I often get asked by many I consult with what new technologies are poised to shape businesses in the near future. I’ve heard, what’s going to replace Facebook? Or what is Pinterest going to be like a few years from now? These questions are great, as I presume business owners, managers and marketers, want to get ahead of the curve and prep for the future to ensure business sustainability and profitably.  I have kept an eye on emerging trends, especially those that are visual based. Visual based means apps or technologies like Instagram and video communication apps like Skype that are forms of visual communication and interaction. The reason is simple; they tend to be the fastest growing ones.  So knowing this, there is a level of confidence in being able to see where and how new technologies will influence businesses in the near future.


Virtual Reality


The notion of being able to put a pair of computer-connected goggles on and suddenly feel like you are in another world is fascinating and is going to be a game changer for businesses. There is a reason Facebook spent $2 billion to buy Oculus last year and analysts are estimating significant growth, with up to 30 million headsets shipped annually around the globe by 2020. If you thought folks were distracted with their phones, wait till devices like Oculus are immersed in culture. Businesses that can showcase their offerings through this medium will have much leverage to provide a true product experience. Imagine being able to see a test drive of a car you intend to buy in 3D in the comfort of your home, or being able to visually survey the Golf course you intend to play on before arriving there. Imagine being able to offer online classes through this medium. The possibilities are limitless. Marketers will be creatively seeking ways to take advantage of the visual space virtual reality offers.



You must have recently heard about a recent Michael Jackson or Tupac concert. Holograms made that possible. While virtual reality for now is attached to a device like goggles for a user to experience directly, a hologram is a photographic recording of a light field rather than an image. The image is formed by a lens and it is used to display a full 3D image of the subject, which is seen without the aid of a special device like goggles. This offers businesses new avenues to showcase, market their products and communicate. Speeches can be given through holograms, billboard ads do not have to be on actual boards when holograms can beam them, possibly saving costs of physically rotating ads while having more control on ad programming. Many marketers who use videos to market products or services will have a field day with this technology depending on how accessible and affordable it becomes. It will be YouTube all over again.

 Wearable Electronics

Mobile buying is already dominating the retail world. What will we see next? Wearable devices like smart wrist watches will continue to come in different forms. Fabrics we wear will start having smarter technology, which could enhance customer experience.  If a wrist watch can measure your heartbeat or tell you how many miles you have walked today, you can imagine the data that can be gathered through wearable devices to refine customer experience. Since we are in the digital personalized age, businesses can ethically gather data to refine customer experience. It might sound a little scary, but when we think of the fact that we expect companies we deal with to keep our personal interactions on record to better serve us, we can see how this will go.

It’s safe to say there are more ways new technologies will affect businesses in the near future, but these three appear to be a safe bet. Knowing this as a business owner or manager, one can begin to plan how to leverage visual and wearable technologies to provide a great customer experience and reap business results in the process.