ICYMI: Augmented Reality, AI, and Voice Technology at Adobe Summit Sneaks 2019

by Jamie Brighton

Posted on 05-16-2019

I won’t lie, I real­ly want­ed to dodge the cliché at the begin­ning of this blog by avoid­ing the phrase: “This year’s Sum­mit Sneaks has been the best one yet”. But after com­ic cav­a­lier and this year’s Sneaks host Jack White­hall took to the Adobe Sum­mit EMEA stage with me to delight over 6,000 atten­dees with his unique mix of brassy brava­do, while show­cas­ing some stun­ning tech­nol­o­gy that’s poised to trans­form the future of the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence along the way, I feel that _not _lead­ing with this state­ment would have been mis­lead­ing. This year’s Sneaks real­ly has been the best one yet.

For back­ground, Sum­mit Sneaks is a tech­nol­o­gy show­case that gives curi­ous mar­keters, ana­lysts, and techies alike a glimpse at the cut­ting-edge tech­nol­o­gy cur­rent­ly being devel­oped in Adobe’s R&D labs, includ­ing the lat­est in AI, mixed real­i­ty, and voice.

Each year, Adobe’s engi­neers, researchers, prod­uct man­agers, and UX design­ers have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sub­mit pro­pos­als for a chance to present their work at Adobe Sum­mit EMEA. The audience’s favourite Sneaks have a sol­id track record of even­tu­al­ly becom­ing Adobe prod­uct offer­ings, with Smart Lay­out in Adobe Expe­ri­ence Man­ag­er and Attri­bu­tion IQ in Adobe Ana­lyt­ics to name but two.


On the air trav­el scene, lengthy lay­overs usu­al­ly con­jure up images of packed air­port lounges, scream­ing tod­dlers, and tedious­ly long waits for con­nect­ing flights. But tech­nol­o­gy is now begin­ning to project an air of calm and com­fort dur­ing an oth­er­wise unnec­es­sar­i­ly stress­ful experience.

Mobile apps are using aug­ment­ed real­i­ty to cre­ate ‘AR zones’ with­in air­ports, which essen­tial­ly act as an inter­ac­tive ter­mi­nal map. Trav­ellers can explore dif­fer­ent stores and shops dot­ted around the air­port, from book­shops to bak­eries, and are pre­sent­ed with per­son­alised pro­mo­tion­al offers, which can then be instant­ly redeemed through their dig­i­tal wal­let. After all, who doesn’t want to tuck into a dou­ble-choco­late chip cook­ie while flick­ing through their favourite mag­a­zine or book?

This wan­der­lust-inspired Sneaks rep­re­sents a refresh­ing and much-need­ed upgrade to the in-air­port expe­ri­ence, an ordeal that most trav­ellers view as a nec­es­sary evil to be nav­i­gat­ed on their way to more excit­ing places. It neat­ly show­cas­es how tight inte­gra­tions across Adobe Expe­ri­ence Cloud can deliv­er the tech­nol­o­gy back­end to quick­ly build and scale AR expe­ri­ences, bring­ing togeth­er 3D con­tent and deliv­ery with com­merce, ana­lyt­ics and per­son­al­i­sa­tion capabilities.


From one kind of jour­ney to anoth­er. When mar­keters make deci­sions about the cus­tomer jour­ney, they’re typ­i­cal­ly dri­ven and dic­tat­ed by his­tor­i­cal data. For instance, if a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice iden­ti­fies a group of users who have unsub­scribed, they will then tar­get those peo­ple with strate­gic con­tent in a bid to re-engage them.

But this approach is far from ide­al. It’s reac­tive, the brand is clear­ly labour­ing one step behind the cus­tomer, and a des­per­ate attempt to claw back lost busi­ness in the wrong man­ner can often do more harm than good.

