London Tech Week 2017 Interview with Roller
Monday 12th June – Friday 16th June
Last month we sent our team to London Tech Week 2017 to explore the newest developments and advances in digital technology. To get a first hand perspective on what we got up whilst we were there, we interviewed our team on their experiences at Tech Week, the growing trends in technology development, and the role of AI and VR in expos like this.
So what exactly is Tech Week?
Tech week is an expo for technology vendors involved in a range of industries. Predominantly those in the digital sector were showcasing technological advances such as IOT, AI, mobile first tech, and the as of yet unreleased 5G connections. As well as digital tech, the expo explored tech in the physical world with the introduction of self driving cars, and green eco-friendly motors.
How did you find it?
As we work in such a tech-heavy environment, Tech Week was a pretty exciting venture for our team. Getting to meet so many of the vendors who inadvertently contribute to the work we do, and getting a firsthand look at so many new technological designs and prototypes really was a great learning opportunity. So much of the technology being showcased was unique and futuristic, and designed to such a superior level that it also served as an inspirational experience, both to our marketing team and our developers. In such an inclusive environment, where the vendors were always happy to stop and chat, and discuss new ideas, we were made to feel incredibly welcome at such an exciting expo.
Was there any piece of tech you found particularly innovative or unique?
One of the most inventive pieces of tech we came across was the Tesla: Model 3, which was completely baffling yet really tactile and user-friendly at the same time. Essentially run from a central console, the user has the ability to adapt and change internal elements of the car to suit all passengers at the touch of a button. One of it’s most innovative features was that it had an integrated localised internet service, a unique temperature gauge for both the front and back of the car, and an automatic Spotify link for driving. Essentially it was designed with the same values we use at Roller but on a much larger scale, as it interacts with the user in a tactile, palpable way.
Did you pick up on any particular theme or trend in the tech being displayed?
As well as there being a heavy focus on the VR events and stalls in the expo, there was definitely an notable theme of 5G and IOT-friendly technology being displayed. So many of the new developments were focused on accessibility and integration, and putting the user back at the heart of the product on a more domestic level. Tesco, for example, were working on a new delivery system where the tech in your kitchen will recognise when the user is running low on certain grocery item, and automatically place that product in your online shopping basket, ready for purchase.
How do you think the tech being showcased could impact the tech scene today?
After evaluating some of the latest and newest tech to break out onto the scene, it seems that the tech we have out there today is going to be integrated, rather than changed, and adapted to suit the growing expectations of users in the future. In the next 5-10 years, I expect we’ll see more unification of platforms, with a stronger focus on the more social elements of technology development, with more of the retail and consumer markets in mind. From what we’ve seen, it seems like the tech we have currently is set to be improved and enhanced for more analytical purposes, with apps and social platforms becoming more integrated with the individual user experience. This could all make a huge difference to way in which we approach and invest in our technologies, both from a domestic and a consumerist perspective.
Do you feel that the use of AI and ML has changed the way tech products like these are exhibited in events like this?
Absolutely. If you go back to the very first AI robot ever designed, and take apart it’s hardware, it’s communication levels, it’s ability for social interaction, it’s clear just how far technology has progressed since that point. On a larger scale, the Sophia robot, for example, has surpassed so many social and technological milestones in such a short space of time that it seems impossible the advancements inspired by her won’t make an impact on future tech experiences. Even on a much smaller scale, the integration of bots and domestic AI’s have already impacted the way we anticipate information from our technology. So when considering the way high profile tech companies are adapting these technologies, their impact on expos and tech demonstrations is clear. Though the spaces are still the same, the social elements of the expos are still the same, and the general principles of Tech Week remain as they always have, the experience is undeniable enhanced by the integration of more developed technologies and AI benefits.
What about VR? Do you believe there will ever be an expo entirely experienced through virtual reality?
When assessing the enormity of an event like Tech Week, and considering the amount of organisation, planning and collaborative required to help it run successfully, it seems that condensing it all down into one small VR headset potentially might be a great stress-saving solution. But in reality, with the advancements and developments we’ve already seen in Virtual Reality so far, it’s entirely probable that there will be events experienced solely through VR tech in the near future. Luckily for us at Roller, we’re working on improving our own interactions with VR, and helping to make it commercialised for retail spaces. This will allow us to incorporate it into designing immersive consumer journeys, which might just lay the foundations for other industry and event purposes. So if there is ever an entirely VR-based event, we’ll be the first in line for tickets!
Could the tech you explored at Tech Week tie into the services offered by Roller?
As Roller is a mobile first agency, the advances in IoT and 5G could really have an impact on the way in which design and build our appliances and programmes for users. I think the increased integration between the physical and digital techs could help us to re-establish the concept of building, and allow us to focus more on the accessibility of our apps. But even on a more experimental level, so many of the retail enhancement services tie into the design package we offer our clients, as well as the more marketable forms of technology and the analysis based software.
Overall, would you go back to Tech Week again?
Yes absolutely! Our whole team had such a great time at Tech Week, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us next year!