Guests of RESETª 002 experiencing the Spring/Summer 2018 virtual reality presentation from Sid Neigum.

The early adoption phase is nearly over for emerging technology such as virtual reality and voice-activation features as Adobe predicts the top technologies that will enhance and elevate experiences this coming year.

Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s voice-enabled assistants are set to get much busier this year. Adobe analysts point to the integration of Alexa into other non-Amazon properties like smart homes, cars and home appliances that signal consumers are ready and willing to engage with the technology in daily touch points. “It’s safe to say, ‘now we’re talking,’ as voice technology grows in adoption by both consumers and brands,” said Giselle Abramovich, senior content strategist at, an Adobe property.

“Voice assistants create a more compelling level of interactivity between users and brands because they leverage a more organic form of communication,” said Mark Asher, director of corporate strategy at Adobe, in a report detailing the company’s top expectations for 2018.

According to Abramovich, machine learning will spread from analytics — though consumer data will become more granular and segmented — to content creation, too. “At Adobe, our viewpoint is that AI will amplify human creativity and intelligence — not replace it,” said Abhay Parasnis, Adobe’s chief technology officer during a company summit. “It will free you from mundane tasks and help you bring out that unique creative expression that only humans can do.”

The actual relevance of chatbots and their staying power was a hot-button topic in 2017. Adobe analysts deem the tool as a pertinent tool for consumer engagement. This will likely increase and innervate to act as the ultimate customer service agent, says the analysts. “Chatbots could actually remind users via Google Assistant, Alexa, or Sonos that it’s time to reorder,” said the analysts. “The consumer can initiate interest in this type of communication, and then the brand becomes a concierge, or virtual assistant.”

Two of the newer technologies — facial recognition and biometrics — stand to monumentally increase security measures. “Consumers are already enjoying some of the benefits of facial recognition through brands including Apple, which launched the technology as part of its iPhone X announcement back in September,” said Abramovich. The report also said facial recognition will provide opportunities to gauge shopper satisfaction.

Meanwhile biometrics extend a host of new assets for the health-care field, but they also provide new engagement touch points for entertainment and retail. The analysts emphasized how 20th Century Fox used biometrics to track viewer responses when watching the film, “The Revenant.” Consider how this might be adapted for viewing a runway show, YouTube Tutorial, or other marketing schemes.

Last virtual reality will continue to rise the ranks in popular technology. Abramovich said as consumers will increasingly look to engage with brands and retailers on demand, necessitating technology such as virtual reality for enhanced shopping experiences.

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