Apple has announced their new launch of their iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and a premium iPhone X with technology that CEO Tim Cook has declared “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone”.
What the new iPhone might bring to the table for those who work within the Social Media space is pretty exciting. No doubt Influencers will soon be purchasing these new phones and experimenting with the new features. Brands who see the value of the social media space will want to understand how this effects the ways they can reach customers and stay front of mind.
Face ID and Animojis
Perhaps the most predominant advance in the iPhone technology is the facial recognition software – Face ID – which allows users to unlock their phones with their faces, rather than their fingerprint, or a code. With an infra-red camera and a flood illuminator, the phone takes a mathematical model of your face. You simply has to look at the phone and swipe up for it to recognise your identity and unlock the phone – even if you’re wearing a hat and glasses or have grown a beard. This can be used for Apple Pay to authenticate your identity before a purchase.
“To make Face ID possible took some of the most advanced technology we have ever created,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior Vice President of worldwide marketing.
The Face ID opens up lots of new opportunities for more personalised connections to be made. The Animoji – animated emojis – allows users to send personalised emojis.
84% of female and 75% male frequent users of emojis said that they feel emojis express their feelings more accurately than words. (Source)
The Animojis track 50 facial muscle movements and animate in time with them, reflecting the own expressions on your face. You can send it as a sticker on iMessage or as a looping video with audio attached. It will make digital communications feel and act more human and personalised and we anticipate that Facebook will also be looking for ways to incorporate this technology into its software.
Tim Cook revealed that Apple has been working closely with Snapchat with the new Face ID software and the tracing has allowed the quality of its masks to be greatly improved. Snapchat Influencers and brands investing in the potential of Snap ads with Influencer content, will be investing in these new features to engage their audiences in more exciting ways.
Multi-tasking and other features
Multi-tasking between apps has also become easier which will make a more seamless process for consumers skipping between apps. Now you need only swipe up and stop and your other apps come up or even simply use a shortcut by swiping along the bottom to move between the apps. We envisage this aiding the purchase making process from when a consumer sees a post on Instagram to jumping onto the shopping site to completing a purchase. Any way that alleviates the online shopping process for consumers whose attention is easily diverted down other avenues is a positive for brands.
For Influencers, this multi-tasking feature makes the whole process of creating, editing, posting, chatting, organising their content calendar much more streamlined and efficient. The waterproof, rustproof, sturdier iPhone in general, is great news for travel bloggers and Influencers on the go whose worst nightmare and breaker of content productivity is a broken phone.
Where will augmented reality take the industry?
“iPhone 8 is incredible for shooting photo and video but there’s a third use of the camera that’s going to become increasingly important in our mobile devices, and that’s augmented reality,” said Apple exec Phil Schiller. “This is an incredible area for us to advance in.”
After the incredible initial success of the augmented reality game app Pokémon Go, it’s not surprising that Apple are investing heavily in this technology and other companies’ developers are looking into how they can bring mobile games into the real world. From stargazing mapping out the constellations on the sky in realtime to Major League Baseball’s “At Bat” app which gives “users the ability to hold up their iPhones to see realtime player information and stats overlaid”. (Source)
Whether it’s a passing gimmick like 3D or whether we will soon be living in a world half constructed by reality, half by augmented reality, is yet to be determined. We predict that more and more brands will continue realising different ways to engage consumers with this more immersive experience.
Perhaps, for example, brands might be able to incorporate this into their selling strategies with products being inserted into people’s homes via augmented reality. If someone isn’t sure whether that new sofa will suit the rest of their interior aesthetic, for example, augmented reality might allow them to insert a sofa into the space on their phones and get an accurate visualisation. Helping customers on their way to purchase.
This might also one day transpose to Influencer Marketing, where Influencers not only have a more personalised way of growing an authentic relationship with their followers via personalised Animojis but they might also be able to offer their audience the chance to model products they feature in their own lives. An Influencer might feature a bracelet, for example, and their followers might through augmented reality be able to see what the bracelet would look like on their own wrist. Customers won’t have to work as hard to imagine what the product might look like in their own lives. Instead, they’ll see it with their own eyes, with augmented reality. The influence this will hold over people’s purchasing decisions is pretty ground breaking.
Augmented reality is certainly one of the hottest topics in tech this year and we will likely see many new exciting developments in this space which will go hand in hand with Influencer Marketing.