I grew up during an interesting time for the internet. When I was 10, the internet was whatever content America Online put on my home page. I didn't quite know what to make of it. I knew I wanted to use it but I didn't know why. I was 10.
The next 20 years would fly by; AIM, Napster, Geocities, MySpace.
I began to count on the fact that technology would change, and usually for the better.
Now I'm almost 30, working in technology, and excited about the changing world around me. New products pop up every day on sites like ProductHunt and BetaList. My computer keeps getting faster and my games more realistic. Soon I'll be able to have a real lightsaber battle against Darth Vader or lead a squad of mercenaries where I have to physically duck projectiles.
Technology Gets Better
QR codes are a great example of a powerful yet misunderstood technology that would influence the development of arguably superior technologies like NFC and BLE. It's impossible to mention QR codes these days without looks of confusion or disgust.
Taking a step back, QR codes aim to solve a huge problem when it comes to mobile; what's the easiest way to get data from outside of my device, inside of my device. They're often used to redirect people to web pages or prepopulate contact information. They work, just not as easily as one would hope. Device manufactures also contributed to the mediocre user experience by not bundling the technology with their native cameras. Overall, it's not the best experience and we can do better. NFC is a step in the right direction. Still requires user interaction, but devices have been better at integrating the technology. It's still very misunderstood although incredibly powerful.
Now look at BLE or "Beacon" technology. For the last few years its been one of the buzziest pieces of technology in marketing. There are however a few huge barriers preventing marketers from jumping on board. The main issue is that it relies on a technology that only a fraction of the community is even aware of, Bluetooth. As fast as BLE rose to fame a new guy on the block is looking to take the crown called WiFi Aware. It removes the barrier by working with something we are all very familiar with, WiFi. It will be easier to both implement and install.
The Marketing Technology Landscape
One of my favorite blogs is ChiefMarTech. Marketing Technology is a fun thing to watch right now because of all of the solutions out there and how fast they are evolving. One of the many awesome things you will find on that blog is an infographic of the Marketing Technology landscape.
The amazing thing about this graphic is that it was also created in 2014 and has nearly doubled in size since then. The list is by no means all inclusive but it does give you a good idea of all of the options out there. For every great solution there are 50 just like it with their own spin.
Net Neutrality set the stage for what's become a competitive marketplace for marketing technology solutions. Competition for them means options for us and if you don't like what you see just wait a few months.