adidas adizero F50 football boots with micoach technology
From Facebook to Google+, from Tesco to Walmart, and from American Express to
Foursquare and Bing, brands are recording consumers’ personal
information and using it to anticipate their needs, desires and
purchases – and to boost their own bottom lines.
In the Personal Information Economy, consumers take control of their
data, quantify the minutiae of their lives, manage their reputations
online and even monetise their personal information.
Click through the sections on this page to see how The Personal Information Economy trend has been manifest since 2011.
Priority Moments mobile loyalty campaign sends brand coupons based on
the O2 customer’s location and interests. A year-and-a-half after its launch, the campaign had increased the number of Priority Moments
members by 100%.
Key Development: This is an early example of a brand using data to provide a better service to its customers and providing them with local information.
Joost Plattel, Utrecht, photography by Judith Jockel
Coca-Cola UK launches the online tool Work It Out Calculator.
The calculator helps consumers to understand how much physical activity is
required to burn the calories contained in various Coca-Cola products.
Key Development: In a transparent move, Coca-Cola arms people with the tools to be healthier through data.
installs a pop-up vending machine in New York that enables people to buy
clothing in exchange for NikeFuel points accumulated on Nike+ fitness
Key Development: This is a signifier of LS:N Global's The New Value Economy trend and how aspects of the PIE feed into this. Consumers trade new forms of data-enabled value with each other and with brands.
Data Print Collection by Accept & Proceed and Rapha, London
Rapha’s Pro-Team range of lightweight,
high-stretch jerseys, launched to celebrate the signing of Team Sky rider Peter
Kennaugh, uses data analytics as a key design feature. The pattern of precisely
scaled chevrons feature as the main motif and were created using race data from
a Team Sky rider over a three-week grand tour.
Development: As consumers become more interested in
data and the meaning that lies beneath it, brands and designers are using its
visualisation to create powerful campaigns and products.
Porte des savoirs by EPFL ECAL lab and ALICE studio , Switzerland
Consumers are looking to build mutually
beneficial relationships with brands and digital devices based on empathetic sharing
of data and personalised, seamless Phygital experiences, according to a the Digital
Trends report from Microsoft.
Key Development: As consumers grow more conscious of how much companies know about
them, they will feel entitled to better service, accurate recommendations and
timely offerings from brands.
Still from the film What’s On Your Mind? by Higton Bros
Facebook is a brand that is paradigmatic of PIE and its focus on personalisation is one of its major strengths. According
to Hatch, its interface has been honed to ensure that each of the 14 times a
day, on average, that its 890m daily active users log in, they are confronted
with an experience, which is unique to them.
Development: Consumers in the PIE have a high level
of personalisation from the social network. These expectations are seeping into
other digital experiences and into the physical world.
Oral B Smart Toothbrush with Bluetooth connectivity, US
By signing up to Beam’s StarCard membership, people can earn rewards on their next visit to the dentist’s chair by brushing and interacting with the Beam app. ‘We’re not interested in toothbrushes at all. We’re interested in health data,’ explained Beam founder Alex Frommeyer. ‘Our behavioural insights can be translated to a dentist when we see those triggers hit.’
Key Development: Data is rewarded with a clearly related financial benefit to incentivise the adoption of connected devices.
The property search engine analysed the top keywords between January and October 2014 to determine the country’s most statistically sought-after home. Combining prerequisite criteria with Swedish design tropes, including a red timber façade and a functional box shape, the House of Clicks is a residence any Swede would be happy to call their own.
Key Development: Data starts taking shape in beautiful creations by designers and architects.
Flavorise Me scans all of the user’s connected social media profiles for a set of 25,000 words that have ben assigned certain flavours. When the scan has been completed, the website presents the user with his or her own unique ice cream blend.
Key Development: Brands are using predictive algorithms in more playful and serendipitous ways to engage with younger audiences.
San Francisco’s Eatsa is designed to give time-poor customers the easiest way to enjoy a nutritious meal during their break. Customers place their order via a touchscreen and collect their meals from a cubbyhole delivery point. All orders are monitored to build a taste profile for each user, from which Eatsa can re-order or modify a customer’s last dish.
