Meet The Future: Meaningful experiences need to be real - that's the challenge for tech

Researcher and innovator Dr. Beau Lotto has noted that experiences must occur in the real world in order to be meaningful, during his keynote speech at event tech conference Meet The Future at Central Hall in London today (9 June).

Dr. Beau Lotto delivered his keynote speech at Meet The Future today (9 June)
Dr. Beau Lotto delivered his keynote speech at Meet The Future today (9 June)
"Truly shared experiences have to happen with people or brands we care about. They have to be in the physical world – that’s how to create meaning," he said.

Lotto explained therein lies the problem with technology, and he posed the question: "How can technology-based experiences be meaningful?"

He provided three tips for facilitating meaningful technology experiences:

1. Understand your audience – create a space for good questions.

2. Don’t ask who, what and where questions, ask why questions – why do we do what we do?

3. Create technology that lives ‘in the space between’

Lotto explained how this notion of meaningful technology experiences and the concept of ‘in the space between’ led him to develop the smartphone app, Traces. The app does not completely remove people from the real world because it plays in the augmented reality space rather than that of virtual reality.

"The content exists not in your phone but in the real world," said Lotto.

How it works:

  • Smartphone users download the app.
  • Brands, event organisers and more create a message, which they can 'hide' wherever they please. This could be a particular space within a venue, a retail store, or in the case of experiential, the location where the brand activation is set to take place. 
  • People must visit a particular location to unlock the Trace.
  • When they reach the location, they will see a drop of water floating in the distance, which can be seen through a smartphone screen.
  • Only once they catch the Trace with their smartphone will people be able to unlock and view the content inside.

"Brands can benefit from this because it rewards people who go into a location. A lot of people are using it not for digital content but the space itself," said Lotto. "A lot of brands are also using Traces for mobile web pages."

Traces can hold various different types of content including video, pictures, sound and music.  

More: In pictures: Central Hall hosts Meet The Future technology event

Event Awards 2015

Why not enter the 'Event Technology' category for this year's Event Awards, taking place at the Eventim Apollo in London on 14 October?

The deadline for award entries is 18 June 2015. To find out how to enter, visit the Event Awards website. For the latest updates on the event, follow the Event Awards on Twitter at @EventAwards

To find out more about sponsorship opportunities, email Danielle Chapman or call (020) 8267 8010.

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