There is no doubt that technology has become and is continuing to be highly integrated into our everyday routines and lives. However, what are its true benefits in relation to event experience and interaction? Is it possible to use event technology to fully immerse delegates in an event in which they may have otherwise been passive?
Here are our top 5 event tech trends of this year so far…
Killing Zombies with VR Headsets
Virtual Reality is capable of taking delegates to a place they may never have been, seen, or experienced, with just the click of a switch.
Within moments you can be immersed into environments that would otherwise be inaccessible, expensive, or just impossible to create in reality…such as fighting and killing zombies. We recently tried out the HTC Vive at the tech/theatre event “Virtually Dead”, and the VR headset allowed us to do exactly that – fight and kill zombies.
Using AR to Tickle a Polar Bear
Augmented Reality can be used to overlay digital data such as images, 3D models or films, onto a real-time environment. AR has the ability to superimpose virtual objects on top of your physical view, and as a result complements or enhances reality. So, it is possible to tickle a Polar Bear.
SEA LIFE London Aquarium, in collaboration with BBC Earth, is using AR technology to create an exhibit that will allow visitors to interact with digital animals, including polar bears and an orca. AR is preventing the harm of real animals, whilst allowing humans to get up close to a virtual polar bear.
In Canada, Toronto Zoo has a similar installation: https://vimeo.com/137945848
Flying Cameras in the Sky
Yep, we now have the technology that can fly a camera into the sky. It is now possible to film, photograph, and capture events from great heights without paying for a helicopter – and aerial footage can really show the full impact of an event like nothing else can.
Multiple aerial cameras can also be used to create superb light displays at events. Intel used 100 drones to perform a light show to Beethoven’s Symphony No.5, and set a Guinness World Record for the most drones controlled by a single person… You read correctly, one person, on their own, single-handedly flew 100 drones. View the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOBQXuu_5Zw
With drones becoming more accessible to the consumer market, the prices have been significantly reduced. However, unless you want a criminal record, you should probably read up on CAA regulations surrounding drones: https://www.caa.co.uk/drones/
Wearable technology is growing in popularity, with a range of smartwatches, smart-glasses and fitness trackers available to buy. At events, wearable technology can provide data rich information about the delegates, which can lead to more engaging events, and better marketing, and services.
TomTom has recently partnered with The Great Run Company to give the 280,000 participants a chance to trial a range of wearable technology. The fitness and performance enhancing products contain an integrated music player, built-in heart rate monitor, real time GPS information, and 24/7 tracking, the only thing it won’t do, unfortunately, is do the run for you.
Also, new on the market is a wearable called Feel, a wristband device that can read how you’re feeling by tracking the temperature of your skin, sweat gland activity, and blood volume pulse.Check it out here; http://mashable.com/2016/01/12/feel-emotion-tracker-wearable/#xc_cRTebxOqN
Transparent Touch screens
Transparent touch screens enable experiential events and pop-up stands to really grab the attention of delegates with interactive and dynamic content.
This market is developing and the price is declining so it is presumed that over the upcoming year brands will be really we expect brands to utilise this event technology to enhance event experience for their delegates.
Los Angeles-based Seven Design Works produces elaborate staging and production for many of the industry’s top artists including Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Deadmau5, Madonna, and Calvin Harris. Using layers of interactive, high resolution, transparent screens, the stage are highly advanced and real spectacles, and they’re quite the event.
Gone are the days of ‘death by PowerPoint’… events have become more and more interactive, experiential, and digital. The range of event technology available will become far more integrated into event experience, and we will start to see the technologies working together to create highly immersive environments throughout 2016.