Atlanta has a growing amount of activity around digital, mobile and social technology. From the large established corporate headquarters — to the startup companies popping up — and the strong university systems, the future looks very promising for the city.
At the recent Digital Atlanta conference, I spoke on a panel with tech leaders creating the future of mobile. The session, called “Crystal balling: Looking into the future of mobile,” discussed where we see things headed the next few years.
Doug Busk – Director, Mobile Technologies & Strategy, The Coca-Cola Company
Jim Donovan – Mobile & Connected Device Solutions, Turner Broadcasting Systems
Matt Jones – General Manager of Mobile, HomeDepot.com
Larry Williams – VP for Technology Industry Development, Metro Atlanta Chamber
Sean Wood – Strategic Advisor & Founder, FreeWorld Media
Doug Busk kept the energy high as the moderator with his quick wit and interesting questions that kept the conversation moving forward. Matt Jones talked about the consumer insights Home Depot is learning. He touched on how how they are maximizing the retail experience and how that fits into their overall digital plan. I also enjoyed hearing from Jim Donovan about how TBS Mobile is spreading their reach across multiple screens. His team recently won an Emmy for their social TV app, Team Coco. Larry Williams brought it home with his input about how Atlanta is uniquely positioned as an international hub for new technology growth.
My forecast for the future of mobile, involves two things for certain:
- Technology continues to change faster than most businesses can keep up with
- What doesn’t change is the consistency of human nature.
As a panel, we also discussed “the internet of things” (M2M) where physical items in your life are connected to each other and to you. Doug brought up the Nest thermometer which is a perfect example of how everyday “things” in our life will become networked and able to make decisions for us.
By having a deeper understanding of how people behave and respond, businesses with a customer-centric approach will have an advantage over their competition. My prediction is that as technology becomes more complex, it will also help us manage the increased information by making common decisions for us. Over time, we can expect more Big Data, more powerful computers, and better predictive algorithms to personalize retail and media experiences. By taking over daily repeatable tasks, it will allow us to use our minds for bigger decisions and ultimately help propel our society forward.