Consumers are starting to truly see, and even feel, how the technology and devices they interact with every day have become fundamentally more human, and that was evident at this year’s MWC. While people often blame technology for the loss of one-to-one connections, technology is also increasingly becoming more personal, not simply limited to preferences, but anticipatory of surroundings and the human needs that arise from them.

The Humanity in Technology:

Sony displayed the Xperia Ear personal assistant earphone that has the capability to lessen the sounds of a crying baby on an airplane by sensing and adapting to its wearer’s personal reaction to the noise. The future of how consumers connect communicate and transact could be through biometric recognition technology from their iris, fingerprint, and voice, all bringing a richer dimension to their experiences. Brands must be ready to market through personalized experiences, both to the consumer and through smart technologies, like Google Home, as growing channels of demand.

A Non-Verbal Society:

Procter & Gamble’s Olay brand made its debut at MWC, showcasing the global roll out of the Skin Advisor platform that uses AI and deep learning via selfie optimization technology to provide smart skin analysis and personalized product recommendations delivered right to consumers’ mobile devices. Amidst a countless number of skincare products on the shelf, Skin Advisor streamlines the experience of finding the best product for a consumer’s exact skincare needs. With AI, consumers no longer need to verbally communicate their needs to be introduced to a new experience with unprecedented personalization and real benefits to their lives.

Solving Real-World Challenges:

Wearable technology such as smart shoes from Indian startup Lechal Footwear allows runners to pre-program a course and then signal each turn via a shoe vibration. It works by connecting to the GPS tracker of a user’s smartphone. While this technology may not be for everyone, it has immense possibilities for people who are visually impaired or travelers looking to explore a new city. The brands that will succeed will work to solve real, human needs through technology. The more brands understand about the people they want to reach, the more they can optimize messages, and even products.

Author: Stephanie Stopulos, SVP, Advanced Analytics & Insights, Starcom USA