Web Summit and the 2018 Trends
The Web Summit is one of the most well-known technology conferences in the world and has been held annually since 2009.
In the beginning it was hosted in Dublin, Ireland, but a problem with the Irish Government led Paddy Cosgrave, David Kelly and Daire Hickey, the founders of the Web Summit, to look for a new venue for the summit. Lisbon; Portugal, was the winning city and this year hosted the second Web Summit.
This conference has the advantage that in one small location it can bring together smaller companies and the Fortune 500 companies, the CEOs and founders of tech start-ups and people from across the technology industry, and related industries.
WeTek and the Web Summit
One good example of this was the presence of WeTek, an ’event with a very special spirit, where the opportunities are everywhere’, as Carlos Soares, Head of Marketing, says.
WeTek’s goals for the Web Summit were different this year. The Portuguese company was not looking for investment, it was looking to show technology lovers what has been developed in the last few years and what they intend to do next.
Last year, WeTek offered Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa a WeTek Hub, and this year they wanted to do something completely different. ’Not all our goals have been achieved, but we have a clear vision of our way to 2018’, says Carlos Soares.
Web Summit learned lessons
WeTek is used to this kind of business event. It has a regular presence at the largest world-wide television industry fairs: Amsterdam, Dubai, Las Vegas, London, Moscow and Cape Town.
‘However, since last year, Lisbon has also become part of our events calendar’, says the Head of Marketing, adding that ’our learning curve at events is already at a mature stage, but there is always knowledge to absorb and contacts to make’.
For instance, this year WeTek made some interesting contacts at the Web Summit and widened its contact network, but the most important goal of all was to increase brand awareness.
Set-top box global market forecast
In the growing market for the set-top box (estimated at 7.5% a year over the next decade), where the set-top box is likely to remain central to the pay-television industry, WeTek claims, in Carlos Soares’ words: ’This coming year will be a punishing year for the entire WeTek community. We will offer the market something new, which will bring together two worlds that until today had never been put together by any company’.
Confronted with the obvious question, WeTek won’t reveal their secret, but notes that they have achieved some milestones in 2017 ‘that will allow us to define new and fantastic challenges for the year 2018’.
What we know is that in 2018, whether it is through conventional cable and satellite or over telco or broadband networks, set-top boxes face a challenge: users demand high definition video and high-quality user interfaces, and are increasingly interested in customised 4K Android set-top boxes. This is something that make us think about the near future of this technology.
2018 trend that you can’t miss
Talking about the near future, we are witnessing an increase in datafication, of “smart” products and Artificial Intelligence (AI). These trends may change our daily lives forever.
Did you know that every minute, there are 900,000 logins to Facebook; 450,000 tweets are posted, and 156 million emails and 15 million texts are sent? Adding the data breadcrumbs that you leave on the Internet, it makes you wonder what is happening to all your online life and who is tracking it.
Things are more and more connected and “smarter”. Devices are constantly gathering and sharing data with other devices, all without human intervention, something that is increasing the datafication phenomenon exponentially.
Everything can be smart these days, our cars, our homes, our TVs. We also have now voice-enabled personal assistants, like Alexa… and we are just at the beginning of the IoT (Internet of Things) movement (predicted at 75 billion connected devices by 2020).
The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a consequence of all this datafication. The explosion of data allows computers to learn faster than they could until now. Nowadays, computers can easily see (e.g. facial recognition software), read (e.g. analyse social media messages), listen (e.g. Alexa standing by to answer your every command), speak (e.g. Alexa being able to answer you) and gauge our emotions (e.g. affective computing).
In the television industry, trends are connected to the IoT. ‘Another trend will be the unification of all household appliances connected to the internet. But even though television is "smart", it remains poorly integrated with our smartphone, tablet or PC. The year 2018 will allow better integration of our television (being smart or not) with all our other devices’, predicts Carlos Soares.
The Head of Marketing at WeTek goes further and predicts one more 2018 trend, based on WeTek’s industry: ’The changes in consumption from one year to the next are not totally clear. However, we know that one trend will be the increase in consumption of on-demand content, associated with the "cord-cutting" movement’.
WeTek and the digital transformation
The digital transformation is here. All our lives are digital. If we need to pay for something, we just need an app. To order a product from a shop, just choose and click on the site or on the app. Even the way we watch TV is changing.
WeTek is trying to help that change. ‘Year after year, we are starting to play an increasingly important role in the industry. Today, we already work in three different business areas, but all related and with a common objective: innovating in the experience of watching television», says Carlos Soares.
But for that, WeTek needs to hire more developers. «One of our goals for 2018 will be to greatly extend our technical development team, so that we can have enough human resources to bring many of our developing projects into the world and make a number of ideas come true, while at the same time meet our primary goal’, adds the Head of Marketing.