This week, the Wavebid staff takes stock of the latest consumer technology trends. The quest: decide how a sampling of these technologies are applicable to the auction industry. Take note!
The longer technology exists, the more it evolves at an accelerated rate. In fact, there are many formulas and laws that explain these phenomena. Think about the implication of Moore’s Law on computer chips, for example. Or, check out this Newsweek article from 2016. The article highlights a curated selection of consumer technology trends since 1975. You can see just how quickly technology has accelerated recently!
In 2017, the trend continues. For example, virtual reality is now cheap enough for individual consumers! Wearable technological devices (e.g., Fitbits and Apple Watches), have become normalized in mainstream culture. So, in this article, we’re going to discuss a few technologies. We’re taking a stab at how we think they will affect the Auction Industry in the months and years to come.
Virtual reality (VR) is an interactive, immersive experience. The user wears a headset in order to interact with a simulated environment. Currently, there are two versions of VR that are available for consumer purchase. The first type works with your phone. First, you slide your phone into a headset. Then, the device uses two sensors that already exist in your phone in order to simulate head movement and sense of direction within the virtual environment (VE). These sensors are called the accelerometer and gyroscope.
The second type is powered by a computer. In order to use this type of VR, you’d purchase a headset such as the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Then, you’d plug it into your computer in order to power the device. This type of VR technology is considered exceptionally powerful and immersive. It allows the user to explore more of their physical environment while immersed in the VE.
Hypothetically, if VR streaming becomes more reliable, VR technology could be used to create immersive webcasts of your in-person auction. However, we currently don’t see this technology having a substantial effect on the bidding portion of the auction industry anytime soon. Instead, we believe that these consumer technology trends will most benefit the real estate sector of the auction industry. A camera that can capture VR(360) video will enhance real estate walk-throughs. This in turn allows you to engage bidders in a new and exciting way. You will be able to put bidders directly inside the property in order to view it. This is regardless of the actual distance between bidder and property. It’s the super-powered version of 360 walk-through videos that some companies already use for online marketing!
Much like VR, drones are emerging consumer technology trends that could really enhance marketing for those selling real estate. In the simplest terms, a drone is an unmanned aircraft that can fly without human control. It gets more complex from there, but what you as an auctioneer need to know is that drones are becoming increasingly cheaper for individual consumers.
The devices available for consumers could more accurately be labelled as remotely controlled heli-devices. These devices often come equipped with cameras that can allow to you to get photos and videos you normally wouldn’t be able to get. Think about the marketing implications of a dynamic 360 degree fly-over video of the property you wish to sell! This is an excellent way to rise above the competition.
A third example of consumer technology trends are wearable technology. Wearable tech has been around for several years, but didn’t quite become mainstream until approximately 2015. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for people to wear a smartwatch or a fitness device daily. Most people don’t think twice of using their fitness devices to track their daily exercise goals. However, pause for a second. Think about how remarkable it is that we can wear responsive technology on our wrists. This responsive technology not only catalogs our daily activities, but also stores the data in a database for later retrieval. Or, in the case of a smartwatch connected to your phone – you can answer phone calls by tapping a button on your watch while your phone is across the room! It’s a bit humbling and incredibly exciting!
As it stands, people mostly use wearable technology to receive notifications and keep up-to-date with contacts and obligations. This should play a crucial role in your auction business marketing strategy. That is, if you capitalize on the wearable tech trend correctly. Not only can you use wearable tech to be kept up-to-date while on the go, it can also revolutionize how you and your team view the nature of work, and work hours. Additionally, if your platform [for your business] can output notifications for upcoming auctions and/or online bidding, you can capitalize on wearable tech by keeping your bidders updated like never before.
It is becoming increasingly important for auctioneers to utilize mobile technology. There’s no way out of it now. You need to represent yourself in the mobile sphere. It is imperative that auctioneers capitalize on this technology because more and more of the population uses mobile phones as a main interface to the rest of the world. So in order to stay current, auctioneers need to be able to offer mobile bidding and mobile websites in order to reach a wider audience of interested buyers.
Another way that mobile technology changes the auctioneer industry game is through mobile camera phones. Cameras on mobile phones are such high quality that you don’t need separate cameras anymore. This allows auctioneers to quickly add high quality images when cataloging their sales. The power of a mobile camera saves you time on labor and money! In fact, Wavebid has built a mobile app specifically to make the most out of the high resolution cameras found in today’s mobile phones.
When tablets were first introduced, they were generally thought of as a productivity tool for business people. Now, tablets are less of that. Instead, they are being used by individuals to consume media. What this means is that your content needs to be in a format that is easily consumable for these users. You want your website to look good on these devices and to utilize apps that are frequently used on tablets, such as Youtube.
The emerging consumer-based technology market is incredibly exciting. There are many fun tools for today’s auctioneer to choose from. Without a doubt, the auction industry businesses that learn to appropriately use consumer technology trends will have a competitive edge in the years to come. Although this has only been a brief overview of some of emerging technology trends ,we can’t wait to see what’s in store for tomorrow!