To Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi, the best way to understand technology is to play with it.
"Be a consumer of the technology. Be out there first and use it, live it," Mehdi said today, at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Phoenix. "Your kids are living it now. Spend time with them and see how it's going."
Mehdi, as vp of marketing and strategy, interactive entertainment at Microsoft, leads marketing efforts on Xbox. And while he used Xbox and Microsoft's Kinect platform to illustrate his presentation, he spoke more broadly about how tech will shape entertainment in the future.
Not surprisingly, Mehdi expects the home's most powerful computing machine to be connected to a TV screen. The machine also will be linked to other devices like smart phones and tablets, enabling it to better understand the likes and dislikes of users.
Today, "those devices are horribly disconnected," Mehdi said. "We're going to be able to sync up all those devices" and the synchronicity among them can be applied to advertising, he added.
At the same time, consumers will expect more relevant marketing.
"You will need to understand the consumer in a deeper way in the living room, in the entertainment room," Mehdi said. "So, all of the power and accountability that we've come to learn and love in online through things like search–that power and accountability will be expected and delivered in the living room with all forms of entertainment."
Sensors, already a force in home gaming, will play an even bigger role, reading everything from body movements and heart rates to facial expressions, according to Mehdi. Moreover, he expects the current era of touch screens will give way to voice commands, as digital natives shift from signing in to calling out.