What’s trending in Licensing: Experience tech

Keep up with key trends in Licensing with 500px’s Senior Art Director, Karen Biilmann, as she analyzes common threads and current themes throughout our Contributors’ photography submissions. From generating interactive and collaborative experiences through tech to the influence tech has on our daily lives, here’s what’s trending in the 500px Licensing Collection.

The year 2020 is a year for tech. Companies are accelerating their pathways forward by integrating how they connect with their user base through mindful tech, diving deep into connectivity triggers, and the critical role innovation plays into human experience. The future is bright and fueling the partnership between experience and electronics. It cultivates relationships, empowers us to travel solo, and contributes to opportunity—with GenZ leading the charge and influencing brand direction and voice.

According to the Technology Vision Consumer Survey, 52% of consumers say that technology plays a prominent role and is ingrained in their daily activities, while 19% state that they view technology as an extension of themselves. This calls into question the idea of a “cyborg” future. We aren’t talking about a dystopian, Mad-Max-like society, but about the seamless integration of technology and its influence over accessibility, ease, and wellbeing—using technology as an extension of ourselves.

Apps and websites are being designed to help aid people in communication, whether it’s in the form of translations such as Google Translate, which is available on the web, iOS, and Android, in 103 different languages—52 of which continue to work offline, ideal for traveling off the grid. Other companies, such as Duolingo, are free and accessible to anyone with a mobile device or access to a computer. This company offers 94 different language courses in 23 different languages, supporting a global community of 300 million registered users, creating interactive and engaging learning experiences for their users.

We also see a number of companies jumping onto the wellness movement, integrating healthy and active lifestyle choices into how they represent themselves as a brand online. Having Apps that support their vision, and overarching brand goals, creates a widely accessible platform for people to integrate into their daily routines. Products, such as Fitbit, integrate themselves into wellness by offering virtual challenges that you can use to compete amongst your friends or other Fitbit users. You can keep track of your dietary needs or goals within the app, or learn breathing exercises to help you release stress and tension.

With technology now integrated into daily life from such a young age, it is no surprise that the pressure for companies to start integrating tech into how they engage and intertwine user experience into the products they sell is now a necessity instead of a nice to have. The learning curve previously associated with technology advancements merely become the next stage in evolution, creating demand for a more unique and innovative path forward.

This has caused leading businesses to work with customers to develop an “experience” within their products. Companies are bringing a critical focus on the people who use their products and how they interact with them, integrating experience through the process of collaboration. Last year, Netflix did this by presenting their audience with the concept of “control”, as they were able to make real-time decisions that would ultimately dictate the outcome in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Connectivity has also become a major trend throughout a number of companies, enabling users to feel less isolated and creating a movement of solo travel or global relocation with ease. Facebook recently launched Portal, a TV application that allows up to seven people to conference from the comfort of their home, embracing connectivity while enforcing the concept that no one is ever really that far away.

How does this play into commercial photography—shoot people using tech!

Consider how you integrate tech into your daily life and routines, and apply those scenarios to your shoots. With businesses focused on integrating tech into how they build long-lasting user relationships, the need for people using technology and different devices in a variety of scenarios has presented itself, and is something commercial photographers should embrace.

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