As we power into the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the development of technology is gaining increasing momentum and evolving at the speed of light.
New trends and technologies are driving innovation, disruption and opportunities for growth in the media and entertainment industry and going forward, it’s safe to expect a period of exciting change. According to Mediatech Africa exhibition director Simon Robinson, in this age of exponential technology acceleration, keeping step with how breakthrough technologies are unleashing creativity has never been more important; just one of many verifiable reasons to be at Mediatech Africa 2019.
“Those in the media and entertainment industry will benefit from the Mediatech Africa experience planned for 2019 in more ways than one,” says Robinson. “The show line up, as is customary, is cutting edge and promises to showcase the latest products and trends shaping the creative pulse of these industries. It will provide a glimpse into the future, and an unmatched view on how technology is transforming experiences. More than that, because almost every major player and brand features at Mediatech, the possibility for market intelligence to be gleaned from this event is incomparable – and this year will be no different.”
A trade show now it its 10th edition; Mediatech Africa attracts over 7 500 visitors and showcases close on 800 brands from 150 odd global and local exhibitor companies. A biennial event, the organisers have announced that the 2019 show will run from 17 – 19 July at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Everything about the event is at the forefront of innovation and every touchpoint is designed to enhance the visitor experience. Live demonstrations, presentation zones, and special events are again on the programme and other familiar favourites expected in 2019, include the Black Box, the Drone Technology Cage, and the outdoor sound demos to list but a few of the returning highlights. “We also have a few surprises planned for the show this year. Visitors should expect the unexpected,” says Robinson.
Speaking about the three day event, Robinson says, “Mediatech is about giving visitors the opportunity of tapping into the possibilities that exist now and in the future using technology. The show attracts exhibitors who are leaders in their categories – shape shifters of the highest calibre and we are excited to see what tech trends they will showcase this year.”
One of the broad tech trends that is sure to find its way onto the Mediatech conference programme is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Considering that China’s state news outlet Xinhua announced (on Feb. 19) that it has, in collaboration with search engine Sogou, created the world’s first female AI news anchor, it’s obvious that AI will and already is changing the face of the broadcasting and entertainment landscape.
Another example of AI’s impact on this industry is when IBM Watson generated highlight reels of what it thought were the best shots of the 2017 Wimbledon tournament. Anyone who viewed the highlights would be none-the-wiser that there was no human input; nor would they argue with the choices. Normally this would take a large team hundreds of hours to accomplish, yet Watson could do all of this automatically using cognitive algorithms to analyse audio and video from the footage. From there Watson was able to identify shots and points that were highlight worthy.
“The media and entertainment landscape is in flux. From creative processes to content delivery – and AI is just one disruptive technology trend having a profound impact on the industry and yet we have barely uncovered its true potential,” says Robinson. “That said, at this stage there’s still the question of the creativity conundrum. Will a computer ever be able to match the creativity of a person? Clearly there is still plenty of room for debate when it comes to where AI starts and ends and what better forum to unpack this than at an industry event like Mediatech.”
Beyond AI, there are many other trends and technology shifts that are expected to feature at the expo, including advances in projection mapping technology synchronized with dynamic soundtracks, drone technology, VR, and lighting, all of which can be used for creating compelling, immersive and memorable AV experiences.
“No one would argue that piloting the changing landscape to find success in the media and entertainment industry is often a confusing, exasperating pursuit. To capitalise on the opportunities the changes bring, rather than being disrupted by them, is to play the game and win and that’s why Mediatech offers so much value. It’s an unbeatable source of education and a destination for the industry to come together and do business,” says Robinson.
“Technology is increasingly the genesis of creative expression. Our show has become the hallmark for the expression of creativity and it’s about discovery, learning, being inspired and bringing ideas to life using the latest tech in niche verticals,” he concludes.