From banking to manufacturing, transportation to military warfare, education and entertainment, technology is shaping our daily lives.
With recent growth in machine learning and artificial intelligence, it is no doubt that the digital revolution is impacting the entertainment industry as service providers in the sector try to outdo each other to satisfy the growing entertainment needs of the consumers via various platforms and devices.
The increasing access to countless number of devices like smartphones, smart TVs, smart speakers, connected cars and connected homes, enables people to be online virtually anywhere and anytime, enjoying good music and television shows and soaps on-the-go (mobile).
With global Smartphone ownership having crossed the 3 billion mark in 2018 and moving towards 3.8 billion mark by end of 2021, according to Newzoo 2018 Global Mobile Market Report, technology is shaping human lives as consumers gradually embrace innovative solutions for their consumption more than ever.
Let’s examine six trendy technologies that could impact the future of entertainment, not just in Nigeria but the world over:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial Intelligence plays a significant role in recent digital revolution, as the technology is already being integrated into devices that we use daily.
Already, media and entertainment companies such as providers of Video-On-Demand (VOD) contents like Netflix, Hulu, Iroko TV, Showmax have started profiting from it in its most basic form – the algorithms that make recommendations according to your tastes. From which video to watch next, to the advertisement being served, frequent users of VOD services have seen AI in action.
But when fed with enough information, AI could one day create specialized movie posters or trailers that would speak directly to the individual, giving every user a unique experience to watch the advertised entertainment.
- Video Streaming
Video streaming is gradually becoming a norm in Nigeria as telecommunication companies and internet service providers attempt to win more data consumers with cheaper data packages almost on monthly basis. Data revenue is growing at an alarming rate, more than what most telecom companies make from voice calls.
As consumers continue to embrace VOD services, pay TV and OTT solutions for streaming videos, streaming is anticipated to also ignite the growth of digital distribution, thus creating more opportunities for independent artists who utilise YouTube to market their video contents such as Mark Angel, Broda Shaggi, Maraji, and Lasisi Elenu etc.
- Virtual Reality
Can you imagine being able to watch a show or movie, and actually being *IN* that show or movie? Imagine watching Titanic and seeing yourself LIVE there as if you were part of the cast. Experiencing the events from a 360-degree perspective? It sounds fun, right? – That’s what Virtual Reality brings….making movie actions become almost REAL.
Now, even the most basic smartphone can support a virtual reality application, just as you don’t even need an expensive headset to make use of the functionality – you can build your own out of cardboard.
- Smart TVs
Smart TVs (or connected TVs) have now granted us the power to control what’s showing on our Television screens at home, virtually from anywhere in the world without being physically present at our homes.
With the growing Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, even regular TVs can now be smartified using the stick technology or wireless TV dongles such as Chromecast, Amazon Fire, Miracast etc.
- Voice Technology
The use of “voice” technology for entertainment is increasing as consumers want to be able to say, “Play last night’s episode of ‘Game of Thrones’” and get it delivered immediately by Amazon Echo, connected to the Amazon Fire TV stick or via other connected dongle or stick devices such as Chromecast or even DSTV Explora.etc.
Though few in number, some Nigerian homes are now using Internet-connected entertainment devices such as smart TVs, smart audio systems alongside other smart home device.
As voice interactions become more common, courtesy of machine learning and AI, consumers preferences will shift towards smart home devices and streaming services that operate in tandem.
- Augmented Reality
Can you imagine being able to warn the human in the abandoned house ‘not to go into the basement’ or ‘leave the building as it may soon collapse’? Or help our lovelorn actor in a romantic-comedy movie choose the right flowers for his first date?
Just as Virtual Reality may insert us into our favourite show or movie, Augmented Reality could have us interact with that environment.
Recently, the invention of world’s first portable private AR theatre called “Dreamglass AIR” would make watching movies become more personal as you can enjoy cinematic experience right on your sofa or bed in the comfort of your home or office.
DreamGlass Air is a lightweight personal cinema that plays on its 100” AR screen anything from your smartphone/tablet (Android,iPhone,iPad), game consoles (PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch), Personal Computers (PC) & Mac laptops, and other electronic devices. It frees up your hands and shows everything in private, delivering the most comfortable viewing experience.
For now, technological transformation of the entertainment industry is still at its infancy level, though digital revolutions may force VOD providers and video streaming providers to begin to innovate so they can get some market share whenever consumers’ appetite for more tech-entertainment devices increase.
Which technology trends do you think will influence the world of entertainment in some years to come? You may share your thought with us in the comment section.