The concept of “innovation” can seem difficult to measure, leading IPG Media Lab and Magna to create the so-called “Innovation Velocity Gauge” comparing just how rapidly more than two dozen industries are evolving relative to one another.
Emerging technologies, also referred to as “innovation territories,” can grow at wildly different speeds, said Richard Yao, IPG Media Lab’s manager of strategy and content. The new gauge will fill the “one missing piece” that has proven to be a hiccup in the industry’s efforts to track, and visualize, just how those sectors evolve, he said.
“‘Metaverse’ has been on our radar since 2009, but the last year was really a breakout year for it,” for example, Yao said. Indeed, all things metaverse had a moment in 2021, and that attention from both consumers and corporations is reflected in the Innovation Velocity Gauge; it’s ranked 10th among the 27 tech-driven verticals analyzed in the tool’s inaugural run.
Leading the pack in first place is “cross-screen measurement”—hardly a surprise given long-dominant Nielsen’s measurement stumbles that came to light early in 2021, which have since opened the door for a crush of cutting-edge competitors to make inroads with legacy media giants like NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS. Industry groups, including both the Association of National Advertisers and Video Advertising Bureau, have also echoed calls to expand the use of comprehensive, alternative measurement currencies.
The No. 2 innovator on the list is “blockchain,” which has generated significant buzz this past year not just for its ties to cryptocurrency but also as the technological basis upon which non-fungible tokens are created, stored and traded.
Rounding out the top five are “visual search” in third place, “machine learning” in fourth, and “digital finance” in fifth. The tail end of the gauge includes digital health, over-the-top broadcasting and wearable technology, whose collective pace of innovation was on the slower side because they’re currently past their initial growth spurts.