In a world where billions of pieces of content are produced and shared online every day, it can be intimidating to try and stay ahead of the game; blazing new trails into unknown territory while trying to stay relevant enough to be found by an audience as they wade through a proverbial ocean of content.
In recent years and with some help from Google, marketing strategy has shifted toward the Brian Clark school of thought, where content is the cornerstone of success; however, for content to remain key, it needs an audience to survive. Without one, content risks getting lost in the information slipstream and floating off into some digital void of obscurity.
However, the technological advances that are on the horizon – for both content creators and consumers in terms of content creation, curation, discover-ability, share-ability, interactivity – are moving toward a point when information may no longer need to be searched.
With technology set to become more tailored to individual users, content relevancy will be more crucial than ever. As these technologies become more advanced in the coming years, how will it change the way content is produced and consumed?
What Do You Mean, ‘Search’?
Search engines like Google will soon bring users the relevant content they want before they even know they want it. It’s called anticipatory computing, which allows content to be discovered by the engine based on user relevancy and context; essentially “learning” from the aggregation of user information.
The emergence of anticipatory computing – one of the pillars supporting the current and future design and evolution of the Web and the user experience (UX) – is crucial to the equation that is content discovery. Intel has set aside $100 million for a proprietary ‘perceptual computing’ initiative. The ultimate goal is to continue making our lives easier.
Oh! The Humanity (of New Technology)
The human factor is at the forefront of these new technologies and developers are keen to integrate a more human experience by including very human-centric properties such as voice, touch and gesture.
Voice-recognition tech developer Nuance – responsible for Apple’s Siri, Google Now and the popular Dragon software series – has been tapped by Expect Labs to work on their unprecedented iPad app, MindMeld, which can analyze a conversation of up to eight people, deciphering relevant and contextual information from the interactions of the speakers and using said information to perform anticipatory web searches.
Computers may not be able to read our minds yet, but developers can expect to stay quite busy for some time as they continue to solve that problem.
Data, Data Everywhere
Big data – specifically, metadata – is the key to making anticipatory computing work the way it is envisioned. Google Glass is designed to not only allow users to find, create and share content, but to also “tag” people, places and things here in the real world, creating metadata sets that will “map” the physical world in the digital realm. Eventually, the line between the real and the virtual will be blurred into a single, seamless user experience.
Google Glass Will Augment Your Reality
Google Glass and the “Google Now” feature incorporate anticipatory computing based on the user information that is collected, as various pieces of content are searched, viewed, posted and shared. Content takes on an entirely new meaning as Glass incorporates what some are calling a fourth dimension with its augmented reality (AR) display.
Glass will also play an important role in understanding how users interact using AR, which could lead to better AR experiences as the content and technology evolves. The possibilities with Glass are limited only by imagination and depending on how well-received AR experiences are among users, Glass could emerge as the front runner in regards to managing the fire hose of content.Glass users are able to create and share content in the blink-of-an-eye or tap of the temple, an enticing thought to all the aspiring content producers out there. This will allow users to capture any moment to share with the world (or at least their social networks) using a multitude of Glassware apps. When coupled with Glass’s augmented reality system, the forthcoming user-generated content will be unlike anything that we have experienced before, as it comes directly from the user’s point of view. Combine Glass with Google+ Hangouts and you have hands-free multi way video calling that makes it easy to include others in your mobile conversation.
Stay Relevant, My Friend
Ultimately, content needs users and vice versa. For content to stay relevant today and into the future, attention must be paid to developments in content creation, distribution and exhibition; technological advances such as augmented reality, anticipatory computing engines, wearable technologies (e.g. Google Glass, iWatch, etc.), and, of course, the evolution of consumption. In the future, content creators must know their audience(s) more intimately, as users will automatically be given the content based on their personal preferences. But wait, I know…you already knew that. ;-)
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