The mobile world continues to evolve at breakneck speed in millions of different directions, and it is difficult to predict how far it can evolve – or even if there is a conclusion. Here are five ways in which mobile technology will be a boon for business in 2015.
1. Proximity marketing will be commonplace
We don’t leave home without our mobile (comprising 1.75 billion smartphones) – and advertisers know it. SMEs and large companies have not yet completely woken up to the world of SMS marketing through companies such as Global Messaging, and the inherent business opportunities.
Targeted short range marketing which can alter an entire retail experience has been envisaged and implemented for no little time, but it’s still unclear whether it is successful, or just intrusive.
Wi-fi, imaging, beacon and Bluetooth smart are gaining traction and our high streets and urban environments could transform around us, from the small poster on the notice board to the giant billboard in the city centre, based on the short range technology inside a mobile. This eMarketer piece explains more of the theoretical issues.
Because it is still so young presumably more testing will continue in 2015, in a continued attempt to decode who is receptive, and who is scared, by the idea.
2. We won’t feel ready without our Smartwatch
While the Apple Watch might seem like the only show in town, there are many other contenders that might be readying themselves for a shot at the crown of best wearable device – or are already delivering, in the case of the Samsung Galaxy Gear. The Google Smartwatch will throw its hat in the ring at the end of the year.
Replicating many of the functions of a smartphone through apps such as iMessages, mail, Siri and camera, fashion and technology have long converged – but more people are talking about the marriage of the two, following the Apple Watch launch, than at any time.
Smartwatches obviously won’t replace the mobile and the Apple Watch’s one-day-or-so battery power might be its Achilles heel, but it will be interesting to see the development – and how problems such as those discussed in the Daily Mail are avoided.
3. Convergence and enhanced technology will make things easier
The early feedback is that the 5.5 inch screen on the iPhone 6 Plus is not putting Apple customers off; in fact, just the opposite. As many as 26% of the initial wave of customers at the launch in Australia were new to the brand – but if they’re not convinced, the Samsung Galaxy Note will be launched in September 2015.
The techie has a new phone or phablet, a new watch, Google Glass (later in the year), the advent and development of the new HTML 5 to allow a greater depth and speed of mobile application, and new Wi-fi standards. It should mean that the office-based job continues to be an endangered species.
4. We won’t need our cards…maybe
The technology requirements for payment via mobile phone have existed for some time, but security/fraud concerns have meant that potential customers have been wary.
The widespread use of contactless payments using Near field Communication technology in the high street has largely negated these fears, while the push towards payment has come, perhaps surprisingly, from Africa – where young, mobile-savvy young people are taking advantage of the ease of carrying a phone (or smartwatch) rather than cards to pay for their items.
Apple Pay is the next step in the process, but its success will hinge on convincing customers across Europe and America that it is safe and inherently better that what exists now. Will people feel that a card is just much simpler and safer because you don’t need to unlock it, or tap in a PIN? We’ll get a clearer idea in 2015.
5. We’ll be reminded: exercise is good for work
Could mobile technology defeat obesity and heart disease? Apple has already worn its heart on its sleeve, if you will, with the healthkit App as part of the iOS 8 upgrade. The app is designed to talk to other new apps analysing nutrition, and exercise to create an overall view of the person’s wellbeing.
In a perfect world, better health should lead to enhanced productivity in the workplace. Apple aims to help people build a comprehensive picture of their lives, from finance to culture, and from work to family life. Will people embrace this?