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3 Key Takeaways from Street Fight LDS15

Our team has had a week to digest all of the sessions from Street Fight #LDS15 and here are the topics we’re still thinking about.

1. Unnecessary Complexity

Amber Case, the self-proclaimed cyborg anthropologist, began her session with a simple question, “Do you really need alerts from your refrigerator?”

If she had asked an audience that question five years ago, she may have been laughed off the stage. But today, consumers CAN receive alerts from their refrigerators, as well as many other household items, if  the items are equipped with necessary sensors. The problem, states Case, is that many of these sensors are not compatible with each other.

She believes that companies need to work together to build connected home devices in order to avoid what she called, “the dystopian kitchen of the future.” This dystopian kitchen, she stated, would create unnecessary complexities for consumers, and the lack of compatibility within the “connected kitchen” would essentially negate its intended usefulness.

2. “133 billion, 32 gigabyte iPads”

That’s how much data we’re going to create this year, according to Stefan Weitz, Director of Search at Microsoft. He said that if you were to stack all of those iPads up, you’d create three Great Walls of China. THREE. Even more remarkable, he expects we’ll double this amount of new data in 2016.

What’s the source of all of this new data? According to Weitz, it is the growth of artificial intelligence, or Weitz’s preferred term, “machine learning.”

Weitz talked about how machines can teach themselves about the world without being programmed by consumers. In the near future, Weitz believes search systems will supply consumers with targeted search results before they even know what they want. Is this freaky or fascinating? Probably both, but this has incredible implications for companies trying to predict consumer behavior.  Companies will have to keep a close eye on this area of potential opportunity. 

3. “Privacy is Bull#$%!”

According to Chris Dancy, “The Most Connected Human on Earth.”

He began his session by projecting his income, address, license plate, and other valuable “private” information on two huge screens to illustrate his view of the current state of privacy, or the lack thereof. Talk about an attention grabber!

Dancy described privacy as, “…something you create when you have enough money to believe no one can touch you.” While you may not agree with his opinion, it’s definitely thought provoking. For example, think about an app you recently downloaded. Did you sign up through a Facebook, Twitter, or Google account? If so, the app developer now knows a great deal about you, and a lot about your friends, family members, connections, and followers, without ever having to ask you a question.

As frightening as this new normal might be, younger generations seem to be adjusting to the new era of reduced privacy. Many people are willing to sacrifice their privacy as long as what they receive in return is perceived to be of equal or greater value than the personal information they shared. It’s up to companies to make their services worth the share and consumers to be aware of what they are sharing.