every stage of their day and the targeting options would be incredible.
Imagine a world where an ad for a great deal on a new 1 Series pops up when you see a BMW drive by or messages promoting a nearby restaurant appear when your glucose levels are down and you might be hungry. All unlikely concepts, we might hope, but certainly not impossible.
Samsung isn’t the only technology manufacturer to have filed such futuristic patents. Apple recently made publicly available its patent for a keyless keyboard. While not as unnatural sounding as Samsung’s concept, its applications are wide ranging. The user could configure the keyboard based on their personal tastes and needs while avoiding the dreaded fluff-filled keys.
How would we use this technology in marketing – Would there be an opportunity for branded virtual keyboards? Moving banner ads across the blank space? Perhaps there’s not so much scope for marketers here but any technology that digitalises the tangible certainly holds potential.
Amazon has also recently filed a patent for a concept that’s probably the most unbelievable and futuristic on the list. Amazon Image Analysis for User Authentication, or Amazon ‘Selfie Payment’ as it’s being dubbed by the media, uses ‘an authentication process that prompts the user to perform an action in view of a camera or sensor’. In other words, it’s a security measure that looks to put an end to hackable passwords and codes, thereby making the purchase process quicker and easier for the user.
How would we use this technology in marketing – Any concept that makes the purchase path easier for the consumer is undoubtedly a good idea. Marketers will be making sure their clients adopt similar, or better, technology just as they’re already urging them to make the journey as enjoyable and easy as possible for their customers.
With several automotive clients, we’re more than aware of the technical advances in the automotive sector, where new patents are often published.
Ford has been leading the way for a while now, introducing some incredible concepts and visions for the mobility of the future. One such concept is the car that can transform into a separate bike.
Likened to the Batmobile, the concept clearly illustrates Ford’s commitment to future mobility, where it is working towards wider mobility solutions rather than focusing all its energy solely on cars.
How would we use this technology in marketing – Well, firstly, it would make the commute for City marketers far simpler; but in terms of wider marketing possibilities there is the obvious opportunity for brand partnerships. As with any concept that connects two separate brands or sectors, the potential for partnerships and a merge of consumer targeting should never be overlooked.
Patents that could change the world
Google has already amazed the world with its contact lens prototype, but that’s not the only concept that the technology giant has put forward.
Drones may be a controversial issue with the public at the moment but Google has looked at the technology from an angle that looks to better everyone’s lives. Just this month, patent was awarded that could see drones delivering medical supplies. The concept outlines a device that could call for a drone in a medical emergency and supply specific life-saving equipment. While there’s no evidence that the company is working on a medical emergency drone system, if nothing else, it’s a commendable use of the technology.
How would we use this technology in marketing – Such technology offers the perfect space for the promotion of the emergency services. The NHS is already doing a fantastic job of promoting certain campaigns and causes on social media, such as the NHS Blood and Transplant and their #missingtype campaign, aimed at getting more people to give blood, so it stands to reason that medical drones could be used for a similar purpose.
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