Recent rumours originating from Facebook’s new hardware innovation lab, Building 8, are raising eyebrows around the world.
The Building 8 team are said to be working on several projects that will allow Facebook to directly compete with other tech giants like Apple and Google in the hardware space.
No details are available on the exact nature of the products as of yet, but apparently there are four different teams working on augmented reality, cameras, drones, and – evocatively – brain-scanning. Some are going so far to describe this as neuroscience-based ‘mind-reading’ technology. We’ll see.
It’s exciting stuff, for sure. But what do these rumours mean for the rest of us, particularly marketers and communicators? Firstly, this development arc is a natural evolution of Facebook’s original mission: the creation of connected experiences. As the platform continues to evolve, users are constantly seeking new and creative ways to harness its growing power. By giving these hungry audiences hardware that takes the integration they want into the real world, Facebook will further solidify its growth and its reputation.
This exciting new focus for Facebook is also good news for us. It shows that broad thinkers – people who can think across several channels and envision an experience that spans offline to online and back again – are becoming more valuable. As other companies seek to follow Facebook’s lead, the value this kind of thinking will only increase.
With this thinking, we see a new type of talent emerging: the ‘techno-creative’. These are the people who begin their work with questions like: “What do we want technology to do?”. In most companies today, the data, technology and communications teams sit in different departments. Marketing and communication teams may have productive brainstorming sessions, but they do not usually see the world through technological eyes, nor do they generally have tech people in the same room as them.
As the world waits for the next Building 8 announcement, we are reminded that techno-creatives will become increasingly important to these disparate teams, bringing them together and helping them embrace creativity, data and technology solutions at the same time.
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