The future, decoded

Catchy joined a host of technology partners, start ups, and Microsoft employees at the Get Started @ Future Decoded day on 12 November, 2014.

The event was well-attended, with the full range of Microsoft products and technologies available to get our hands on and have a play with. The event split into 4 coloured zones, each with their own theatre. Depending on your area of interest, you could walk into any talk in any theatre – the only drawback was that the talks were so interesting, we didn’t know which one to pick.

Our highlight though was the keynote in the Get Started section (aimed at Start Ups) by Dave Coplin. Dave is the Chief Envisioning Officer of Microsoft UK, and his talk, about ‘The Rise of the Humans’, was intriguing, inspiring, and terrifying in equal measure. The notion of ‘situational technology’ was particular interesting – I can get into an elevator, and because it knows who I am, and where my next meeting is, it will take me to the relevant floor. Or, I’m lost in London, but my phone and the digital billboard next to me know who I am, and where I’m trying to go, and the billboard flashes up a green arrow to confirm I’m heading in the right direction. As someone whose sense of direction is not top notch, this is appealing. But, as I’m sure everyone would agree, the privacy implications are huge.

Most inspiring through was Dave’s discussion on how to generate creativity and transformational thinking in the workplace – using not just the right technology, but also placing yourself in the right space (literally) and giving your brain the time it needs to be creative. Definitely food for thought.

Aside from the talks and opportunity to network, we loved discovering the different creative touches each team had brought to their stand. The Lotus Formula 1 car was a treat to see so close up, but what really stood out were the Microsoft Virtual Academy superheros. The photo opportunity, stress figures and Top Trumps cards all came together beautifully, and were a clever way of demonstrating the breadth of Microsoft’s offering.

All in all, a hugely valuable and worthwhile event.


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