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Below is an excerpt from the 2018 Youth Trends report, created by Student Beans sister company Voxburner. The excerpt is on the subject of how new tech innovations are forming an emotional connection with Gen Z. 

Emotive Tech

From smart speakers to virtual reality, tech companies are increasingly appealing to users’ emotions with their new products and innovations. The question is, do the next generation of consumers find this comforting or creepy? 

Our Youth Trends 2018 survey found that 32% of 16-24s love the idea of technology becoming emotionally connected to human beings, while a huge 86% think it helps them communicate better. In 2018, tech innovations are finding a way to bring emotion to the forefront of young consumers’ minds via touch, voice, AI and VR. Devices and software are becoming increasingly humanised, allowing deeper connections that are fuelled by a thoroughly modern, global tech language. 

Out of our 2,000 16-24s, 20% think emotive tech such as AI assistants are amazing and plan on using them, with 42% liking the sound of the idea but won’t be buying into it immediately. On the flip side, 28% think it’s scary and 9% think there’s no place for it in the world. We also asked whether young people would accept social support from tech devices. 18% would trust technology to be their friend, 20% would trust technology to find them a date, 18% to listen to their problems and 15% to tell them their personality traits. From these stats, it appears this young cohort are intrigued yet still a little skeptical when it comes to emotive tech, which is why brands will have to work really hard in 2019 if they want to capture this audience with futuristic gadgets and campaigns. 

Take inspiration from brands already playing in the emotive tech space. There are a clever handful capturing young audiences’ hearts and minds via incredible interactive concepts and campaigns that excite. Ecommerce brands have used AI to give customers the experience of having their own personal shopper, such as Amazon’s Echo Look smart speaker/camera and ASOS’s chatbot stylist Enki. Meanwhile, augmented reality (AR) has been used by global brands like Uber, Disney and Samsung to create memorable, shareable experiential campaigns in busy public places. Learn more about Student Beans today by visiting