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AOL's Digital Prophet, Shingy, gives us his predictions for 2015

Allan Swann | May 8, 2015
David Shing, better known as Shingy, has been one of Australia's most outspoken exports - appointed AOL's digital prophet, he has been on the speaking circuit for the last few years spreading his particular view of the future of the IT marketplace - drawing criticism and praise in equal measure. ARN sat down to have a chat with him at CeBIT 2015 ahead of his keynote.

So how are you going to tie your offerings into a platform like IoT once it takes off?

Look, if anything has a screen — we want our content on it. The content type will change to suite the screen — put simply, its about context and usefulness.

All brands are useful in some capacity, but its about how they think about what their usefulness means. We want to help package that up in any way we can, that's what we're here to do.

We're interested not just in how all these different IoT devices connect to each other, but when we talk about connection, I'm talking about the emotion behind it. How do you go into the continuum of a connected house, experience that in the morning, get into your driverless car, of course you're not driving, but you're doing something else, connecting with another screen, where you're absorbing and consuming content, and then what happens once you get to work? We all have a different psyche when we're at work, and then what happens the next day when we do it all over again?

So when we think about things like the connected home, it's not just the connected things, it's the connected everything. It's quite a radical rethink.

So how will that work in Australia do you think?

In Australia you're overindexed when it comes to smartphones, at around 140 per cent. England is around 130 per cent. In terms of mobile connections, it's in the 80s. So very high — there are a lot of people walking around with two phones, or dongles etc.

Is the Internet of Things being sold properly, or is it still too early to go mainstream?

Look when you're looking at the Internet of Things, it's about this ecosystem of life. Its about what things people are doing when they don't need to be thinking about what they're doing — such as driving. Driverless cars will be so interesting — they will have some 250 sensors on each car, and it will be interesting to see how that interacts...

So AOL is trying to rebrand itself as a content producer, a marketing and advertising platform — where to next?

We aren't trying, we are now. We have all these brands that people love, such as Huffington Post, which is launching here later this year. We have great engagement with TechCrunch, so we're building these amazing contagious platforms.

We've also got some stuff on Apple Watch, so we're early on that. We've already got AOL and huffpost on it, and a third brand coming. The watch is particularly interesting to me because we will be delivering content in a completely different way. Its about how you deliver usefulness, and it comes with a completely new notification language too — which I think is underrated.


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