In the grand scheme of things, it was not too long ago that mobile was an amazing feat of technology and engineering. Carrying around a phone, now more of a microcomputer, the size of your palm seemed almost laughable, only the stuff of science fiction. It is still an amazing accomplishment, especially given how far we have come in such a short time from the days when mobile first entered the mainstream. But now mobile has pretty much taken over the world. And it shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. The future of the world is primed to be a completely mobile one.
A mobile future
Technology continues to push us into this mobile world. We can access more, experience more, and see more wherever we are in the world, more than we ever could before. The technologies below are helping lead us into a more mobile future.
Augmented and virtual reality
AR has been in the news a lot lately. Time will tell if it is the next great step in mobile technology or just a fad. In 2014, the World Cup allowed users with a webcam to head corner kicks. More recently, you probably could not escape hearing about Pokémon Go and how many millions of users it had on a daily basis.
It seems you can’t go to any social media site without seeing multiple videos. Videos are useful because they provide an immediate way to get immersive and authentic insight into a person or company. Immediacy is the advantage most thought of as Facebook Live and Live.ly become more standard.
Authenticity is the next step and why many users have flocked to Snapchat and Instagram video. The content seems more spontaneous and unfiltered, making it seem more authentic. Beme, for example, takes authenticity to a new level as it blacks out the screen when people are recording so there is no way to edit and select a certain self.
In terms of immersion, there are some apps that provide video that makes it feel like you are there watching, but the next step is to make you feel like you are there participating. Snapchat’s Story Explorer does this well by allowing people to swipe through Snaps so they can see something from different perspectives. To take images and videos more immersive we may come to a point where those 2D immersive experiences will go the next step and become VR experiences with new mobile technologies.
It is becoming more and more common to see VR video either with monoscopic (2D) 180° video or sometimes even with stereoscopic (3D) 360° video. In the near future, we will be looking at light-filed videos. These would enable the viewer to move around a scene without any restrictions. AT&T recently offered customers the chance to use the Oculus - Samsung Gear VR to experience a cruise ship vacation in VR. Around the same time, Verizon began offering Samsung Gear VR with certain Galaxy phones. This allowed customers to play games, socialize with friends, and watch movies in a VR environment.
5G technology is coming
5G technology is not here yet, but in the coming years, it will be the next major driver of change in mobile devices. The increased speed of data transfer will allow gigabits of data to travel between devices in seconds. That means that users can access large amounts of information within seconds. This mobile technology directly impacts the evolution of IoT. With more data traveling at faster speeds, more devices will be able to become smart devices. This will allow more data to be shared remotely. All of the mobile technology we already have and all of it that is yet to come, according to some studies, leads to increases in productivity.
Many mobile technologies
There are also many other mobile technologies that are very important for businesses and consumers.
- Creation - Many new mobile technologies are making it easier for everyone to create mobile apps. With this ability, companies can access data from various places.
- Machine Learning - As technology advances, mobile is able to do more. In the past, the amount of data that companies could receive from mobile was limited. With machine learning, predictive analysis, and streaming data processing, companies are able to access more information than they were able to in the past.
- Deep linking - Using this technology, businesses can link to new information or another location in an app without having to open a new app.
- Streaming apps - With increased data speeds and strength of mobile networks companies can now stream entire apps and larger chunks of data. The ability to do this means that content can be stored on a secure server and they do not have to worry about employees accessing data on unsecured networks.
- Development stacks - New technology is creating new app development stacks that be applied to different platforms. This will make it easier to develop apps as well as testing, security, and distribution.
The impact of mobile in various industriesWe are beginning to see some use of mobile technologies incorporated into various industries, but there is much more to come if technology keeps advancing as fast as it has been.
- Education - In schools, mobile VR devices have been giving the children immersive experiences in museums, cultures, and time periods.
- Healthcare - Professionals in healthcare can take advantage of mobile AR and VR by offering patients exposure therapy in VR environments. This technology can help them face certain fears. There are also scanners that can project images of internal systems over a patient’s skin.
- Retail - Some retailers are beginning to use VR and AR to help customers see what makeup and clothing look like on them before they buy it.
- Automotive - Ford Motors uses VR technology to help designers experiences a car before they actually make a physical prototype.
- Finance - Much of the impact in the finance industry has been in banking. At first, many banks created apps where customers could perform almost all bank functions through a smart phone or tablet. Then came completely digital and mobile banks. All functions are done remotely as there are no physical branches. Many customers also can make payments using apps on mobiles phones or with their actual phones, acting as a card through bank data stored on their phones.
- Marketing - Many companies, especially in the movie industry, have released VR experiences to accompany the marketing campaign to get customers to have a stronger attachment to the movie and the overall brand.
- Security - Alphanumeric passwords are quickly becoming a thing of the past on mobile devices. Many companies are incorporating biometric passwords into devices: fingerprints, retina scans, and facial recognition.
The mobile market will continue to grow
There are still many unknowns about how much technology can advance in the realm of mobile. But one thing seems clear: mobile is not going away anytime soon. We will continue to see growth in the mobile market as technology advances. Let’s just hope we can all keep up.