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Living a Digital Life

How Digital Technology Will Redefine User Experience and What Lies Ahead

Digital technology is rapidly changing the way we engage with one another. Disruptive technologies such as mobile, cloud, analytics and social media are altering traditional engagement models. With technology becoming increasingly democratized, human–technology interaction and customer experience take center stage.

Digital technology has already transformed the way we work, transact, interact, relax and live every day. Out of this, new business models have emerged, altering or replacing traditional rules of engagement. These models are built on digital technologies that are rapidly remodeling operations within both the industrial and consumer-centric spheres. As disruptive technologies such as cloud computing, analytics, social channels, mobile computing, robotics and artificial intelligence converge, the tech horizon continues to broaden, adding new layers of value-creation across the entire ecosystem.

Outcome of the confluence

Businesses across a multitude of industries are harnessing the power of those unique spaces where individual digital forces meet. By leveraging these technologies—individually as well as synergistically—they can refine their business practices to deliver improved products and services. Ultimately, enhanced customer experiences are the result. This marks the beginning of a complete digital-transformation: the next frontier in technology is emerging.

What we’re witnessing is collective, incremental digital proliferation resulting from a combination of key technological and economic factors. Rapid developments in technology research, the maturation of technologies and their growing acceptance among users is fueling compounded growth in a tech-driven economy. But as networks become more complex, and systems become more vulnerable to threats, emerging new opportunities are not devoid of challenges. Security, privacy and socio-political factors will play a critical role in deciding the future of our digital lives as well the degree to which technology will become pervasive in our day-to-day affairs. However, given the internet’s rapid expansion, the influence of digital technology on our lives can only grow.

Living Digital

When we talk of a digital life, the idea extends beyond simply using digital, internet-enabled devices. It means living a digital lifestyle. It is the intersection where digital technology, physical devices and human participation meet to create altogether new experiences. For example, Disney is redefining customer engagement by using wearable technology—wristbands called MagicBands—to enhance customer experience delivery.

The MagicBands, working with thousands of sensors located around Disney facilities, are linked with hundreds of systems, streaming real-time data about the location of guests, their activities and what they might like. It exemplifies technology integration.

Innovations designed to optimize integration are an ever-increasing part of our lives. In fact, digital life is about integration—integration powerful enough to incorporate activities we previously performed without technology (and much less efficiently) into the digital world.

Are We Ready For a Digital Lifestyle?

Are we ready for computer systems, internet-enabled devices and software applications to seamlessly integrate into our everyday lives? This holds the potential to substantially improve the many dozens of operations we perform every hour. As the expanse of digital operations broadens, digital integration could automate many of the tasks we currently perform manually, or eliminate them altogether.

What Lies Ahead

The number of internet-enabled devices will continue to grow. And beyond simply growing in number, they will also perform a wider variety of operations, many in spheres of life technology has yet to address. Objects that were previously not considered potential computing devices will also become part of a digitally intertwined world and technology will become increasingly wearable, taking user experience to a whole different level. Once these technologies become mainstream, a truly digital lifestyle will finally emerge.

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