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2018 Preview: Event Tech Predictions From Industry Experts

Augmented reality, facial recognition, and blockchain are on the radar of these forward-thinking event professionals.

The following are select quotes pulled from the original piece.

In Mitra Sorrells’ last piece for BizBash, we talk tech together. Here are the key quotes from our conversation:

Facial recognition: “In 2017, we saw range of compelling experiments by brands using facial recognition in live environments, including JetBlue testing facial recognition boarding passes at Boston’s Logan Airport, to the new security systems at Dubai’s airport, to Alibaba’s experimental shop, Tao Café, using facial recognition for payments, and on. Within the event space, the work of Austin, Texas-based start-up, Zenus, has caught our eye. Their new platform is using facial recognition for onsite event check-ins, replacing tablets and touchscreens at registration booths.”

Augmented presentations: “From large general sessions to broadcasts of events, we—as creators and attendees—are constantly thirsty for new ways to consume a speaker’s presentation. For large-scale events, using technologies from companies like Vizrt, we expect to see more broadcast-style AR-based content to become integrated into keynote presentations. For video-centric presentations, we love the potential of Prezi’s new AR tools that merge the presenter and their visual assets into a single screen. For attendees, we expect to see more AR glasses that provide closed captioning of the live event, similar to the London’s National Theatre’s smart glasses they provide for the deaf to enjoy live theater.”

Live VR events: “Events will continue to be an area of experimentation and value-driving for virtual-reality technology companies. Through 2017, LiveLike and NextVR have expanded their offerings within VR for sporting events. Attendees can use VR to join their friends and ‘sit’ in a stadium’s V.I.P. box to watch a live match. Additionally, during its recent user conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced Oculus Venues. Rolling out in 2018, Oculus Venus will enable up to 1,000 attendees to simultaneously watch live sports, concerts, and more. Finally, the coming implementation of YouTube’s new 180-degree VR specifications will mainstream a 180-degree viewing angle that is much more appropriate for stage-centric live events. Altogether, the expanding technologies and new experiences to consume live events in a VR will drive bigger attention from event organizers of all types.”

Gaze-based interfaces: “In the coming year we expect gaze-based interfaces—using eye tracking to control an interface—to be the hot trend in experience design.”

Artificial voices: “Over the past few months we’ve seen interesting voice-centric technologies come to market. Google’s new Pixel Buds can, in near real-time, translate nearly 40 languages. A San Francisco start-up called BableOn is able to translate what we each say without the need for the other person to have a headset. These technologies could potentially make it easier for international attendees to both understand content and network with people throughout all areas of an event or meeting.”

Blockchain: “Blockchain, the underpinning technology behind the rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, is being explored for use in many other business areas. … In the event space, start-ups like Blocktix now offer a counterfeit-resistant solution for ticket distribution and ownership.”

by BizBash

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Brent is a member of the executive team for Opus Agency, an experience agency that delivers flagship programs for 13 of the top 20 global brands.

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