Helsinki

Slush again. Disappointingly not as cold as usual in Helsinki, felt wrong somehow.

The show retains its idiosyncrasies – indoor waterfall area anyone? – and it is always interesting to see what the tech trends are across the show. Looking back to last year’s blog a couple of key themes seem to have consolidated – lot’s of personal healthcare and very specific AI applications which seek to add an optimisation layer to existing practices, in data processing or logistics for example.

Less immersive technology visible at Slush itself but in focused side events hosted by DIT and the Helsinki XR Centre an echo of an observation from the Los Angeles trip (below). VR/AR products presented were dominated by enterprise training and brand/marketing activations, rather than creative content.

The other notable was the next wave of VR conferencing – but as someone who travels constantly and will always seek to meet virtually where possible, I just can’t see how these avatar driven iterations improve on available (fast improving) video tools. Maybe just me….

And finally a disappointing change to note. In the US Brexit was rarely mentioned, it was a commercial risk factor worth noting but with the market strength and devalued £ mitigating. In Europe however people have now stopped engaging in trying to understand the detail, just stepped back to regard our politics as “absurd entertainment” (unfortunately a direct quote).

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