Technology augments our experience of the world, allows us to work more efficiently: Isobar report

The ‘Augmented Humanity: Isobar Trends Report 2019’ explores the changing nature of the human relationship with technology: from how we work and play, to how we travel, shop, spend our leisure time and engage with brands. Also find five key trends that businesses and brands need to know

Isobar, the global digital agency from Dentsu Aegis Network, has released the ‘Augmented Humanity: Isobar Trends Report 2019’, an exploration of five digital trends for 2019. The report explores the extent to which humanity will work in harmony with technology to expand and enrich life in 2019.

Written by the innovation and strategy experts across Isobar’s 85 offices in 45 markets, the report, which is available for download at, is built on the concept of Augmented Humanity, developed by Isobar, in 2018. The 2019 trends report explores the changing nature of human relationship with technology: from how we work and play, to how we travel, shop, spend our leisure time and engage with brands.

The report is centred round a belief that technology augments our experience of the world, allowing us to work more efficiently, to live healthier lifestyles, to make better human decisions and to expand our creativity. It explains why Isobar believes that this is an important moment in human history, outlines some of the myriad opportunities that these technological developments open up and shines a light on some of the challenges posed by digital disruption.

Jean Lin

Jean Lin, Isobar’s Global CEO, said, “Technology today plays a key role in driving relevance, scale, and elevating human experiences. It is our job to harness its wonderful power and the potential for businesses and brands, in serving people better in the age of Augmented Humanity.”

Shamsuddin Jasani

Commenting on the launch, Shamsuddin Jasani, Group Managing Director, Isobar South Asia, said, “We need to embrace the power of technology. Today, we are on the edge of an augmented age where technology is redefining the possibilities of what a human can truly be capable of. This next phase of transformational technological advances, wearable and embedded devices will unlock human potential by tapping into almost all our day to day activities. In 2019, we shall see how digital is going to be omnipresent and VOICE will be the biggest game changer in the field of marketing.”

Isobar’s five key trends for 2019 are:

  1. The evolving interface: How the intersection between humans and technology is changing
  2. The human algorithm: How data can help us to better understand ourselves and enable better decisions
  3. The fluid vs the collective self: How the digital world enhances personal and collective experiences
  4. The trust paradox: How technology can help or hinder our understanding of the increasingly complex world around us
  5. The transformed experience: How Augmented Humanity enables us to feel and experience the world differently and in deeper ways

The annual report provides guidance on navigating this new landscape to keep businesses and brands ahead of the curve for 2019 and beyond. Each chapter outlines why these developments are important, key examples of the trends in action, why businesses need to be aware of them and how they can take advantage of their positive potential.


OnePlus leads premium smartphone segment in India, pips Apple, Samsung: IDC report

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has emerged as the market leader in premium smartphone brand in India, according to leading market research firm IDC’s Q3 2018 Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report.

The device maker led the USD 400+ premium segment with 37 percent market share with Apple and Samsung trailing behind at second and third position respectively.

In addition to leading the premium segment, OnePlus also clocked its highest shipment ever in a single quarter, which led to pushing the average selling price in the online space to USD 166 in 3Q18 from USD 156 in 3Q17.

“OnePlus climbed to the leadership position at the back of OnePlus 6, surpassing Samsung and Apple. With its dedicated community building activities and high decibel promotional activities on social media platforms, the vendor has been gradually scaling up in volumes,” Upasana Joshi, Associate Research Manager, IDC India said.

oneplus market share

After making its debut in 2014, OnePlus’ popularity has taken huge strides as the smartphone maker consistently launched devices with flagship level specifications at an affordable price.

While one can attribute OnePlus’ recent success to a strong word-of-mouth and positive reviews from tech pundits for its recently-launched flagship smartphone, it has tweaked its strategy for the OnePlus 6T.

In order to increase its reach into the tier-II and tier-III cities, the company moved away from its online-only strategy and tied up with leading offline players such as Croma outlets and Reliance Digital outlets pan-India.

OnePlus 6T, the company’s most recent flagship smartphone, sports features such as 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display, Snapdragon 845, in-screen fingerprint sensor. The device is available in 6GB/128GB, 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB variants and has been priced at Rs 37,999, Rs 41,999 and Rs 45,999 respectively.

The device is available for purchase from,, Croma stores, Reliance Digital stores along with all OnePlus exclusive offline stores. It has been launched in midnight black, mirror black and thunder purple colour variants. Thunder purple, which is a special edition, will be available only in the 8/128 GB variant and will retail at Rs 41,999


NASA orders review of SpaceX, Boeing after Elon Musk’s pot-smoking upsets officials: Report

Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA walks with NASA Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate William Gerstenmaier (C) and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (R) prior to boarding the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft for launch on October 11, 2018.

Bill Ingalls/NASA | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA walks with NASA Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate William Gerstenmaier (C) and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (R) prior to boarding the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft for launch on October 11, 2018.

NASA will conduct a safety review of Boeing and SpaceX, months after the latter company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk smoked marijuana during a videotaped podcast, according to the Washington Post on Tuesday.

The agency’s review of the companies will begin next year, the report says. Musk’s pot-smoking upset high level NASA officials, the Post reported, causing the agency to take a look at SpaceX. The U.S. Air Force also began looking into Musk’s marijuana smoking shortly after the incident.

While NASA officials reportedly focused on Musk’s behavior, Boeing – SpaceX’s competitor under NASA’s Commercial Crew program – is also under review.

“We are focused on safe and successful commercial crew missions to the International Space Station. In the coming months, prior to the crew test flights of Crew Dragon and Starliner, NASA will be conducting a cultural assessment study in coordination with our commercial partners to ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment,” NASA said in a statement to CNBC.

NASA’s Commercial Crew program is part of the agency’s plan to once again launch U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil. Since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, astronauts have flown aboard Russian Soyuz — at a cost to NASA of more than $70 million per seat. The Commercial Crew program is competitive, with contracts up for grabs for SpaceX to win with its Dragon capsules and Boeing with its Starliner capsules.

NASA associate administrator William Gerstenmaier told the Post that the review process will be “pretty invasive.” The agency will take a look at “everything and anything that could impact safety,” Gerstenmaier said. NASA plans to interview hundreds of Boeing and SpaceX employees, according to Gerstenmaier, at all levels of authority.

Top NASA official Jim Bridenstine said in the report that he has “a lot of confidence in the SpaceX team.”

“Culture and leadership start at the top,” Bridenstine told the Post. “Anything that would result in some questioning the culture of safety, we need to fix immediately.”

SpaceX said in a statement to CNBC that flying humans in space “is the core mission” of Musk’s company.

“There is nothing more important to SpaceX than this endeavor, and we take seriously the responsibility that NASA has entrusted in us to safely and reliably carry American astronauts,” SpaceX said. “In addition, SpaceX actively promotes workplace safety and we are confident that our comprehensive drug-free workforce and workplace programs exceed all applicable contractual requirements.”

Boeing similarly emphasized its workplace culture, telling CNBC in a statement that the company ensures “the integrity, safety, and quality” of its workplace and production.

“As NASA’s trusted partner since the beginning of human spaceflight, we share the same values and are committed to continuing our legacy of trust, openness and mission success,” Boeing said.

SpaceX is set to launch its first Crew Dragon demonstration flight without astronauts in January, months ahead of Boeing, which suffered a testing setback to its capsule in June. The earliest Boeing’s Starliner capsule will fly is March, although a government watchdog report earlier this year cast doubt over the aerospace giant’s schedule.

Overall, delays have plagued the Commercial Crew program since 2014, when NASA first handed out multi-billion dollar contracts to SpaceX and Boeing.

Musk’s company is nearing the end of a milestone year. SpaceX had its record-tying 18th launch of the year on Thursday. The company also launched Falcon Heavy for the first time, the most powerful rocket since the Atlas V, as well as the final version of its Falcon 9 rocket called Block 5.

SpaceX also put two test satellites for its “Starlink” network into orbit, with the FCC approving SpaceX to launch thousands more of the satellites to create a broadband communications network comparable to fiber optic networks. Additionally, NASA recently gave SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket a vote of confidence, certifying the rocket on Nov. 8 as a “Category 3 launch vehicle.”

“LSP Category 3 certification is a major achievement for the Falcon 9 team and represents another key milestone in our close partnership with NASA,” SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement.