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Digital Driven Innovation Set to Adapt How Business, Consumers, Governments and Charities Connect with each other

Wearable fundraising, smart bras, e-Government and ambient Bluetooth consumer messaging all set to trend in 2014 according to Mindshare.

Friday, December 20, 2013, LONDON – Digital technology will continue to provide new connections, revenue streams and communications channels for brands, consumers, charities and businesses according to leading global media agency network, Mindshare.

Wearable technology and particularly health-related devices, have finally become affordable, accurate and accessible, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the internet of things. Sony has filed a patent for the ‘smart wig’ which will be able to process data and communicate wirelessly with other external devices while Microsoft has developed a ‘smart bra’ with sensors that monitor heart and skin activity to provide an indication of mood levels. Next year is set to be the year of the ‘internet of ‘weird’ things’.

In 2014 we will also see consumers receiving messages by BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) with companies such as Sonic Notify and Apple already leveraging ambient sound to reach consumers at the key purchase decision-making times. Meanwhile, Mindshare and Shazam have launched AUDIO+ – a partnership to allow brands to leverage their investment in sound and not just through radio.

There will also be an increase in the popularity of Apps such as Snapchat and Wickr that enable users to establish multimedia conversations that erase themselves after a given period of time. The flirtatious and secretive nature of these Apps is driving adoption and will prompt more companies to take advantage of the technology.

Norm Johnston, Chief Digital Officer, Mindshare Worldwide, is an expert in marketing and believes that next year will see a number of unexpected developments. He said: “Expect 2014 to be the year when the internet of things gets pretty weird.

“At Mindshare, we believe that everything begins and ends with media, and that is underlined by the hugely ambitious projects global organisations are working on to launch in the next 12 months. Companies have to get more and more creative in order to capture the attention of consumers. That means that they will try to find new touch points, new technology and new strategies to capture the imagination of increasingly discerning audiences.”

Charities will also benefit from technology, with apps such as Charity Miles, where consumers earn money for their favourite charity by tracking their fitness, set to grow. Consumers like something for nothing, so interacting with brands and getting a value in return will become important – and a great way for charities to raise cash.

World leaders and governments will become more adaptive, embracing technology even more to engage with voters. Already in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron and some of his cabinet tweet and announce new initiatives over Twitter and in Germany police use an app that detects Neo-Nazi lyrics in music.

But while there will be great advances in 2014, for some of the more established companies, things may not be such plain sailing.

Norm Johnston added: “There’s no doubt that 2013 was the year of the social and search giants; record revenues, IPOs and future predictions of huge growth.

“Watch out as 2014 will be the year of the guys who actually sell stuff. Amazon and Alibaba lead the field and e-commerce in China alone is worth $1.4 trillion. Alibaba, fuelled by Taobao and T-Mall, has become the world’s largest online retailer, selling more than $170bn in goods in 2012, more than eBay and Amazon combined.

“These guys will look at leveraging their huge scale and reaching into the world of digital advertising – and when they get it right, Google watch out.”

Six trends to look out for in 2014:

1. The rise of the sharing ephemeral

Next year we will see in an increase in the popularity of apps like Snapchat and Wickr that enable users to establish multimedia conversations that erase themselves after a given period of time. The flirtatious and secretive nature of these apps s driving adoption and where a few heave led, expect plenty more to follow.

2. Adaptive government

David Cameron tweets. Obama had a social media cave. Even the German police are developing technology (an App that detects Neo-Nazi lyrics in music). Governments and political parties are beginning to switch on to the fact that they need to embrace technology to remain relevant and in 2014 we’re going to see more tech led NPD from governments worldwide.

3. The Internet of weird things
Wearable technology, particularly health-related devices have finally become affordable, accurate and accessible, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the internet of things. Samsung has patented ‘smart wig’, Microsoft has developed a ‘smart bra’. Expect 2014 to be the year when the internet of things gets pretty weird.

4. Sound takes centre stage
Companies such as Sonic Notify and Apple are leveraging ambient sound using BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) to deliver a message to consumers when they are at the key purchase decision making time. Mindshare and Shazam have launched AUDIO+ - a partnership to allow brands to leverage their investment in sound. Brands are switching back to the marketing power of sound – it’s just not radio.

5. Fitness + Charity + Technology + Fashion = kerching
We all liked to wear Livestrong bracelets as a show of our support (and coolness) to others, but what if it actually raised money at the same time? Apps such as Charity Miles - where consumers earn money for their favourite charity by using the app to track fitness (ad supported) - will become more popular. Consumers like something for nothing, so interacting with brands and getting a value in return will become important, and a great way for charities to raise cash.

6. Google, Facebook, Twitter…beware
2013 was the year of the social and search giants; Record revenues, IPOs and future predictions of huge growth. Watch out as 2014 will be the year of the guys who actually sell stuff. Amazon and Alibaba lead the field. E-commerce in China alone is worth $1.4 trillion and Alibaba, fuelled by Taobao and T-Mall, has become the world’s largest online retailer, selling more than $170bn in goods in 2012, more than eBay and Amazon combined. Don’t expect these guys to not be looking at leveraging their huge scale and reach into the world of digital advertising – and when they get it right, Google watch out.