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Five innovations that caught my eye this week

Source | LinkedIn : By Keith Weed

In a role like mine you get an incredible insight into the pace at which consumers are taking up new technologies. Being a good marketer necessitates having an enquiring mind, and as an engineer turned marketer I perhaps have an over-healthy fascination with technological innovations! As a marketer you need to get to the future first, to better serve consumers ahead of your competition. In this fast changing world marketers can and should drive competitive growth for their brands and companies. So I am always on the look out for new things… Of course some things are a bit out there and won’t make immediate changes to the current landscape, but others give a real insight into where we should be heading. The mindset that comes with innovation is also something I value. It’s about trying to break new ground (and sometimes failing) but that’s because there’s no ‘best practice’ document or blueprint on how to do it. Here are some of my favourites of late.

AltspaceVR

After the boom we’ve seen in messaging apps over the last year, communication is moving further into the virtual reality realm. AltspaceVR is a cross-platform virtual environment based around mirroring real-world social activities and they want to make VR chat sessions part of everyday life. Where next for this? Will we see people chatting in VR with bots eventually? You can download it here on Google Play.

Driverless taxis in Singapore

As Google and Tesla race to get driverless car technology into practice, a small start-up called nuTonomy is forging ahead and already passed a driving test in the city-state which means that it has completed an obstacle course without incident. I’m keen to see the progression with driverless cars in the coming years, as the people at nuTonomy have predicted they could replace 780,000 privately owned cars with 300,000 taxis. Studies have also shown that autonomous taxis produce 94% less greenhouse gases than conventional ones. I wonder how many years it will take for a car to navigate Piccadilly Circus in London, or around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris at rush hour though? (And probably never in downtown Mumbai!)

Mosquito Killer Billboard

Developed by two companies in Brazil, Posterscope and NBS, this is a billboard that attracts mosquitos as it emits a smell which mimics that of a human. The aim is to help fight against the Zika virus, carried by mosquitoes. Concerns have been raised around attracting mosquitoes to public spaces but the thinking shows a real move towards raising awareness by doing and achieves a very visceral outcome.

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