Last week PHD Australia launched Merge Week; a week of  innovation and smarts. Throughout the week the PHD team immersed themselves in new technologies and heard from thought leading partners to launch the latest publication, Merge.

Merge explores the closing gap between humanity and technology and how we are becoming inextricably linked. The week kicked off with a look into the ‘Future Now’ with futurists, Future Sumo, taking the stage to share current technology available around the world but only being utilised by early adopters, soon the majority of these products will be mainstream and part of our day to day lives. This included ‘Halo’ brain training wear, a brain training wear which accelerates the development of muscle memory allowing us to acquire skills at a much faster rate and ‘Muse’ which allows you to move objects with your brain once reaching ultimate meditation levels.

Digital Partners, Jason Juma-Ross Head of Tech Facebook and Andy Sinn Agency Lead, presented the Facebook Roadmap to AI, AR and VR and brought to life what the Future will look like through the lens of Facebook. International TEDX Speaker, Kevin Alloca YouTube Head of Culture, not only shared the latest trends of YouTube which were hugely insightful but also demonstrated how to play songs with just a calculator!

Tom Fryett, Head of Progammatic, shared his insights into the ‘Top 10’ Merge related implications Amazon will have upon moving to Australia and Remi Baker, Strategy Director, shared her thoughts on what the world will look like when access takes over ownership due to rapid development in technology.

The team then took a road trip to AFK’s innovation lab where they had the opportunity to explore mixed reality, including how the lab water their plants with an iPad that waters a plant in real life with a mini virtual helicopter. They even started to notice the change in their thinking pattern and how they could adapt current methods with incorporating intelligent technology.  Introducing presentation training through the use of Virtual Reality participants were able to practice their public speaking capabilities in front of an audience as large as the Sydney Opera House or as intimidate as a pitch presentation.

Throughout the week , PHD Australia ran a Merge Media Campaign which consisted of OOH, Print, Digital. They featured on Channel 9’s 6pm news with a breaking story of how PHD Strategists had implanted microchips into their hands which enabled them to complete tasks such as making payments, accessing the office and sharing their LinkedIn profiles.

Mark Holden Worldwide Strategy and Planning Director arrived from London into Melbourne on the Thursday to host an intimate lunch with Melbourne clients, he followed this with a keynote presentation at ANZ’s Marketing Forum. On the Friday, Mark was welcomed to Sydney where he finalised PHD Australia’s Merge week with a keynote at Simmer on the Bay where he shared with over 150 clients, media owners and employees an insight into Merge and the implications for marketeers.

Guests had the opportunity to experience the future with an array of emerging technologies on show. Exploring a selection of live, interactive areas, guests had the chance to try out some of the ground-breaking gadgets and see just how close we are to the Merge. Tech areas included wearables, hearables, bio-tech, brainwear, gesture control, invisibles, IOT, robotics, virtual reality, augmented reality.