Author: Steve Callanan, CEO
Over the last 5 years, I’ve been speaking about WIREWAX at more events than I can remember; Brightcove PLAY, NYTM, WIRED, SXSW to name but a few, but the ones that always stick in my mind are those organized by the great people over at Decoded Fashion.
Decoded Fashion Meetup London
Back in 2012 we had a call from the then CEO and founder of Decoded, the unstoppable and forever effervescent, Liz Bacelar. Liz told us about her ambitious plan to bring some of the biggest people in fashion together in the Lincoln Center New York to discuss how technology should (and will) play a big part in its future. At WIREWAX, we’ve always led the march with shoppable fashion video and to be recognized for that by speaking about how we’re changing the way people engage and consume through video - in front of an auditorium full of top-spec fashion peeps - at the first Decoded Fashion Summit was a high point in our history.
The first Decoded Fashion Summit 2012
The events have evolved a lot since then (as have we) and Liz is no longer in the driving seat, but we’ve been privileged to have been immersed along the way and met some of fashion’s most forward-thinking innovators. I’ve presented at many more Decoded Fashion events in New York, London and elsewhere, but this year we were asked to contribute the much acclaimed Decoded Fashion Summit in Tokyo, Japan.
Japan has always been a fascinating market for us; a history of ground-breaking technology, the unconventional passion for beauty in imperfect aesthetics, a culture rich in tradition and a passive and compassionate approach to interaction. It’s unlike anywhere else on earth and to have an opportunity to spend time with a very small but relevant group of people was too good to say no.
We were told that the Japanese have a fervour for new digital technologies from the West and are, individually, eager to be seen as early adopters amongst their peers. For that reason we were excited to talk about what we’d done for retailers in the US and Europe, demonstrate real tangible value and show how they could achieve the same, if not better, if they’d just give it a go.
Decoded Fashion Summit Tokyo
I had 15 minutes in a busy and stellar schedule to talk about ‘The Future of Video - Connected, Shoppable and Intelligent’ - a slight adaptation on my usual babble but, most significantly, I would be speaking in front of several hundred people, who, for most, wouldn’t understand what I would be saying (some might say there’s no change there). For that reason, my slides were in Japanese and I spent an hour beforehand with a wonderful and brilliant translator planning how to turn my patchy script and into a perfectly comprehensible stream of sounds. She eventually did this from a white, plastic shed-like box at the back of the room but piped into hundreds of wireless earpieces while I had the very strange experience of speaking on stage in front of hundreds of people in my native language knowing they were listening to someone else.
Regardless of the linguistic challenges, the feedback was overwhelming. Our demonstration booth at the back of the room (manned by my co-founder and No.2, Dan Garraway) was instantly inundated with a steady stream of fascinated attendees keen to learn more. What we learnt is that the appetite for video to work harder translates into any language and there is a need to exploit a technology like WIREWAX in every market.
Our partnership with Decoded Fashion continues and, while back in familiar territory at the New York Summit next week, we expect no waning of desire to learn more from the fashion sector, always looking to push boundaries and deliver more to hungry and demanding audiences and consumers.