Daily Learnings from SXSW 2018 - The Beginning of the end of Mobile Phones
Greetings from the FUSE team attending this year’s South By South West (SXSW) in Austin. Laurie Dillon-Schalk, Nicole Gallucci, Adam Bleau, Aleena Mazhar and Stephen Brown are conquering the massive amounts of digital and trend sessions and look forward to reporting all our learnings. For these blog posts, we’ll just give you just the highlights… but we’d be happy to walk you through our consolidated findings upon our return (if you’re nice to us). This year feels bigger than others from a massive shift perspective (versus the cool buzz factor)… get ready for the ride.
2018 is the Beginning of the end of Mobile Phones. Yes, we agree that this might sound unimaginable to you. And it seems unlikely for the five of us at this moment, as we walk around SXSW witnessing hordes of people with their eyes fixated on their mobile phones like zombies. (Even in the session lineups, everyone is glued to their mobiles instead of engaging in conversation with the person next to them). Yet when Amy Webb, author of the 2018 Emerging Tech Trends Report, spoke about key trends we need to be vigilant about, she clearly demonstrated the data is pointing exactly to this: mobile phones are slowly losing their anchor position.
As we all know, the advancements in smart phones has been massive over the past 20 years. But this trend has peaked and the data confirms that we are now seeing a leveling-off phase. In their current incarnation, smart phones, are not actually getting that much smarter or more advanced. Consumers are no longer as quick to pull the trigger on the newest, hottest model—and sales figures are showing it.
Now, don’t mix up society’s incessant need to remain connected at all times with this trend alert… the need to connect remains constant and strong. It’s the device itself as we currently know it – rectangular, pocket-sized and sleek – that has a questionable future, not the information and access that it provides.
So how will we zombies stay connected if the mobile phone goes away? Think wearables - glasses, watches, Fitbits and things that haven’t been conjured yet. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about a screenless future.