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Remember rushing home exactly at 8pm to catch the show everyone was watching? Or waiting endlessly for your favorite song to play on the radio? Many experiences of the past — from television and movies to music to gaming — were intended for the masses and bound by time and geography.
Today’s experiences are curated and personalized by algorithms — and harness cloud computing to stream movies, shows, and music on demand. They are also now available anywhere and anytime via mobile data networks and connected devices. Importantly, these innovations have applications far beyond entertainment. The underlying technologies will soon drive new forms of experiences — from transforming your car into a self-driving theater on the go to creating opportunities in virtual travel, augmented reality shopping, and a metaverse of games.
In part one of Tech WELLcovered, we explored how technology is augmenting work and unlocking humanity’s true creative potential. In part two, we explore how tech disruption is evolving how we have fun outside of work, creating vast possibilities for experiences tailored to your interests and seamlessly integrating them into your everyday life.
Take exercise bikes, for instance, where Wi-Fi-enabled and chip-powered indoor cycling bikes have taken this once solitary exercise routine to a new level of experience. Today’s cutting-edge bikes allow you to stream your favorite music, monitor your performance, video chat with your friends, and cycle through the Alps — all while adjusting the bike’s resistance to mimic the virtual terrain.
Or imagine your family’s future visit to the Egyptian pyramids, transformed by next-gen cameras leveraging AI-enhanced machine vision to track your progress through the site. Augmented reality glasses could overlay the building with the restored architecture, murals, and artifacts of millennia ago. Moreover, an AI-powered travel assistant could curate a personalized tour for each member of your family based on your favorite topics — from the building’s architecture to its uses in Hollywood films.
Or consider the future of shopping streamlined with AI attendants, “metaverse malls,” and augmented reality mirrors that let you “try on” countless outfits from the comfort of your bedroom.
Innovations like virtual, augmented, and mixed reality technologies have innumerable potential applications for consumers, as well as in the health care and industrial sectors. The hardware and software markets thus have the potential to see significant growth in the next few years (Figure 1).
With the evolution of 5G, AI, machine learning, and augmented reality, the future of experiences may soon make the far-fetched idea of “being in two places at once” a reality.
Gaming of the past was expensive, required dedicated hardware, and was often restricted to one location. The future of gaming will see AI, 5G networks, and more powerful hardware unlock personalized, on-the-go gaming for everyone, everywhere, using a variety of devices. The Pokémon Go craze gave us a glimpse of our likely future as mobile gaming turns increasingly viral
E-sports, virtual reality, and the gamification of education all present additional opportunities to invest in the future of gaming. Gaming will also offer a growing fintech opportunity as digital assets within games — like clothing and other personalized avatar characteristics — will create huge new markets powered by digital payments, the blockchain, and non-fungible tokens. A gaming metaverse may tie all these experiences together in a seamless virtual world that mirrors the offline world. The ever-expanding communities that form through these platforms could become ready consumers.
To future-proof their portfolios, we think investors need deep research capabilities to keep up with today’s rapidly expanding tech use cases. Our research engagements with management teams, suppliers, and industry experts show us that whatever path the future of fun takes, today’s hardware and software advancements in connectivity, computing power, and machine intelligence will be the critical catalysts for tomorrow’s limitless innovation.
In today’s opportunity set, we are particularly interested in the companies supplying the foundational technologies — or “the picks and shovels” of innovation. For example: the extreme ultraviolet lithography technology creating advanced computer chips, the fabless semiconductor companies designing 5G chips and graphics cards, and the cloud-based, AI-powered software firms fueling personalization.
We’re excited about the many investable companies working to advance these foundational technologies. For instance, a large-cap Dutch firm making equipment for today’s cutting-edge chips and a mid-cap Taiwanese company helping to advance connectivity solutions are among the innovators that we think will fuel countless future experiences.
The future will offer you infinitely more options for leisure activities. From augmented reality and AI-powered travel to on-the-go gaming, experiences will be more flexible, personalized, and seamlessly integrated than we could have ever imagined.
We are at the beginning of a huge transformation trend in the future of fun. To take advantage of this opportunity, investors must identify the right trends and the right companies at the right time. Is your tech exposure ready to capture this potential?
1Source: Qono. | 2Sources: Company reports, the Australian Academy of Science, and Wellington Management. September 2021.
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