5 Interesting Ways Brands Used Emerging Technology In 2018

This article is part of our October 2018 series about the state of design and creativity. Click here for more.

Emerging technologies, such as voice, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and chatbots, are making it possible for companies to bring to life ideas, products, and programs that may have seemed impossible just a few years ago.

Below, we take a look at five examples of how companies have relied on emerging technologies in 2018 to bring to life experiences that were once only possible in movies.

1. Turning Cars Into Personal Assistants With Voice
Carmakers have been some of the early adopters of voice technology through integrations with Amazon’s Alexa and other voice device manufacturers. This year BMW took its voice strategy to the next level by building its own intelligent personal voice assistant, which will be found in car models starting in March. According to a statement from the luxury auto brand, “This will mark the start of a new era for the BMW Group in which drivers will increasingly be able to operate their car and access its functions and information simply by speaking.”

2. Empowering Artists With AI And Machine Learning
As part of its “Adobe Remix” program, Adobe (CMO.com’s parent company) invites members from the community to put their mark on the Adobe logo. The company’s most recent Adobe Remix project tapped Albania-based visual designer Vasjen Katro (aka Baugasm), who used style transfer technology powered by Adobe Sensei, the company’s AI and machine learning framework and set of intelligent services.

Style transfer technology lets artists automatically apply the structure and detail (read: color and lighting) of one image onto another—previously a tedious process. As a result, Katro was able to quickly transfer the style of van Gogh brushstrokes to the organic textures he used for his remix of the Adobe logo. He then combined digital and organic media to finish his work in Adobe Creative Cloud, using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Adobe After Effects. Katro’s use of AI to get the job done supports the findings from recent Adobe research, which showed that creatives will adapt AI to be more productive and move into new areas of creativity.

3. Making Medical Education More Immersive With AR
The Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University is using augmented reality headsets to allow students to study the human body in an interactive 3D format. This points to an oncoming transformation in healthcare. Today, the university is using the Hololens headset to educate the next generation of caregivers. Eventually, AR will be heading into exams and, ultimately, operating rooms.

4. Managing Candidate Pools With Intelligent Chatbots
Mya is an online-based recruiting firm that helps companies attract, engage, and hire Millennial talent. The face of the company is an intelligent chatbot named “Mya,” who manages candidate pools. Mya can actually “talk” to thousands of candidates at once through text message, Facebook, Skype, email, or via chat. Her role is in the prescreen portion of the hiring process. She responds to FAQs, delivers application progress updates, and provides tips and guidance to candidates.

5. Bridging The Online/In-Store Divide With Smart Shelving
Kroger announced earlier this year that it would partner with Microsoft Azure to implement smart shelving into its stores. Kroger EDGE (which stands for Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment) will process data generated by customer actions on and around the grocer’s shelves in real time.


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