The future’s bright, the future’s an orange cloud

Last week’s e-consultancy Future of Digital Marketing conference proved to be another inspirational day. Apparently we can’t invent a future if it looks reasonable. It needs to look unreasonable or it’s simply the present.

What we did imagine as an unreasonable future some years ago has become a reality – think back to the image of Tom Cruise in Minority Report with his gestural interfaces and you’ll get my point.

It seems we’re edging ever closer to living in the actual Matrix itself!

Look how connectivity and the web has forced a reimagination of everything. The music industry a great example.  I used to spend hours browsing in HMV on a Saturday afternoon spending most of my spare cash on building my CD collection. And now those CDs gather dust in my garage and I get all my music from Spotify.

We’ve already seen a move of almost everything into the Cloud – content, data, information, media – and this trend shows no sign of stopping.

As futurist Gerd Leonhard says: the digital default is coming. What nonsense that as Marketeers we still talk about offline and online as if consumers do this (“darling, I just had a great offline experience seeing an advert at the bus stop”).

What excited and scared me in equal measure is the idea that the technologies we used to direct are now directing themselves, and our dependency on them is more acute than ever. Ultra-smart virtual assistants, digital butlers, cars that drive themselves, bands you wear on your wrist that tells you when to stop drinking coffee today.

It’s feeling a lot like I Robot. I only hope Will Smith’s on hand in case it goes ugly.