PurpleList Experts Weigh in on PSFK’s 2015 Trends

PSFK asks The PurpleList experts to forecast this year’s dominant developments

At the end of 2014, our team at PSFK published a list of the 10 trends we expect to dominate 2015. Now that the new year has officially begun—with CES, NRF, and several big product announcements already under its belt—we asked The PurpleList (our network of creative experts) to share their perspectives on our forecasts.

Step Inside The Story

In 2015, we expect immersive 360-degree audio and video experiences will provide early glimpses into the real promise of virtual reality, offering new possibilities for how people will interact with media and entertainment.

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Jake Barton is the principal and founder of Local Projects, a design firm for museums and public spaces. In his work for the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the 9/11 Memorial Museum, Barton uses immersion to expand visitors’ perspectives:

Immersion is not just about size and video pyrotechnics, it’s about how we invite our guests to engage with the experience — our work on the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum allows visitors to design their own patterned wallpaper and literally create the world around them. Immersion is not just hardware, it’s about experience and personalization.

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An On-Demand Economy

As more micro-services enter the marketplace, companies that can scale experience and personalization alongside cost and convenience will differentiate themselves from the pack.

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Tristan Pollock, the co-founder of Storefront, is well-versed in differentiating retail experiences. His company has helped open over 1,000 stores to date, and Pollock doesn’t expect retail advancement to stop anytime soon:

More retail technology companies will exist in 2015 than ever before. Currently, there are 2,875 retail startups listed on AngelList. I predict that number will double, and we’ll start to see mass adoption of beacons, foot-traffic tracking, and other geo-based technologies.

As CEO of independent workforce platform Kung Fu, Chris Shultz believes the on-demand economy will empower skilled laborers to set their own trajectories:

2015 will see companies making a focused effort on ensuring the people powering the on-demand economy are benefiting from it. Fractional work and independence are benefiting the on-demand workforce, but at what cost?

The safety net of company-provided benefits has disappeared and with so many people receiving 1099’s for the first time, we expect a new focus on replacing the benefits stack with services to ensure the workforce is able to succeed. After all, most on-demand companies are simply ‘people-as-a-service'; companies will realize to scale, they need to create a platform where their workforce can be successful in this new economy.

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However, Nikki Kaufman, head of Business Development at customizable headphone company Normal, believes the future lies in personalization. Retail space and skilled labor can grow, but only if consumers feel that products add unique value to their lives:

In the last few yeas, we’ve seen a variety of companies that offer customers the ability to “customize” their products. However mass customization is typically slow, expensive and impossible to scale. Now, through the use of technologies such as 3D printing, we’re able to build a scalable business offering a truly personalized product at an accessible price and in a short time frame.

 The Power Of Privacy

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All that personalization can get tricky. As hacking scandals and misuse of personal information become more rampant and public, ownership, control and transparency around data will become competitive advantages in 2015.

Colin Nagy, executive director at the Barbarian Group, feels that privacy will expand into its own consumer category beginning this year:

Though services like the Blackphone will likely remain on the pro-user end of the spectrum, 2015 will continue to see a series of consumer-focused privacy applications that are intuitive and easy to use.

For example, services like Disconnect.me (which provides encryption and simple privacy tools) Cloak (a VPN with a clean, easy interface) as well and Wickr (secure, anonymous messaging) will continue to grow, with new offerings also coming onto the market.

It’s too early to say just how large the entrepreneurial whitespace is but with a year jam-packed with surveillance disclosures and data hungry brands, it is safe to say the sector will heat up.

Read—and form your own opinion—about all of PSFK’s trend forecasts for 2015 here.

Or, explore PSFK’s 2014 Trend Review & 2015 Forecast below.