2017: The twists and turns in technology

With each passing year, the entire world looks to innovate from top to bottom. In 2017, the world of advertising and public relations looks to do the same–through technology. Some of the most important or noteworthy trends that look to change the way advertising and public relations are done in 2017 are: advancements in virtual reality (VR), tweaks to the ways in which individuals can shop online, and unfortunately, a higher number of advertisements on mobile devices.

As for advancements in virtual reality, it seems like one of maybe three things can happen: one, virtual reality could become a huge success and you won’t be able to go anywhere or do anything without the assistance of some sort of virtual experience; two, VR could be minimally utilized and possibly be considered a waste of money; or three, and I think the most likely, is that VR will progress slowly and although it will be popular and fun to use at first, it will ultimately become necessary only in practical situations (likely in business) where you can get an idea of what a product or service will look like in your own hands.

Personally, I am excited to see what changes VR can make in our every day lives, and how it can effect businesses. What is even more exciting, is how easy the experiences can be created. Although the costs may run high and we cannot be too sure how limited the equipment will be when it is further advanced, we already have incredibly powerful technology to offer interested individuals the opportunity to go on virtual adventures in their own homes. For more on how that could become a reality, I have found an insightful page that breaks down some of the steps to get your experience started: http://www.techradar.com/how-to/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/how-to-turn-your-smartphone-into-a-virtual-reality-headset-1317655.

As if America wasn’t already lazy as heck, 2017 looks to find ways to make us even lazier. According to Mashable.com, people are now able to not only shop online for their favorite music and clothing brands, but also for food ( http://mashable.com/2008/06/05/online-grocery-shopping/#.8siz4MGRgq7 ). With dozens of different sites offering multiple types of foods to shop for, people can now trade the long lines at the grocery store for a few taps on the screens of their smartphones to buy their groceries online. Although the convenience of this new way of shopping is one that many can appreciate with the ironically busy lives of Americans, I also worry that individuals are becoming so increasingly reliant on technology that the world depicted in the movie WALL-E is slowly becoming a reality–and NOT a virtual one.

With the idea of grocery stores becoming less pertinent to our day to day lives, the opportunity for advertising companies to shift their focus to the mobile world is now. Although ads, spam, and pop-ups on phones can lead some of us to wanting to break our phones in half, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of companies slowing down in the near future. According to a story from Clearcode ( http://clearcode.cc/2017/01/5-ad-tech-martech-trends-for-2017/ ), Robert Brill of BrillMeida.co stated in a Q&A that 2017 is likely to have “three fourths of the $32B programmatic spending” go towards mobile device advertisements. In my opinion, this is not only a smart move for advertising companies to make but also the right one. With the world is becoming so heavily reliant on their phones, it only makes sense that advertisements follow the eyes of the consumer, and if their eyes are no longer focused on the world around them, ads have no other place to go than right in the consumers hands. Although this may not be the most popular change for most people, it definitely makes sense.

Overall, 2017 doesn’t look to be too different than in years past. Although there may not be so many changes that we become unfamiliar with our surroundings, the world looks to become simpler and more convenient for the individual. With virtual reality experiences that allow you to become more familiar with a product in your own home, shopping online for more than that new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting, and enough ads to make you feel like you’re still in line at the store, technological trends in 2017 look to change the world.

Matt Henkel | GVSU | 2 February 2017