Technology is advancing at a rapid speed. We all use all kinds of gadgets, software, and hardware products to manage our personal lives. Today, the Event Brew tackles the relationship between personal and professional life as it relates to technology. Have they ever used personal technology pieces for the events industry purposes?
Smartphone: The Ruler Of Personal Technology
The most obvious piece of technology we all use both in our personal and professional lives is the smartphone. “I’m constantly amazed by what I can accomplish with nothing but my phone,” says Nick. “I used to go to events and lug a laptop and DSLR camera with me. Slowly but surely I realized that I don’t need this stuff anymore. My phone is a great computer. It connects me to everyone I need to the camera is the reason I get a better phone every year.”
But does he have a separate work phone? “I’ve never had a second phone. I have no distinction between my work life and personal life. They’re blended.”
On the other hand, Thuy makes sure to set healthy boundaries around using the phone for both work and personal life. “If I log out of my work email, I won’t go check them out late at night because it’s not worth typing my username and password in. Otherwise, I’d check it automatically.”
“For me, something I use everywhere is my AirPods – I bring them everywhere. Their microphone is amazing and I’m constantly surprised by the high quality when people record with them,” Nick adds.
Photo Repository Solutions
What else? Nick starts raving about a photo repository. “I have used it for almost 12 years now and it is called SmugMug. It has a very clean UX. The gallery hierarchy is very akin to sub folders and you can organize them with tags.”
And it doesn’t take much time either. “My photo auto-uploads photos and then I can organize them at my leisure. And organizing pictures is the best intern work possible, by the way. At All Seated, our intern has been organizing things and it helps her learn because photos are descriptive. They learn about your organization by seeing all the things you’ve done.”
Speaking of logging in and out of work emails, how does the Brew Crew handle all the passwords?
“Some people have great systems for password management. Dahlia has a whole class about it. But my system is bad,” says Nick. “I had one password manager app on my phone 10 years ago. Then, it crashed and I lost all my passwords. I refuse to reply on an app ever since.”
So, how does he do it? “I keep my passwords in an Excel document that I keep in my Dropbox. I have different tabs for different types of passwords, for various organizations or C-panel accesses.”
The Potential Of Augmented Reality
“When I go to events, I’m more often than not coming there to get inspiration,” says Will. “I do that actually with my Oculus. There are a lot of events people produce in that hardware with different platforms. The one I use the most is Microsoft’s Altspace.”
“The thing about Oculus and VR is that scale is very important. I remember walking the space of Burning Man and just seeing the installations that they rendered in that environment. And then actually having conversations with people that are there, talking about security and crowd management. It’s a fascinating event, especially when you learn about what it takes to create an environment like that. From a design perspective, it might inform you what you’re thinking about or how you’re doing the work that you’re doing for live events,” he elaborates.
Nick also has a thing or two to say about events. “You can design events in a way that does not require attendees to look at their phones. With AR glasses, you don’t need to glance down at someone’s badge when networking. Their name floats around their head and if you click on it, you can automatically pull up their LinkedIn profile. You can ask the technology to highlight all CEOs. The way we deliver content and presentations will change. Experiences will be enhanced and more personalized.”
“The hardware is not there just yet. But it’s coming,” he adds. “I recently did an interview with a representative from Nokia, and she told me that their AR glasses will be as light as any pair of glasses. You will be able to selectively change what you see and show you what you want to see. For example, if you will want to get somewhere, the path will be marked in front of you. A similar company that does this is Niantic, which makes Pokemon Go. They’re probably the leading augmented reality developer in the world.”
“You won’t be constantly looking at screens. Instead, you will see the world through glasses, but the glasses will have transparent layers on top of the real world.”
Will Personal & Professional Lives Continue To Merge?
As it turns out, our event profs do not really differentiate between their personal and professional lives. Which leads Will to ask one final question. “Do you think that in the future, the two lives will just continue to blend even more for people? Where are the boundaries? Or will we get to a point where we will separate life and work, and put them in separate boxes?”
“The major tech advancement that will have the most widespread effect on everyone’s lives is augmented reality. Now, we use a device with our thumbs, but think about how it will be a lot easier when there’s just a lightweight pair of glasses on that augment everything. And then your input devices are either subtle gestures with your hands or just your voice. And at the same time, it won’t be distracting like phones are,” answers Nick.
“Right now, it’s still a little bit of a hassle. I still remember having to do everything at a computer at a desk somewhere. But soon, we’re going to have AR that will be able to augment everything.”
As the episode wraps up, the Brew Crew poses a question to the audience: have you implemented some of your personal tech gadgets into your professional life? Which ones and how did it go? Is there anything that the Event Brew hosts are missing? Reach out and let them know. They love to get fan mail.