Every day the Rebel team scour the internet, plough through our mailboxes and visit events in our neverending search for the latest trends in event-tech. Some of the gems we find go on to become big hits, others fade into oblivion. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the cooler stuff we stumble upon with you. From now on I will post a monthly update on some of the coolest, weirdest, most functional, fun-but-totally-useless and quirky event-tech the Rebel and Soul team has spotted.
By far the best demo this month comes from Microsoft HQ in Redmond. I’ve had my eye on their Hololens (click for more info) for a while but I felt that at 3000 US dollar a pop this tech will prove to be a tough sell for the masses. Brands will have the budgets, however, to be able to invest in the tech and the content, placing them at live sporting events to add another dimension for spectators. Cool, but Microsoft is moving into a soon to be crowded space here and have nothing specific that makes them stand out.
That is until they dropped this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d59O6cfaM0
And all of a sudden it becomes clear what vision Microsoft has for this technology. This is not just about adding a little spice to sporting matches - in the long term this is about connecting people in everyday life. Not only is this holo-line super attractive for business travelers that want to stay in touch with their families (I can see hotel chains making this part of their upscale packages) but it also opens up huge opportunities for the event industry. The ability to place anyone on any stage at any time is super exciting. And it doesn’t even have to be live - that playback function, Minority Report-scary as it may be, is key here.
For the been-there-done-that crowd that is about to cite 2PAC’s hologram performance at Coachella in 2012: keep in mind that that was 2D and consisted of a projection on an angled piece of glass. How far we’ve come in just four years...
2. Big Data at events
This, on Mashable earlier this week, was a pretty decent gateway-article for the experiential industry:
A week later Microsoft’s attempt at AI brought us all back to earth after it released a chatbot that turned racist in just a couple of days (great headline-alert for that last link).
The event industry goes through similar highs and low’s. On the one hand we have Softbank which created a robot that can spice up any event as a greeter or a door-bot - effectively making the door-bitch a dying profession. On the other hand I dare you to google “cocktail robot”. What comes up is a hideous Margarita-Ville inspired machine that, at best, resembles the tea maker in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
We have a long way to go - but we’ll get there. More event-tech trends in April.