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Digital Transformation Issue 23

David Telford, Vice President of Innovation

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I realized while preparing for this month’s article that I didn’t do my usual year-end cool gadgets edition back in December, so I thought I should do it this month. And maybe since we’re past the holidays, there may be some good deals going on! When I started looking at all the new stuff, I saw a lot of new players in existing tech like phone add-ons, Bluetooth speakers packed into everything, ear buds and headphones, fitness trackers, and all the usual stuff.

I also looked for new subscription services that, while not specifically tech-related, are still part of the digital economy, so I think that counts.  So here are a few new or coming tech items, and some interesting new subscriptions I am excited about.

Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality headsets are moving from the big space helmet sized devices to more lightweight headsets such as Magic Leap One, and even down to funky sunglasses-sized devices like Nreal Light. Practical applications for AR/VR/MR headsets are still in flux, in my mind, but if they can get the form factor close to a normal pair of glasses and incorporate great apps, the industrial and educational uses of these technologies could be significant. If you’re looking for entertainment, though, the Oculus Go is pretty darn cool, and the price is moving in the right direction for large scale consumption.

The thing I’m really jazzed about though is the new OLED technology, specifically where foldable screens are concerned. LG has a new roll-up screen coming out. Yup. Roll-up. No need to mount a big monitor to your wall, the screen rolls out of a box when needed. It rolls out of a box! How cool is that? Also, in the foldable screen world, The Samsung X is supposed to be coming out soon and rumors say it sports a foldable screen to make it both portable (a la mobile phone) and usable (a la tablet). This will be a game changer for mobile. Whether the X has this foldable screen or not is still unclear, but I expect we’re going to see the first generation of foldables mobiles (foldiles™?) this year.

In the subscription world, it seems everybody is jumping on the experience economy bandwagon. Along with all the subscription food services out there, you can now get subscription razors, subscription tooth brush accessories, subscription make-up, and even subscription socks! Subscription socks! I don’t even wear socks and I think that I want to get a subscription to get some. My favorite right now is Bouqs subscription flowers. If you’re like me and you’re always about 30 seconds away from doghouse, it’s a great way to get out and stay out. Every month fresh flowers show up with a little personalized note to remind your significant other that you’re thinking about them. My other new favorite is Flaviar where every quarter I get a sample of 3 different kinds of adult beverages to try. Whiskey for me, flowers for her, life is good.

I think 2019 is going to be a transformative year for technology and business in general. Innovation is no longer a nice-to have but rather a necessity for not just what you make and how you make it, but also how you sell it. I mean… it rolls out of a box! How will you be transformed this year?

Share your favorite tech sightings, or other stories at heydave@getgsi.com and follow me on Twitter @gsi_dave.

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