Web Summit 2017 Digital Domain

By Ross Canning

The beautiful city of Lisbon Portugal, Web Summit 2017 and my first time attending the now world famous event. Where some of the biggest players and innovators in tech come together under one roof. To innovate and try to decipher the future trends in the here and now.

And like any event of similar scale, the Web Summit presents a mind-boggling selection of talks, workshops, and demonstrations from which to choose.

So armed with a carefully manicuring event list suited my personal tastes, I aimed my sights. Less interested in coding or the inner workings of the technology itself, did someone say blockchain? I set about the task of maximising the Web Summit 2017 experience.

With a background in the arts, I wanted to find out more about the advancements in new and digital media. And how for many people, technology continues to level the playing field. Helping to give brands a new lease of life and turning the guy and girl next door into worldwide stars from the comfort of their own home.

And with Lars Silberbauer, the global director of social media at Lego. I got to find out how most young boys childhood toy of choice went from not even have an official Facebook page. Then fast forward a few short years later, being ranked as one of the most engaging brands in the world on social media. With plaudits and awards still rolling in til this day.

New and Digital Media Developments

Hearing the backstory and gorilla marketing tactics used by internet star Julius Dein. Who through the power of magic tricks and the leveraging of Facebook. Has amassed a following of over 15 million people in just 15 months, staggering!

Along with fellow internet personalities Jenna Marbles (17+ million YouTube subscribers), Daniel Markham (5+ million YT subscribers) who were able to walk away from their 9 -5. Creating a whole new career on YouTube, on their own terms, doing what they actually enjoy.

But for me, the icing on the virtual cake was that of the innovations and advancements in digital animation and virtual reality.

Neville Spiteri CEO of Wevr immersive studios and Andrew Jones, Academy Award-winner in visual effects. And the man behind such memorable movies as Avatar and Titanic. Yes, he was the guy created the famous boat splitting in two scene. Or as he put it, the guy who had the man falling from the top, bouncing off the ship’s massive rudder en route to freezing Arctic waters.

And now how their two fields of expertise have begun to intersect. Where new strides in VR, viewers are now being brought directly into the story and able to interact with its characters in real-time. Creating a sublime, immersive, otherworldly experience. Catapulting us from being mere observers to active participants! Which if even only for a fleeting moment. Allows us to escape the dire news, tinged with hope, being relayed to us by former US vice president Al Gore.

The Web Summit 2017 Lisboa, a place where ideas become reality, some virtual. Where through the power of technology, we can look forward collectively to a positive future.

I can see it now, Web Summit 2018. See you there 🙂


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