Last week Control F1 Lead Mobile Developer Gabrielle Littler and Marketing Manager Florence attended Enterprise Apps World 2015 at the Cloud World Forum to find out more about the latest mobile trends. In this post, Florence summarises her top five takeaways from the event.
- Mobile tech is changing the way we work.
As work becomes increasingly project based, the word “office” takes on a new dimension – a bedroom; a café perhaps; or a remote beach on the other side of the globe – as long as it has Wifi, that is. We’re seeing a big rise in flexible working, and the 9 to 5 will soon be no more. As meetings become more organic and work streams more fluid, even corporates are starting to engage in co-working and space sharing practices.
Mobile technology has played a big part in making this transition achievable. A case in point comes from Adidas’ Marc van der Heijden, who described how the entire Adidas Business transitioned over from traditional server usage to cloud based storage system Dropbox. “The majority of our employees were already using Dropbox – either in their personal or professional lives – so it became a no brainer”, Marc told us.
- The future of mobile is “always on”.
Amazon is leading the way with its Echo – a wireless speaker connected to Amazon Prime which is able to anticipate what you want and deliver it to you – before you even have to log on to your iPad and make an order.
Similarly Google Now – designed to give Apple’s Siri a run for its money – comes with an added layer of intelligence, proactively delivering information that it thinks might be of interest through what it gleans by analysing your texts.
Apple has responded by making Siri accessible to our apps. In the future advertisers, for instance, will be able to integrate Siri and make their brand pop out of their apps through harnessing Apple’s voice recognition technology.
- Empathy is key to good design.
Kelly Manthey of Solstice Mobile, a huge proponent of human-centred design, described how mobile technologists must acquire a deep understanding of their customers in order to deliver the best possible mobile experience. “Interview, shadow, walk a mile in people’s shoes – you need to gain empathy with your users to give them a truly frictionless experience”, Kelly told us.
- Technology is becoming part of the fabric of our day-to-day lives.
On the subject of frictionless experiences, Levi’s and Google have created a smart thread, which can be woven into clothing. Used in conjunction with a button-sized computer, the fabric can communicate with a mobile phone, functioning as a touchpad or joystick to control your handset without you so much as taking it out of your pocket.
Meanwhile, the Smile Suggest Chrome extension takes responsive design to a whole new level, basing whether or not to bookmark a page on how much you are smiling, all monitored through your webcam.
- Mobile should enhance a physical experience, not replace it
Songza – acquired by Google last year – provides a good example of this. Listening to music is an experience that most people enjoy, but Songza takes the experience up a notch. The app allows users to select music based on their moods through unique playlists compiled by “music experts”.
Most of what we learnt last week wasn’t about new technology per se; rather, the focus was on new and inventive uses of existing mobile tech to improve our daily lives and enhance the way in which we interact with the world. After all, what is technology for if not to build a better future for us all? Here at Control F1, that’s certainly something we can get on board with.