Inter-Covid Roadmap : Media & Technology

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category - covid-19
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Trends
sector - media & technology
Following a year of doom-scrolling and Zoom fatigue, technology brands are now innovating for a phygital future. Our free Inter-Covid Roadmap report explores in detail the opportunities that now lie ahead for media and technology

Read an excerpt from the report below or click here to download the full report featuring all six sectors.

Media and technology brands went from being entertainers and enablers to lifelines in 2020, with screen time surging across the globe. In last year’s report, we highlighted the rise of isolated raves and civic media organisations battling Covid-19 misinformation, but we are now seeing the development of solution-focused tools and innovations that will remain popular parts of everyday life.

As screen time increased for remote workers and home-schooled children, escapism online has boomed. Consumers spent an estimated £126bn ($175bn, €144bn) on video games in 2020 and the market is expected to grow to almost £157bn ($218bn, €180bn) by 2023 (source: Newzoo). This is buoyed in part by the new markets for both Mundane and Activism Gaming, demonstrating how the pandemic has created the need for both passivity and action.

While the West remains focused on digitisation, the African continent is experiencing its own technological revolution in the wake of the pandemic. During the first lockdown of 2020, telecommunications grew by 18.1% in Nigeria, contributing 14.3% to the country’s total GDP (source: Nairametrics), and mobile healthcare continues to boom, from self-diagnosis WhatsApp chatbots to smartphones that can read temperatures.

We should be prepared for a backlash against excessive screen time, however. ‘We will want to be liberated from screens,’ says Adam Steel, strategic foresight editor at The Future Laboratory. ‘But the interaction and the digitisation of entertainment will remain, woven into the fabric of our physical environment and providing us with greater access to people and places than before.’

The full report is now available to download for free below. Members of our trends intelligence platform, LS:N Global, get full access to all of our trend reports 3 months before anyone else. Click here to find out more.

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Published by:

16 August 2021

Author: Holly Friend, Rachel Wilson and Gursharan Panesar

Image: The Uncensored Library by Minecraft and Reporters Without Boarders

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Left: Digital Cockpit by Samsung and Harman. Right: The Factory in Fortnite by OMA and Manchester International Festival.

Media & Technology Opportunities

News outlets: To combat doom-scrolling and the detrimental mental health effects of an overwhelmingly negative news cycle, the internet is being imbued with a new sense of positivity. Sites such as Covid Good News and MadHappy’s The Local Optimist point to a future when people will actively go online to regain a sense of optimism.

Entertainment: As we step closer to a new reality of real-world socialising, Gen Alpha are already a step ahead. For young people, the metaverse is a digital playground where they can interact, socialise and build entire worlds. Nine-year-old YouTube influencer Ryan Kaji recently opened Ryan’s World, a virtual world in Roblox for his fans to congregate.

WorkplaceTechnology brands are racing to innovate new concepts to aid our remote working future. Electronics company OPPO has unveiled a smartphone that can transform into a tablet to enhance office productivity, while Samsung is exploring a mobility concept that turns cars into roaming workspaces.

Digital experienceDigital twins of places and spaces will continue to enable people to explore, engage with and evolve their real-life surroundings. The Virtual Online Museum of Art has launched the world’s first fully interactive virtual museum. Similarly, the Virtual Factory is a digital manifestation of Manchester arts centre The Factory, albeit living in Fortnite.

‘The video games market is expected to grow to almost £157bn ($218bn, €180bn) by 2023’
Source: Newzoo

Lab Notes

: With news fatigue a side effect of consumers’ increased screentime, consider using your content to interrogate and engage in real conversations about world issues, rather than glossing over them completely

: Virtual socialising is not a temporary stop-gap until real-life socialising is possible again. For the next generation, the metaverse is the future of connections, and brands must think of these spaces as integral as real-world regions

: Brand managers should see gaming worlds as an untapped resource instead of a new frontier to be conquered. Harness gamification and digital twins to allow consumers to interact with your brand in an omnipresent space, even when it exists again as a physical entity

: Technological innovations will also transform how we work remotely, and as employers look for ways to boost productivity out of the office, the value of focus will become ever-more apparent

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