Through The Looking Glass At Unbound 2016

JAG Shaw Baker was invited to attend Unbound London in last month. The two-day innovation event in December took a stratospheric leap into a hyper-connected future where change will occur in the blink of an eye and be driven more by society.

The event kicked off in royal style with the Duke of York, Prince Andrew introducing Pitch@Palace – an initiative created by his charitable trust to guide, help and connect entrepreneurs with influencers, angels, mentors and business partners. Insightful talks and panel discussions followed, touching on topics such as augmented reality, chatbots and even digital love and relationships.

Each talk was delivered by seasoned industry players including Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and CEO, WPP; Brent Hoberman, co-founder, LastMinute.com, and the event’s organiser Yossi Vardi, Israeli entrepreneur and investor and Chairman of FYFN. Outside the stage areas, a sea of innovative start-up companies exhibited snapshots of the many ways in which the snowballing tech revolution will affect industries such as fashion, e-commerce, charity and even the act of walking through Pavegen’s energy generating paving stones.

Pavegen stones which harvest kinetic energy from foot traffic.(Image courtesy of Pavegen)

Pavegen stones which harvest kinetic energy from foot traffic. (Image courtesy of Pavegen)

Emotion technology

One area experiencing a breakneck evolution is in brands and retail. Here we see new terms such as Ego-tech and VR-infusion being coined to annotate the way in which tech will lead to a greater intimacy and hyperflow to the consumer experience and interaction with brands.

Experts agree. Research from psychologists Barbara Fredrickson and Alice Isen have shown that positive emotions enable and enhance cognitive processing, innovative thinking, creativity and lead to better judgments and decision making. The explosion of chatbots in 2016 shows a need for retailers to connect to their customers in a more real-time, personalized way. Facebook alone has more than 33,000 bots running in Facebook Messenger.

The event proved to be an intriguing glimpse into a future full of innovative ideas blended with corporate viewpoints to show a future at the limits of innovation and imagination, yet one that will influence our lives very soon. 

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This post was written by Howard Watt, Partner, JAG Shaw Baker.

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