Week 2: Chris Lederer & Megan Brownlow – A World Of Differences

The reading last week explored the development of certain digital technologies, specifically in regards to discussion of the manner in which technological developments will transform the way consumers interact with media in the future on a global scale. Furthering such discussion this week, however on a centralised scale, Chris Leberer and Megan Brownlow put together an extensive report to explore the impact of technological developments with specific regard to entertainment and media companies. The report analyses the expenditure of entertainment and media companies throughout the globe, across a wide array of categories to identify various intrinsic pieces of information. Two which stood out to me are: that the growth rate of money spent on entertainment and media companies is expanding at a rate much greater than the growth of GDP; as well as the fact that this expenditure increasingly surrounds people under the age of 35. This raises a clear issue that the potential future success of entertainment and media companies is not only extensive in a global realm, but also based quite heavily on the interests of young people. By extension, it becomes clear that as younger generations are far more accepting of new technologies and ways of interacting with media, entertainment and media companies need to focus on keeping up to date with technological developments in order to maintain success.

One particular notion that provoked thought for me was that:

“Much of the E&M industry is growing more global, but cultures and tastes in content remain steadfastly local.”

Where the authors identify a large trend for consumers to hold onto more traditional technology coupled with locally produced content. This made me think about the digitalisation of the DJ. Where, whilst digital DJ machines such as CDJs have become an industry standard since their introduction to the market place 20 years ago, an expansive proportion of DJs prefer the use of an analogue vinyl DJ machine and there still remains a large culture surrounding vinyl DJing.

Summarising my provoked thoughts during the reading of this article, I believe that the success of any media company (or any company for that matter) during the current technological onslaught will be reliant on adaptability to new technologies, coupled with a retention of traditional and local values. Potentially going off a tangent, if you are interested in an example of adaptability throughout technological developments and one specific to DJing, see Carl Cox: http://www.carlcox.com/biography/index.html

Lecture 1: Astrid Scott – ABC R+D

Todays guest lecture was conducted by Astrid Scott, the Experience Strategist and Senior Producer for ABC R+D. She defines experience strategy as the process of designing ways for people to interact with the content based on analysis of HOW people interact and navigate daily life without the content. For example, what devices they use? How they use it? Essentially, she encourages thought process regarding usability. Interestingly, in order to analyse the way in which we will interact with media, we have to be forward thinking. This addresses the notion within Moore’s law: ‘processing power will double every couple of years’, allowing advances in technology to re-define the way we interact with media.

The four most interesting technological developments Astrid Scott referred to were:

  1. Ubiquitous Computing

Refers to a sensory environment so that we are connected to environments (touch screen kitchen)

  1. Big Data and the Quantified Self

Sensory data for personalisation – fitness watches are beginning – pills with cameras and products that respond to body – mood sensors

All of this has privacy issues but regardless, it encourages us to think about how we make a product to suit this technology (a product specific to a particular person – virtual assistants)

  1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

When you no longer have ownership over the distribution of content, you have to think about how AI tech will encounter your stuff (brand)

  1. More Natural, Human Interfaces

Build interfaces that correspond with your body for new media experiences

Some other interesting dot points include:

The technology will be there – as to whether we used it or not is another question.

Facebook own Oculus Rift and want to create experiences for friends to experience together that are not real.

Every media organisation in Australia is struggling to stay relevant.

Have to think about how the socio-cultural and technological environment of the home is changing.

New technologies Include:

Sensors, Wearables & biofeedback, Smart objects (IoT), Gesture & voice (NUIs), Projections & holograms, AI & virtual assistants, Artificial reality (VR, AR, etc.),

Connected home – the home is digitally connected via smart objects.

My Thoughts:

In regards to Future Homes, I noticed how we are adapting technology to our stereotypical home life. Why not adapt our lives to technology – or maybe that will happen automatically?

Will technology make our lives better or worse?

Part of me thinks it’s ridiculous and detracts from a level of human interaction – but now I’m thinking it just redefines human interactions. For example the elderly could be scared of mobile phones, whereas younger generations are accepting of mobile phones within society. Therefore potentially we have to adapt to technology as we are redefined amongst technology.

Week 1: Klaus Shwab – The Fourth Industrial Revolution

The first industrial revolution allowed mechanised production via water and steam powered systems. The second industrial revolution introduced electrical power to production systems. The third industrial revolution initiated computer-automated systems of production. Now, the fourth industrial revolution fuses both preceding and contemporary physical, digital and biological technologies to create what is referred to as a megatrend. A megatrend is defined as a major shift in environmental, social and economic conditions that will substantially change the way people live.

The fourth industrial revolution marks a dynamic shift in the way production and exchange occurs in a variety of assets of human life. Klaus Schwab identifies a fusion between innovative physical, digital and biological technologies that both substitute human labour intensive tasks and create new possibilities for human economics, coined as the ‘on-demand economy’. One particular aspect of Schwab’s ‘on-demand economy’ that I found particularly interesting was the potential complications caused by such technologies with regard to tax collection and money distribution. An ‘on-demand economy’ creates the possibility of digitally mediated decentralised transactions, which are often associated with black market operations due to the hindered ability for authorities to trace digital payments. However, I relate such discussion to previous research I have undertaken with regard to the immense economical opportunities created by such digital systems. Blockchain software stores information throughout a network made up of personal computers, creating a decentralised, distributed system where: all records are stored; facts can verified by anyone; and security is guaranteed. Moreover, a form of math called cryptography ensures records cannot be counterfeited by anyone. Explanation of the economical benefits of this system far exceed the limitations of this blog post, however put briefly, the future of blockchain technology could enable online management of data to the extent where companies could exist entirely run by algorithms.

As an area of media I am very interested in, the development of blockchain technologies will be discussed in further blog posts so stayed tuned. For now, if this blog post interested you, check out the video below: