Creative technology is key for connecting the next billion

Creative technology is key for connecting the next billionIn the year 1998, Joseph Pine II and James H.Gilmore in their classic book “Experience Economy” described experience as the new future of economy following the agrarian economy, the industrial economy, and the most recent service economy.

As humans we use our sense of sight, hearing, smell or touch to experience the world. With the democratization of technology, brands are realizing that a unique experience is the key to business success and growth. In order to have an emotional connect, loyalty and complete engagement, brands must create multi-sensory experiences.

Today’s new-age consumers buy experiences and it is soon becoming the predominant economic offering. While the digitization of experience management may not be a new concept anymore, the dawn of new media technologies aka creative technologies - AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), 3D, computer vision, IOT and wearable etc. are opening innovative creative possibilities to create multi-sensory experiences.

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Creative technology implies the mindset of combining technology, psychology, art and design to create a compelling proposition. These new technologies are connecting the physical and digital world in completely new ways by creating immersive, entertaining, personalized, multi-sensory experiences. Imagine promoting a hotel via banners, website etc. as against giving a virtual tour of the place using Facebook oculus rift!

If marketing is about telling stories, then creative technologies are making it truly experiential and interactive. This is very different from the widely perceived notion of limiting the role of digital to only screens: desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablet and phablets.


If you imagine brands as experiences and consumers as humans then the business purpose changes to “Creating life experiences for humans”. In order to create life experiences, one needs to think about leveraging different channels of communication with human senses.

Unfortunately, most of the current brand experiences only appeal to sight or visuals via websites or apps. Imagine the possibilities when we use “auditory/hearing”, “touch”, “smell” as mediums to tell the story or design the touch point.

Creative technologies are helping disrupt the current popular human-computer interaction (HCI) with new paradigm of natural experience. The current digital experiences are more computer-biased. One needs to understand the computer before interaction. At present, in order to benefit from digitization, users must have knowledge of computers. This limits the group of people who can derive benefit and has thus, created a sort of digital divide. In natural experience, the computer has to learn how people behave in the real world.

The moment computer merges with our environment, it opens up opportunities never thought before.

Think of piano stairs, which make it fun for people to climb stairs. These stairs are equipped with intelligent sensors, which produce music sound as people step on these. As people experience music being produced by their footsteps, the process of climbing becomes fun.

Municipal areas in Germany have experimented with intelligent trash bins in public spaces. These bins come with sensors, which can trace the moving pedestrian traffic nearby. At the hint of any pedestrian, these trash bins produce music to invite the people to use it. Finally, after using it, the bin also thanks the user in nearly human voice. Such trash bins have become excessively popular at the experiment sites and brought more people to use it.

In India Kotak Mahindra Bank has tried to add social media to the mix, simplifying and making it fun filled. It has launched a new savings account product called Jifi Saver, which can be managed via a customer’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

The product enables customers to avail services with a simple tweet. In case a customer’s Twitter handle is compromised or hacked, they have to go to the Jifi Saver website and login and deregister their twitter account.

At the SapientNitro innovation center also, we tend to explore new possibilities using creative technologies to create multi-sensory experiences. Think of a smart shelf, which talks to you - literally, tells you about the product, helps you taste with aroma. Imagine the immense possibilities of this smart shelf in physical stores! The logic is simple: Make technology the part of human life and benefit from the enhanced engagement of target audience. Creative technologies have gained a lot of traction in the past few years and are expected to explode in the near future. It will enable digital to connect the next billion on the planet and will help drive true connected experiences in future.

(About the author: Ravi Pal- Director- Experience Technology & Emerging Analytics, SapientNitro, India)

(Image: India Times)