Monday, 28 March 2011

To what extent will digital technology around the home help transform political campaigns?

In the past week I have finally got my hands on an iPhone4. It’s amazing that over the last 12 months my once “fashionable phone” now looks like a brick in comparison. But this has got me thinking, just how influential is mobile technology when it comes to politics? Will things like the iPad2 and Internet Ready TV’s really impact the way in which politicians communicate with voters?

A close friend of mine Mark Wray, a home automation specialist from Cardiff, was explaining just how much politics will benefit from a rise in mobile phone and digital technology. He believes that young people will become more actively involved with politics through the growth of social media, particularly with new technology around the home.

Mark Wray, Managing Director of Smarta Technology said: “The growth in internet ready televisions, smartphones and tablet devices has brought social media away from the study or bedroom and into the living rooms of households across the country. When installing home automation systems nearly every component can now communicate directly with the internet, whether it’s a touch screen control panel on a wall or a new line of 3D Televisions. This will no doubt contribute to a transformation in the way in which advertising and communication messages are received around the home. Giving political parties a fresh opportunity to communicate with voters”

With such a high usage of social media worldwide where an expected 2 billion people actively online at any one point and with nearly 1 in 5 people now a proud owner of a Smartphone, its become essential for political parties to embrace social media marketing as part of an ongoing public relations strategy. Many would argue that there has never been more communications between politicians and voters. The recent Yes For Wales Campaign successfully used online marketing tools including viral videos on Twitter and Facebook to raise awareness of the issues facing Wales in order to promote a Yes vote in the assembly election.

In the next decade there will be a significant transformation in the way in which social media is accessed from home. With Home Automation now being pre installed into many new build houses, it’s provided a fresh opportunity for businesses, charities and political parties to interact with a range of different members of the public. Home Automation will enable markets to be segmented into different groups including age, sex and social classes, which will significantly effect digital marketing." Mr. Wray Continued.

Although the rise in accessible social media at home is likely to encourage more young people to get involved with politics in the future, social media can also be a communication tool that can significantly damage a reputation of an individual or party. With the recent case of politician Colin Elsbury whom was instructed to pay out £53,000 to town councilor Eddie Talbot after he wrongfully tweeted his rival had been thrown out of a polling station last June. Proving that a miss communication on twitter can result in significant consequences.

To what extent home automation systems will transform politics in the future may still be unclear, but it’s not unwise to consider the significant affects that internet ready televisions, games consoles, iPads, Smart Phones and even iPods are already having on politics on a regional and national level. A further growth in home-based technology will undoubtedly change politics in the future and it may be the case that the parties that are first to adapt to this change will reap the biggest rewards. For more information about social media in a smart home please visit

*This post was created by Gerwyn Holmes, a supporter of Cymru X.


freestylergez said...

Interesting Article! I think everyone will own an iPhone4 by 2012. Apple are taking over!

Anonymous said...

Mmm... I prefer face-to-face encounters with candidates for office. You can't interrogate an i-phone or get the measure of a man or woman without meeting them face-to-face. It seems to me that the Labour candidates here in north Wales are doing a lot of that at present, knocking onn doors and showing the rosette in public places. It may pay off for them.