Key Development: Data is used in a way that evokes familiarity between the brand and the customer.
Constructing Connectivity by Jessica Smarsch at Dutch Design Week 2015, Eindhoven. Photography by Lisa Klappe.
Using electrodes Smarsch captures the electrical impulses in the muscles between the wrists and elbow, and uses bespoke software to visualise the activity through a live generated animation, creating a graphic that is translated into a garment through an automated loom.
Key Development: Personalisation is going beyond the superficial and entering a more creative discourse that touches on our very biology.
The ‘Big Bang Data’ exhibition at Somerset House, London
The exhibition, held at Somerset House, examined the social and ethical implications of data hoarding, privacy and protection. Black Shoals: Dark Matter by Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway, for example, featured a planetarium-style projection of live trading data from stock markets from across the globe, creating a meditative space for reflection.
Key Development: Even the tokenistic act of taking a selfie is starting to be considered within the wider context of big data.
Platforms including Net-A-Porter’s The Net Set and tastemaking network Semaine point to a new form of e-commerce focused on generating sales through social interactions online. These exclusive social eco-systems are often invitation-only or opt-in, adding to their allure.
Key Development: S-commerce gives brands access to personal as well as group data, helping segment customers into tribes.
Younis believes we are seeing the fightback against first-wave internet companies that have over-reached into people’s personal lives. His anonymous messaging and sharing app Thoughts Around Me is built on trust, monetising data points that don’t need to be attached to personal information.
Key Development: Privacy is increasingly seen as the greatest luxury of the digital age and is becoming a big selling point for brands.
The Future of Parenting by Fischer Price and Continuum, US
The Future of Parenting imagines play time a decade from now with phygital, connected devices that use augmented and virtual reality. The video focuses on the potential for sensors to be built in to fixtures and furnishings to act as a powerful parenting tool, tracking elements of a child’s development and feeding back that data across interactive displays.
Key Development: Older generations could be increasingly complicit in the datafication of their children, if it affords them a way to be better parents.
Ad-blockers represent a big problem for online publishers and advertisers that failed to respect people’s personal space online. ‘The question,’ says Joseph Evans, media research analyst at Enders Analysis,’ is whether all of the players in the digital advertising chain – advertisers, agencies and publishers – can create an experience that users find much less objectionable before simple and effective technological solutions to mobile advertising are given traction.’
Key Development: Brands are realising that they have to take a less myopic approach to online advertising and think about the bigger picture.
Lancaster explains why Topman is placing its faith in programmatic advertising, which he believes is a 21st-century replacement to great media placement. ‘Don’t get too bogged down in trying to create something viral,’ he says. ‘It’s better to consistently drop new content, see what people engage with and learn from that.’
Key Development: Programmatic advertising enables retailers to pitch the perfect advert depending on location, demographic and style.
Lucy, Data Portraits by Margot Bowman and Raised by Wolves, UK
Data Portraits is a series of four GIFs depicting two sets of identical twins. To an algorithm the twins are indistinguishable, but to a human their unique personalities are easily apparent. The project is designed to raise questions about the way that humans are perceived by algorithms that are created to determine who we are and what our interests might be.
Key Development: The fallibility of algorithms is becoming a source of frustration for artists and creatives seeking a more emotional connection between man and machine.
In the US, 43m people will use ad-blockers in 2016, according to analytics firm Optimal. Brave is an ad-blocking platform with a difference, acknowledging the fact that this relatively recent technology is undermining existing business models, and may make it impossible for publishers who use ads to fund content. Brave automatically blocks ads, but creates a system of donations to get the funds back to publishers.
Key Development: Consumers are now aware that the online world is powered by their attention and are becoming increasingly savvy with how they distribute it. When they are committed to a product, however, they are still willing to pay.
I Spy focuses on Five Eyes, an intelligence-gathering alliance between the NSA, the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Canada’s Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). It brings together experts from both sides of the privacy-versus-security debate to give a variety of perspectives on the matter, and viewers can contribute their own opinions by posting comments on the documentary website.
Key Development: The balance between national security and online privacy continues to be a major talking point among consumers.