Websummit 2016: Creating the Intelligent All-embracing Customer Experience
December 06, 2016
53,000 attendees, 15,000 companies, 166 different countries. Without a doubt, Websummit is the biggest of its kind in Europe and this year, we were part of the fun.
Websummit 2016 took place in Lisbon and from the beginning we were overwhelmed - so many sessions to choose from and so many speakers we wanted to hear, including sports superstars like Ronaldinho and Luis Figo and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt! The gathering of people from all over the world, super stars and start-ups alike, really proves that we are moving forward with new technology and innovations at a speed never seen before. What we talked about as future innovations, like self-driving cars, intelligent wearables and setting the digital experience free from touch screens, are already here, proven and ready to go into mainstream production. The main obstacles right now are regulations, standards (i.e. how do you insure a self-driving car) and of course, ethics (i.e. who is responsible if an accident happens while driving in a self-driving car?).
Virtual Reality (VR) is part of this new reality and is the talk of the town within digital and tech. It has been supported by massive investments from Google and Facebook for many years and now the hardware is ready, the prices are affordable and the VR content has reached a level of maturity with 360 degree-videos and realistic 3D models. There are already numerous examples of VR experiences in different industries - entertainment, retail, education, and healthcare, among others. But one thing is the full VR experience; Another important development is happening at the intersection between the physical and VR. This was spotlighted by Google´s Ivan Poupyrev, who has worked with the Soli and Jacquard projects at Google where the focus is touchless interactions and where technology makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile.
Machine learning or Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also at the center of this new technological leap forward. It is the main disruptive force in all industries and opens up all kinds of possibilities in construction, diagnostics, education and different kinds of services. Business Advisor BRiN and Chat Bots are just a couple of the more mainstream examples of AI. Facebook is currently rolling out Chat Bots across its platform, which will answer your questions in the Messenger App in real time chats resembling actual human customer service.
To sum up the key takeaways from three intensive days at Websummit: Web is more than websites and digital ecosystems- it’s all about creating the intelligent all-embracing customer experience that combines both the physical and the digital. Use machines to create and design more intelligent solutions within all areas of life - the three main frontiers being Business (i.e. micropayments and Blockchain), Life and Sensing and the Home –while being aware of the ethics involved at the same time.
What exciting times we live in!