This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In the field of technology, the answer to the question, “Are we there yet?” is often a resounding “no.” The truth is that most technological advancement resides on a continuum. We won’t ever reach a pinnacle or a climax, and that’s exactly the way things should be. So, with all of that constant change, how does one predict what the future will look like? Take mobility, for example. The mobility continuum began with simple ways to untether people from cords and bulky devices. With the foundational principles under our belts, we have moved into a phase of optimization and innovation. So what can we expect from this evolving journey into mobility?
The Future is Bright for Mobility
Small, incremental changes are affecting the way we communicate at work, make purchases, travel, and gain a greater understanding of the world around us. Mobility extends far beyond your cellphone or the device on which you’re reading this article, and into infrastructure, automobiles, and medical devices. In the future, I expect existing technologies will get smarter, faster, and more intuitive, and for new technologies to further blur the lines between technology and day to day life.
On the Horizon: The Specifics of Seamless Mobility
When we talk about the technology of the future, we have to ignore the stereotypical “Jetsons” image of flying cars, space-pod homes, and teleportation. Instead, our future likely shares many similarities with today. In fact, the future just might be now. But as that ripple of technological evolution continues to widen, mobility—while still seamless—will have changed, and will be impacting our lives slightly differently in the near future. Here’s how:
- Augmented and virtual reality – Virtual reality and augmented reality solutions promise to take collaboration to a different level, and many basic solutions are already on the market. Organizations across industries benefit from the remote subject representation that augmented and virtual reality provide. Imagine surgical procedures, previously thought impossible, being mapped out using Google Cardboard (and yes, the surgery was ultimately a success). Serious surgery aside, potential applications include mapping, engineering, designing spaces, engaging in virtual meetings, and conducting remote diagnostics and maintenance.
- Seamless integration – Integration between software applications, platforms, and devices can improve productivity, data collection, and usability. While integration already exists, I expect that, in practice, optimized integration will have a continuous impact on remote and in-office workforces.
- Driverless vehicles – Transportation is the underpinning of many business activities. We are only a few years away from the reality of self-driving vehicles. This advancement may very well affect the way people work. Instead of waiting to get to the office, an employee can safely check email or start working on the way. Sensor responsivity will likely eliminate traffic congestion problems, and some driverless vehicles may serve as complete mobile offices.
- IoT devices – IoT solutions are already yielding productive data, but further integration and smarter devices will greatly enhance business growth rates and productivity. If the “big four” IoT solutions makers (Google, Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft) start creating integrative solutions between devices and software, many industries and individuals can take advantage of increased operational efficiency. Many industries already use sensors to gauge the exact needs of a crop, troubleshoot manufacturing equipment issues, or collect user data on products. Connected devices provide the intel organizations need to innovate and solve problems. For example, animal health company Merial and Georgia Tech are currently working together to discover more about animal health through the use of IoT smart objects placed in farm and pet environments. Their findings could forever change the field of animal husbandry and veterinary medicine.
- Anticipatory security – As companies start to proactively address security concerns, device and application adoptions will play a more fluid role in business. Instead of trying to lock-down online employee activities, businesses that take a proactive approach to security can drive innovation and productivity.
Most of these technological advancements already exist, in some way, shape, or form. Going beyond seamless involves the adoption and use of technology more than the existence of the solutions, themselves. Each technological component offers a unique advantage that individuals and businesses can use to make life a little easier. For many businesses, building a strong remote workforce depends upon the successful implementation of mobile solutions. Virtual collaboration, remote data collection/analysis, and flexibility encourage innovation and drive growth, if we’re willing to use them.
The future of mobility will enhance some every day processes while radically changing others. Each business and every individual has the opportunity to accept the coming changes or ignore them and fall behind. I believe that predictive, prescriptive, automated, and cognitively enhanced solutions will change the game. Beyond seamless ultimately means that the mobile experience will literally become better at listening to what we say and anticipating our needs wherever we spend time.
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