CEOs are holding back digital innovation in Australia

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 16 March 2016
These companies have two things in common: they are mostly used on mobile and are all companies younger than 10 years.

Australian innovation in digital is being held back by CEOs that do not support digital holistically, according to a panel of digital experts at the AdTech Australia conference.

In a straw poll at the session, only about a quarter of delegates raised their hands to indicate their business leaders fully supported digital innovation.

The panel, however, believes more digital natives filling C-suite roles, such as Maile Carnegie at ANZ, will help drive the digital agenda. A slide showing the major digital players dominant on mobile illustrated they all had been in business for less than a decade. 

Virtual reality and augmented reality were held up as the technologies that could have a major impact on advertising in the future.

Iain McDonald, who was co-founder of Razorfish, says VR is a lot more accessible than it seems, with Google's Cardboard player costing $3, and offers great promise.

“It's probably one of those technologies that is probably a little bit over-hyped at the moment,” he says.

The technology required to fool the human eye requires a screen with the resolution equivalent of 16,000 pixels squared per eye running at 240 frames per second. Current resolution for the Oculus Rift VR mask is 1080 x 1200 pixels per eye.

“I think we will go through a phase where there is a lot of novelty in VR. It will probably be applied in the gaming and porn industries first, which will drive the technology, as it has done with e-commerce,” McDonald adds.

“It doesn't mean we shouldn't be using it, there are some really interesting applications for businesses and brands to look at. I don't think they are mass, but they can be effective.”

Augmented reality is already being applied in some sectors. For example, realestate.com recently bought a company that allows buyers to view properties using a VR mask to give a visual and spatial impression of the building.

The panel said augmented reality would take off further if it is done in a more integrated and seamless way that allows users to interact on the go.

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