Where have Ironman, Shaq, Adam Savage and The Martian shared the spotlight with autonomous acrobats and a robot “dog” named Spot?
Only at Amazon’s first re:MARS conference.
Held June 3 to 7 in Las Vegas, the conference was the brainchild of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. With re:MARS, he brought his private MARS conference – focused on Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space – to the public to “advance the golden age of innovation.”
re:MARS 2019 welcomed a diverse crowd – including celebrities, astronauts, industry experts, Olympic athletes and business executives – and featured diverse keynotes and conversations. As a gold sponsor, Mobiquity dispatched a team who heard about everything from Disney Imagineering acrobatics and emotional attachment to robots to the operational efficiencies of machine learning and the growing demand for conversational AI channels.
Here’s a quick look back at what we saw, what we learned, and where we go from here.
Interacting with innovations
We definitely enjoyed seeing all the robotics. From Spot the robotic “dog” to drones, mechanical arms and much more, it was a bit like a promo for “The Jetsons”… if you’re old enough to remember who they are!
Arguably the biggest “wow” came from Dr. Tanya Harrison. Although the Mars Rover is much too large to bring into the Aria Resort & Casino, that didn’t stop Dr. Harrison from delivering a compelling demo of it. Dr. Harrison wore a Microsoft HoloLens to give a guided tour of “Roving Robots on the Red Planet.” The visuals she was seeing through the HoloLens were projected to oversized screens in the room – and a second operator held up a tablet to record Dr. Harrison interacting in 3D with the Mars Rover on stage. It’s no exaggeration to say: Her presentation set a whole new standard for demos!
With anything new, there’s usually a surprise or two. For us, the first was the range of attendees – and we aren’t just talking about the actors, astronauts and athletes who were enticed to attend. We noticed a wide spectrum of businesses showing a deep interest in taking their innovation efforts to the next level. Every industry seemed to be represented – from financial services and CPG to government and education, healthcare and food services to oil/gas and telecom. And, of course, technology.
Clearly, the commercial market is taking innovation seriously and trying to figure out how to harness it to better serve customers, grow revenue and improve operational costs.
Second, there was a lot of excitement around conversational AI. Everywhere you turned, someone was asking about creating Alexa voice skills for their market, or how to best use chatbots to engage with customers. And when you consider presentations like Jonathan Patrizio’s, From Turkeys to Movie Tickets: Increase Customer Reach, Self-Service and Commerce with Amazon Alexa, you can see that voice has practical and beneficial applications today – not some time in a “Jetsons” future.
So, what’s next?
After most conferences comes the inevitable re-entry to reality, including catching up on messages and tackling longstanding to-do lists. It can be easy to lose momentum. Yet after returning from re:MARS, we remain inspired by the experience and invigorated about advancing “the golden era of innovation.” It will take energy, excitement and decisive action. We’re in. Are you ready to join us?
Mobiquity provides digital consulting services for the world’s leading brands. We help companies understand, apply and engage with technology in meaningful ways.