I recently attended the techXLR8 event as part of London Tech Week, the biggest showcase by leading tech companies of technology and innovation in Europe. I was encouraged to see, that despite the economic Brexit angst, the tech scene is going from strength to strength in the UK, which is why it forms a crucial part of the future industrial economy.
Last year, UK venture capital investment exceeded Germany, France and Sweden combined. We have the third highest global investment in tech after the US and China, with £2.3bn being injected into the sector recently.
Confidence from corporates remains strong too, as Salesforce announced it would invest £1.9bn in the UK over the next five years, proving that that they believe in the thriving diverse talent we have to offer. And a few weeks ago London was once again ranked as the leading tech hub in Europe.
So it’s all good right, the market is buoyant. But what stood out for me?
AR is talked about a lot, it feels like the shiny new toy, but it’s still misunderstood in terms of the value it can bring to companies in the future, especially in the B2B space.
When listening to Blippar it became clear that AR cannot be considered as an extension of digital – it’s an entirely different medium and should be treated as such.
When applied intelligently, it has the power to transform the user experience in pretty much every market, from industrial manufacturing to retail and healthcare. Imagine the new and exciting partnerships you can foster as part of your AR strategy when looking to sell your service as part of the customer experience? AR could be described as the perfect storytelling tool but it will demand a new way of thinking.
In terms of B2B, marketers need to consider how and when this becomes part of the customer experience. Ultimately you’ll need to rethink how you launch the new product or service and how best to captivate your customer perhaps using geo-location-based services and new viewing experiences at conferences or events. The key message here, is to learn as much as you can about what the tech can offer, experiment and think ahead.
I’m always interested in the future of transportation as I work with global logistics company Agility. I listened to an impressive presentation from Virgin Hyperloop One and wished we could fast forward 20 years so the commute so cities become metro stops instead of far away destinations.
Hyperloops hold significant potential to become the first new mode of public transport in over 100 years, promising significantly shortened intercity travel times, lower costs, potentially transforming regions and decreased negative environmental impacts.
An example is a standard commute from London to Manchester which may take 2H 2M on a train and by road 4 hours. With Hyperloop it will take 26 minutes. It’s a similar story in Los Angeles, where Elon Musk’s perfectly named Boring Company is looking to create the infrastructure to ferry commuters between downtown L.A and LAX in just 10 minutes, down from one and a half hours during rush hour, and all for just $1.
However, what is the reality for business and the logistics industry? The common belief is that moving containers and cargo - not people is where the first round of disruption will happen. I, for one will be looking forward to seeing how it pans out.
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