Driverless cars, robots conducting high-level surgeries powered by virtual reality headsets, ultra-fast connectivity presenting unfathomable opportunities; the future of technology is bright. But it’s also incredibly seamless, intuitive and more connected than you could have ever imagined. Rather than dream about all the possibilities our near present holds, we wanted a little more certainty about what lies ahead and where we as individuals fit in all this. So, we went straight to someone at the forefront of it all and spoke to Martin Brown, Head of Strategic Partner Solutions, Enterprise Mobility at Samsung Electronics Australia.
There’s already a great deal of discussion around the rate of technological change and how it might affect who we are as humans, but something that seems to be lacking from our day to day conversations is the role we, as everyday people, actually play in defining the future of technology.
‘Technology and innovation only truly succeeds when it plays a meaningful role in the life of the user’.
This is what Martin Brown infers when he’s speaking about how technology is becoming far more responsive to people’s lives and needs than ever before. “Some of the best outcomes we can provide people with, come about after carefully listening and considering the needs of those people over time,” he says.
It’s a refreshing contrast – to imagine that our personal behaviours, wants, interests, even speculations, have a significant power to influence the future world – rather than the other way around as it’s so often perceived.
Meaning that devices, machinery and systems we use and value ultimately serve some kind of purpose. When you download an app, when you sync your phone to your car, or even when you simply rearrange the categories in your email inbox, your present involvement at some capacity is defining your own tech future.
Of course, this is all makes sense once properly considered. Our human desire to be more connected has led us to 5G – the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications – and more intuitive and capable devices. Our unending hunger for experiences has brought us to wearable devices, virtual and augmented reality. The high valuation we place on our health has delivered us 3D printed biomaterials and genome sequencing. Collectively, it seems we are well and truly the masters of our technological universe.
And, companies like Samsung seem to get this and have done so for generations. Martin advises that it’s critical for brand leaders in this space to understand and anticipate to the best of their ability how they can respond to the constantly changing needs of users.
“Samsung’s innovations are all based on years of evolution and revolution. We pour a huge amount of energy and resources into perfecting these technologies but perhaps most importantly, they have been based on acutely listening to the needs of customers and refining technology that best suits those needs.”
This type of tech cultivation is both broad and complex, stemming from everyday use cases, such as new and improved hardware like the Galaxy Note9, and all the way over to more collaborative work, like a clinical trial investigating VR’s potential for acute pain management, where Samsung work with a solution partner who may be specialised in a specific area.
“We work closely with our solution partners to ensure that when we apply our technology to respond to the needs of the person who will use our products, we do so in a meaningful way that is based on an appreciation for how we can best drive a positive outcome.”
Samsung’s current collaboration with the St Vincent’s Hospital Department of Pain Medicine and UNSW Art and Design will see patients take part in a clinical trial that will investigate virtual reality (VR) for acute pain management. The trial will use Samsung’s smartphones and Gear VR technology to evaluate their potential use as a treatment for acute pain. The study will also investigate potential side effects, cost-efficiency, toxicity, and ability to reduce risk of opioid dependency.
Martin explains that Samsung are stepping up the game when it comes to collaboration with customers and partners, they want to be a part of the change as much as they create it. “We’re not simply telling our partners which product is best, but working together to solve the problems they are facing and arming them with the solutions they need to take on the industry challenges of the future”.
It’s obvious that at present, as individuals and a community, we can do more than ever before. Everything is connected, in tune to your unique needs and wants and you have the ability to not only define how you live in the present but to also inform how you integrate technology in your life in the future.