Embodied Fandom – How Media & Entertainment Will Change By 2030

Over the next decade emerging technologies and an increasing human-machine partnership will impact virtually every aspect of our lives. So, what does the next era of human-machine teams mean for media and entertainment by 2030? How might these emerging technologies influence the way we consume media and participate in live events? How will human-machine partnerships intersect with explosive growth in video game play and e-sports viewership to re-invent the fan experience?

To explore the opportunities, Institute for the Future published a foresight vignette that offers a first-person view of how the next era of human-machine collaborations and co-dependencies may reshape how people spend their leisure time. In it, Wearable X, a fashion technology company that brings together design and technology to enhance experiences. The following is an interview with Billie Whitehouse, the CEO and co-founder, on how media and entertainment will change over the next decade.

Q: In the scenario, we draw inspiration from Wearable X’s Alert Shirt. Can you tell us more about it?

A: The ‘Alert Shirt’ is a Fan Jersey that uses wearable technology to take the experience into the physical world, allowing fans to feel what the players feel live, as it happens during the game. It was the first iteration of our Fan Jersey experience, which lets fans, both in the stadium and at home, physically feel everything from heartbeat, acceleration, to chills down the spine, and celebrations with the player.

Q: On the Wearable X website, products like the Fan Jersey are described as the ‘Fourth Dimension of Fandom.’ What do you mean by that?

A: The fourth dimension of fandom is the fourth of dimension of entertainment, which refers to engaging four of the five senses. Specifically, we are bringing touch into the experience.

Q: In your mind, what will the experience of being a fan be like in ten years?

A: My version of the future is far more like Harry Potter than it is like Minority Report. Imagine all aspects of the fan experience being enchanted by technology, bringing the magic back to the game.

Q: What should individuals be thinking about today to help them get ready for how the experiences of watching sports (traditional or e-sports) will change?

A: The experience should be about them. The fans are the reason that the game exists. They should be prepared to be rewarded for being supportive fans.

Q: What should organizations in media and entertainment do today to make sure that they’re ready to meet customer expectations over the next decade?

A: They should design experiences for all five senses.

This interview is a companion piece to a series of deep dives into the impact that human-machine partnerships will have in four industries over the next decade: health care, financial services, manufacturing, and entertainment and media. For a more detailed explanation on human-machine partnerships, please download the full report, The Next Era of Human-Machine Partnerships, here.

Interview conducted on August 4, 2017 by Institute of the Future.