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Innovation: “The time has come to put people at the heart of our action”

Innovation: “The time has come to put people at the heart of our action”

We are living in a technological age. Technology is part of our everyday life, at work, at home, in healthcare and even in our most private relationships. So where do people fit in to all this?

Artificial Intelligence (AI), virtual reality, 5G networks and nano and biotechnologies all hit the headlines, creating both hopes and fears amongst the general public. But another fundamental revolution is discretely taking place: the consideration of human beings, or users, and their interaction with these new technologies. Three tendencies are determining the future of our relations with new technologies, and they will have to be taken into consideration in the future:

– transparency. We already talk of transparent networks, transparent technology, or calm technology. The idea is simple, but difficult to make real. How can all the existing frictions between technology and human beings be eliminated? IA, an optimised and virtualised connection and a user-oriented design (a tautology that will certainly become obsolete in the 21st century) are the keys to this rather magical and, paradoxically, more natural future. Try to imagine an environment that is absolutely fluid and smart, that makes our behaviour and actions easier through anticipation, without any interfaces, applications or remote controls

– immersion. Or how can reality accommodate more of the virtual, in order to become a mixed reality. The boundaries between our tangible reality, enhanced reality (information, visuals, interactions) and virtual reality, which is purely imaginary and artificial, are fading away as the devices that industry offers progress. Controlling the rules that apply to immersion and learning that are necessary for this process of hybridisation are one of the most exciting challenges that touches every aspect of our lives. E-commerce or shopping in the high street? A movie at home or at the cinema? These questions could become meaningless. Mixed realities will have a major impact, but our capacity to adapt and to accept them will determine their success.

– emotion. Analysing and measuring our emotions in real time, using our brain waves to interact without any movements or words. The massive processing of data and the progress of sensors and measuring tools are opening up the way towards significant progress in this complex area. While humans may be rational beings, there is nothing more uncontrollable and unpredictable than their emotions and the effects of their emotions. The control, or at least the understanding, of the mechanisms behind emotions can speed up or delay the progress of these two trends and the related technologies. We have already seen the first unexpected effects of the first reports broadcast in virtual reality, which have revealed a spectacular increase in the empathy and the emotional engagement of the viewer.

These three trends all converge towards one certitude: the time has come for professional innovators to put the human being/user/customer/citizen at the heart of their action. This is the approach that we adopted for the design of {dive}:event. When you do not have a miracle solution, there is nothing better than a meeting of open minds, from different backgrounds, to share and test their ideas, the future of the project and the future of the game, while taking the revolutions in shopping, e-health and story telling into consideration.

The Expert's eye Yan Claeyssen

Technology must work for people, and not the reverse. The techno-marketing devices that are emerging today can enable consumers to increase their purchasing power and enjoy more services and experiences. Methodologies like Design Thinking are particularly well suited to this. They require the designers to really put themselves in the users’ shoes and to come up with technologies that meet their needs and are suited to their usages in concrete terms. These methodologies are rarely used by advertisers in France, but we can still hope that they will progress and give birth to a resolutely human-centric technology.

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