RE:Work Summit September 2014
We attended the second annual RE:Work Summit in London, to speak to and learn from the greatest minds in the fields of tech innovation and invention. Featuring speakers from across the globe – from journalists to academics and scientists to entrepreneurs – the summit, founded by Nikita Johnson, explores how new technology is positively disrupting society. It also looks at how new technology works in the real world beyond theory, and how it is changing society across fields as diverse as education, healthcare, development, education, entrepreneurs and manufacturing.
The Future of Digital Communication
Technologist Sanford Dickert talked us through the future of digital communications, showcasing a device he had purchased, the Beam Smart Presence , one of the latest iterations of telepresence , allowing for dynamic communication by giving the impression of physical presence. Citing examples of house bound individuals with disabilities being able to attend and deliver global conferences, Dickert hails this as one of the future manifestations of digital communications. With prices coming down, he predicts that in the coming year we’ll see these devices becoming more widely available, and increasingly beneficial for smaller businesses to connect with clients and customers around the world.
The Future of Virtual Assistants
Journalist and lecturer Chris Brauer shared the notion of a ‘post human’ world in which our reality will be augmented by virtual assistants. Today that world is already coming into being with the likes of Google Now, Siri, and Cortana – Brauer predicts that as these technologies evolve they will also be more efficient and become invaluable aids in assisting businesses reach the right customers, as well as helping customers to connect with the businesses and organisations that are most relevant to them. A good example is the beacon technology which is shaping consumer experience in Regent Street. Customers can opt in by downloading the Regent Street App, and stores who have their beacon sensors switched can send communications directly to consumers’ phones to let them know about offers and discounts.
The Business of Robotics
We also hear from lecturer and researcher Sabine Hauert who talks about the business opportunities around robots and Robo-Hub, an online community and resource that cuts through the often mythic hype surrounding robotic technology.
The site also focuses on startups creating businesses around robotics as well as the latest business opportunities, support and trends. The site demonstrates the ways in which ordinary entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of tech to create new ventures. For example, using drone technology to upgrade your product offering, as in the case of Nick Howard, founder of Go Pro, who had previously spent his days selling cameras out of the back of a van. Alternatively, you might also consider investing in the next generation of social robots. Where previous generations included Furby and iDog toys, newer models have more potential to support busy professionals and small teams as they can be used as telepresence devices (similar to the Beam Smart Presence device above) or as virtual assistants that are being developed to build emotional connections with users
Head to RoboHubs site
Follow Sabine here
RE:Work returns to London later this year