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Writer: Noor Fathima Warsia - Tuesday, Jun 21,2011 9:42 AM

Cannes Lions 2011: As Augmented Reality becomes real...

Next generation will do things differently – that much is a given. And communication services professionals are keenly looking out for the signs of what would be different. As mobile, social media, Internet usage patterns change, the only thing certain is that everything else that follows would also be about new forms of media and ways of connecting with audiences.

PHD’s Worldwide Strategy and Planning Director, Mark Holden, cited the example of mobile becoming the access point for the next generation and online trend changing, particularly in the fast growing markets, to state that as mobile increases speed, there would be an increase in how much information moves and we are only half way done in understanding that. The next half is how we are going to use social networks.

The use of technology can be seen across many different areas and it is true that technology is driven by people. No technology would take shape and grow unless there were people buying or using that technology. The big question is what drives people? What would stop people, satisfy them or cease their constant evolution process.

The SMS was one of the earlier examples of instantaneous communication on the move, and it grew so quick, it is not even seen as an evolved form of communication anymore. Markets today are dealing with many new such technologies that have every chance of becoming a norm tomorrow. Holden took the audience through fibre direct-to-home, connected TVs, marker-less augmented reality, enhanced voice-recognition, transparent OLED screens, NUI and NFC to establish that there was growth happening from infrastructure to software and hardware that would impact communication.

He spoke of the importance of speed and how it would soon become a reality with WiMax or how cloud allowed intelligent interaction with the web, or how OLED would make interfaces more observable. T-commerce or buying from TV would become big and soon socialisation, where people wanted to watch TV with social networks already, would catch speed.

Holden spoke of the changing internet experience, where the web would be tailored for individuals, search would change from links to likes and so on. He gave the example of Schema.org, which would impact social commerce.

As we move forward, most brands will focus to being brands or content creators.

Media Landscape 2015
To know more of this future, PHD Worldwide has undertaken an augmented reality project, where Sir John Hegarty of BBH and Keith Weed and Babs Rangaiah of Unilever are among those that have voiced their opinions on what will impact the industry the most over the next five years.

As the launch partner of the first ever Cannes Lions app, PHD has teamed up with mobile augmented reality company Zappar to bring to life a print campaign that will run in and around the Palais, featuring 15 industry luminaries.

Sir John Hegarty points to how technology will expose lies and how corporations will, therefore, have to be transparent and truthful, while Andrew McGuiness, the founder of BMB, sees behavioural targeting affording a tremendous creative opportunity as well as presenting challenges related to replacing the serendipity of people discovering messages. Adam Morgan sees the emergence of brands as content creators as being the one big thing that will affect the industry in the next five years and TBWA\London’s executive creative director André Laurentino, thinks brands need to be asking themselves how they will embrace video games.

The app also invites delegates who’d like to share their own views to film their thoughts, and those that stand out could be selected to appear on augmented reality enabled posters around the Palais themselves.

Holden said, “As advertising transitions into a technology business it is going to be increasingly important to keep an eye on what is happening in the lab. Beyond The Horizon is PHD’s view of how this technology will change society and change our industry. What’s been really interesting for us is hearing the views and varying perspectives of so many business leaders, which points to just how complex the media landscape is. Through the Cannes Lions app and working with Zapper we’ve hopefully brought some of this thinking to life in an engaging way for those visiting the festival.”

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