Connected Homes: The Ambient Era of Advertisement

We recently attended a talk given by the agency Unruly based around helping brands and customers navigate the ‘connected home space’.

The space is designed to give marketers ‘a synapse-tingling shot of the future, inspiring them to consider how they could use a new generation of technology to engage consumers in the connected home.’Unruly are looking to show what the home of 2020 will look, sound, smell, taste and feel like. The constant innovation of newly efficient technology means the ‘home’ space is a perfect canvas for advertising.


Below are three areas of tech innovation that we think are going to be a big part of your life very soon – be it in the home or on the move – with three examples of brands using the technology really well. If you’re interested in knowing more about how advancing tech and the influencer space intercept, get in touch: seenconnect@seenconnect.com!

Voice Activation and Control

By 2022, voice technology will be worth  £40 billion and ‘55 percent of American homes will include at least one smart speaker,’thanks to its efficiency and the ever increasing speed of our daily lives. Perhaps one of the best elements of voice shopping, is the elimination of intrusive marketing, since adverts only appear when you’re already in the shopping mindset. If you ask Alexa about new coffee machines, she’ll suggest X, Y and Z, but if you’re scrolling through Instagram and minding your own business, adverts pop up regardless.  Voice control in the car is a growing market since it’s completely hands free and allows you to continue concentrating visually and physically. Another great plus for brands surrounding voice innovation, is the ability to complete a transaction via a traditional billboard. You could be sat in traffic in your car, and you see a KitKat ad on a huge billboard. With voice you can now immediately purchase and add it to your next food order or ask your phone to set a reminder in X minutes when you stop at a service station for a break – because obviously ‘it’s not a break without a KitKat’. Voice control is the future; On average, people can speak around 150 words per minute compared to typing only 40, and despite language differences (Google invented live translation earbuds for that), speaking is a much more natural way for us to interact with our surroundings.

Visual Searching and Augmented Reality

Visual searching has an advantage that allows you to search using pictures, avoiding inconclusive research because you can’t describe something. Lots of brand apps are using this technology, especially within the fashion industry. Whilst augmented reality is still a visual control, it is different from visual searching because it is a live reality interface. Smart Mirrors are the best way of explaining this. A smart mirror is a two-way mirror with an electronic display behind the glass. The display can show the viewer different kinds of info, such as weather, time, date – whatever. In terms of advertising, smart mirror possibilities are endless. Beauty brands could offer advice on skincare with recommended products, or display make-up tutorials whilst you’re getting ready. The same goes for syncing up fashion apps and trying on clothes through augmented reality before committing to a purchase.

What does the future look like?

New tech is being invented constantly, like holograms build into computers, ready to be introduced into our lives sooner than you think.  With new innovation, comes inevitable challenge. We found this videocreated by a Swedish company advertising the beauty of simplicity, featuring a super smooth man living in a ‘Connected Home’ who goes to get his teeth done and then faces some challenges re-entering his house. It’s meant to be funny, and of course it’s an #Ad, but it does make you think; will the inevitable faulty nature of brand new technology slow us down? There is also the challenge smaller brands face competing with tech power houses like Amazon and Google. Amazon is completely dominating the retail space thanks to Alexa, so how will other smaller brands bypass this, and are we looking at a market that is less brand inclusive? Right now it’s difficult to tell what new tech landscapes will look like. One area we canoffer advice on, is integrating influencers into your marketing campaigns, alongside tech advancements. Instead of being daunted by changing marketing interfaces, get excited by new opportunities and canvases available for advertising your products. You want to remain ahead of the curb. Brands who can harness the power of voice and authenticity of influencer marketing, will win the biggest market share.

Industry Examples

Predicting the tech surges of the future can feel overwhelming, so we collated just three brands for you to consider, who are truly harnessing innovative tech like voice control and augmented reality, to truly bring themselves in line with the future:


  • Ikea has implemented augmented reality technology via their app that lets you point your phone towards a corner in your house and see what one of their mirrors would look like hanging on their wall, or whether a table would fit into your kitchen, all before purchase. Ikea also solve two other online shopping problems: you can take a picture of some furniture you like and it will find a similar item on their site, or if you have a space you want to fill in your home you can take a picture of the space and it will give you ideas on how to fill it.


  • Again, through the use of visual searching, the ASOS app now allows you to search for a specific item on their e-commerce site using a photo or screenshot, so for example you might take a photo of someone’s shoe on the tube and it will pull up similar items for you to buy straight away.


  • Amazon has teamed up with Snapchat to do something very similar to ASOS, meaning you can snapchat a picture of something you might want and then pull it up for purchase on an Amazon site or app, which is a really interesting use of social media as a visual portal. In terms of ‘Smart Mirror’ advancements, you may have heard of ‘Smart Glasses’ before – via Google’s failed attempt – but technology has advanced and Amazon’s Alexa branch have created some new ones that (apparently) work.