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What Does the Future of “Digital Experience” Look Like?

It’s no secret—our digital world is growing and evolving every day. Today there are more devices and data points than ever before, and it’s fundamentally changing the way we interact with the web.

In a presentation at the 2016 Acquia Engage conference, Preston So, Development Manager at Acquia Labs, discussed the international games in Rio de Janeiro as a good benchmark to track digital innovation. The 2016 games saw advancements like more sophisticated digital signage, live streaming, and interactive content on apps and websites.

But the 2020 games in Tokyo will be even more advanced. In preparation for the games, Japan’s government is experimenting with new tech innovations. Attendees at the Tokyo games may be escorted to their seats by robots, and judges will use sophisticated 3D laser technology to analyze and score an athlete’s performance. It’s only four years away, but the changes in the overall experience of the games will be astounding.

2020 might seem far away at the moment but changes to our everyday digital experiences are already starting to take root. As So says, our relationship with the web to-date has been very much pull-based—we search for information in a browser, and algorithms spit back the information we seek. In the future, we’ll see a shift to a push-based web. Relevant alerts and information will automatically be delivered to our phones, smartwatches and more at the moment we need it. And more and more, that information will be pushed to a “browser-less” platform—for example, an audio alert from your Amazon Echo device.

How can brands create these relevant, push-based experiences? It requires a lot of data analysis and management, a solid understanding of context and a sophisticated knowledge of new form factors (IoT devices) and functions (AR / VR).

To prepare for the future, Acquia has created Acquia Labs, a specialized R&D group focused on the future of digital experiences. Labs provides companies with access to—and an understanding of—what’s on the horizon of digital. What trends are driving digital forward, and how will those trends translate to different platforms and customer experiences?

So unveiled one of the first digital innovations from the Labs team at the 2016 Engage conference: a demo integration between the conference website (listing session times and information) and Amazon Echo. With a simple question to Alexa, the user receives all the information they need to stay organized and informed at the conference. It’s easy to imagine how a replication of this experience with any website can drastically improve our lives and the way we interact with digital content.

The team is hard at work on more innovations for the future of the web. I can only imagine what we’ll see by 2020.

Watch the full presentation, ACQUIA LABS: LIFE ON THE CUTTING EDGE, below:

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