A world without friction or seams probably won’t ever happen, even though consumers seek it constantly. In the meantime, marketers need to focus on the technologies that are showing signs of progress, whether it’s with augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence or eyeglass video.

“I think one of the challenges that we’ve still got with that technology is consumers are really looking for that frictionless experience,” Di Richardson, EVP and Chief Strategy Officer at global media agency UM Worldwide, says in an interview with Beet.tv. “We’ve been trained now with our phones, the way we live, that we don’t expect there to be dysfunction in our technology.”

Richardson cites as one example the latest iteration of wearable video technology (think Google Glass). “Time will tell, but what’s happening with Snapchat Spectacles right now, I think it’s a lot more seamless experience,” says Richardson. “I think once we get a more seamless experience, we can then have the ability to take that to more people more often.”

And there are always the contributions from Apple to inspire more fluid human/technology interaction. “Think about what Apple have done really well, they think about it from the consumer experience. I think we need a little bit more of that in some of the tech that’s being developed,” she adds.

While the use of data to better pinpoint target audiences and drive true brand engagement is happening on a heretofore-unachievable scale, there’s still more work ahead, according to Richardson. “Part of the challenge that brands have in the space right now is we’re still trying to get this right mix of creativity and the data,” she says. “And I think we’re learning a lot more, brands are learning a lot more, but we have to get to the point where the format makes the experience and I don’t think we’re quite there yet.”

The ability to change creative content and messaging on the fly has made great strides, particularly in the last two years, Richardson believes. But looking at the bigger picture with regard to creativity, the right ad for the right person at the right moment needs to go farther.

“But how do we scale that?” Richardson asks. “How do we actually bring back that love of engaging with brands again?”

Brands that have aligned themselves with a purpose are on the right track, to an extent. “I think brands are going to have to look beyond the end of their noses, so to speak, and think about what’s their role, their contribution, how is it beyond the product or service they’re offering that they can really drive a creative engagement with people,” says Richardson.

This interview is part of our series “The Road to CES,” a lead-up series in advance of CES 2017. The series is presented by FreeWheel. Please find more videos from the series here.