By using data and AI, this Sneaks show­cas­es how mar­keters can iden­ti­fy and dis­tin­guish between new and exist­ing cus­tomers, as well as col­lect price­less insights con­cern­ing exact­ly where they are on their jour­ney. But what use are insights with­out any actions to best take advan­tage of them? Adobe has devel­oped tech­nol­o­gy that can apply Adobe Sensei’s deep learn­ing capa­bil­i­ties, min­ing past data and pat­terns around known user behav­iours to accu­rate­ly pre­dict a customer’s future actions, mean­ing the pre­vi­ous­ly men­tioned sub­scrip­tion ser­vice can now iden­ti­fy a dis­grun­tled user before they unsub­scribe, and refer to a list of rec­om­mend­ed actions specif­i­cal­ly designed to per­suade them to stay.


Much like going to the air­port, tak­ing your car in for main­te­nance is anoth­er one of those expe­ri­ences we all must go through, yet none of us real­ly enjoy. We have min­i­mal con­trol over the inter­ac­tion, and with scare-mon­gers hav­ing us believe that everyone’s out to scam us, we’re usu­al­ly forced to accept rec­om­men­da­tions on repairs and upkeep at face value.

This par­tic­u­lar Sneaks show­cas­es a new con­sumer app that cap­tures auto­mo­tive data points con­cern­ing any­thing from bat­tery per­for­mance to engine health. By giv­ing peo­ple real-time rec­om­men­da­tions on main­te­nance needs, informed con­sumers can final­ly be more proac­tive in their decisions.

Automak­ers also ben­e­fit, receiv­ing aggre­gat­ed and anony­mous data on con­sumers who opt into the ser­vice, which can then inform their deci­sion-mak­ing. For instance, this data can help them iden­ti­fy a fleet of cars that expe­ri­ences com­mon main­te­nance issues and proac­tive­ly take action to pre­vent the prob­lem from re-occurring.


Any pro­fes­sion­al who deals with long-form doc­u­ments will agree with me here: the process of unearthing the rel­e­vant details in these mon­strous tomes is a labo­ri­ous, man­u­al, and time-con­sum­ing bur­den that most of us could do without.

By using text recog­ni­tion AI and voice con­trol capa­bil­i­ties, this Sneaks unveils a nifty project using Adobe Doc­u­ment Cloud and Microsoft Cog­ni­tive Ser­vices, which allows peo­ple to use voice com­mands to talk to their doc­u­ments and quick­ly sur­face rel­e­vant information.

And it doesn’t stop there. The tech­nol­o­gy also allows users to rapid­ly com­pare doc­u­ments past and present, mean­ing a mar­ket­ing direc­tor review­ing an agency con­tract can ask “how does the price quot­ed com­pare with what we paid last year?” and instant­ly get the details. Cool, right?


AI is remov­ing the com­pli­cat­ed, admin-heavy tasks from our lives. We love how Adobe Sen­sei can help our cus­tomers eas­i­ly nav­i­gate a num­ber of tools, com­plete com­plex actions by just speak­ing a few words, and ulti­mate­ly pro­vide an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence when work­ing on a vari­ety of projects.

To make things even _eas­i­er, _we’re bring­ing Adobe Sen­sei fea­tures to our customer’s favourite apps. Expert Assist is enabling cus­tomers to per­form tasks like auto­mat­i­cal­ly edit­ing images using AI through pop­u­lar apps like Slack.

This Sneak shows the poten­tial for cus­tomers to opti­mise their cur­rent tools, as we col­lab­o­rate to bring the ben­e­fits of Adobe Sen­sei to apps our cus­tomers already use and love.


Data Unbound aims to bring Expe­ri­ence Cloud data to the user and make the data more acces­si­ble to Adobe cus­tomers beyond our stan­dard interfaces.

First, a new plu­g­in that imports Ana­lyt­ics data into Pow­er­Point is shown. Work­space visu­al­i­sa­tions are acces­si­ble and auto­mat­i­cal­ly refreshed with data via API. Then, a new fea­ture called Open Data Links allows data to be eas­i­ly copy/pasted from Work­space into any appli­ca­tion: Excel, Tableau, Pow­er BI, Ter­mi­nal. And final­ly, we need to con­sid­er the data con­sumer who would rather read than view a visu­al­i­sa­tion. For them, cap­tions are auto­mat­i­cal­ly applied to explain each visu­al­i­sa­tion using Adobe Sen­sei – in both Analy­sis Work­space and PowerPoint.

Topics: Adobe Summit, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA