Emerging mobile trends - Part 1 of 2: Technology
Among the most notable mobile technology trends found at events such as the World Mobile Congress (WMC) 2018, which was recently concluded in Barcelona, as well as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in January 2018, are distant wireless charging, enterprise mobile apps, geofencing, Android instant apps and 5G technology.
DISTANT WIRELESS CHARGING
This technology is designed to enable mobile users to charge their mobile phones without using cables. The technology uses radio frequencies to transmit power to charge smart phones and smart watches within a distance of 10 feet.
Energous and Ossia are the companies developing this technology. Energous' technology "involved a smart speaker prototype set up as a transmitter, capable of sending power via radio frequencies to a phone, a smartwatch, and a pair of wireless earbuds at a range of up to 3 feet. The top of the speaker also doubled as a near-field charging pad, much like Qi wireless chargers." Ossia's wireless charging at a distance technology has not yet been approved by the FCC. Its technology also "transmits power via radio frequencies at the same 2.4Ghz as Wi-Fi, but a different channel, so it doesn’t interfere". In the near future we might just walk in a popular restaurant and have our phones charged instantly without cables.
ENTERPRISE MOBILE APPS
These applications are developed for the purpose of solving enterprise problems. In most instances, an enterprise application is a complex and large software platform. Enterprise mobile applications are designed to interface with each other within an organization. Enterprise mobile applications enable all employees to have "simplified access to the same applications as everyone else in the company, enabling uniformity between devices while still allowing employees to have the personalized mobile experience that has become commonplace today".
An organization will tend to have many different enterprise mobile apps that are combined to run different processes within the organization. The notion of creating enterprise mobile app was brought about by employees using their own mobile phones to access company data through corporate applications. "This has the benefit of increasing efficiency in the workplace and cutting down costs spent on company devices." The different types of enterprise mobile applications include content management, payment processing, customer support, email marketing systems, automated billing systems, systems for collaboration and messaging, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise application integration (EAI) and business intelligence.
Geofencing is the use of an application to trigger alerts when the user of the mobile phone enters or leaves a certain geographical area. These alerts can be messages, mobile notifications, sending adverts on various platforms or dissembling other technologies.
The demand for geofencing is expected to continue to grow over 27% in the near future. The uses of geofencing include sending alerts to management when employees enter or leave a specific area, to monitor employees in the field, automate time cards and keep track of company property. Geofencing uses GPS to identify the boundaries set by the user.
ANDROID INSTANT APPS
Google Play has added a new technology, Android Instant Apps. This technology alleviates the need to install an application prior to seeing how it works. Through just a click of the application URL, the app launches itself. This technology has been made possible by the developers ensuring that they divide the apps into small codes that open within seconds. The purpose is to allow users to try out or preview an application without the necessity of downloading it first.
Currently, 4G connectivity is starting to lose value and developers are looking to the development of 5th generation technology. Even though it will be sometime for the 4G technology system to be overridden, the development of 5G technology is starting to take shape with different companies chipping in ideas and research units being set up in universities. 5th generation technology will have to address the drawbacks of the previous technology which include dropped calls, performance issues at cell edges and lack of coverage. This technology might be released in the market in two years' time.
There are many emerging trends in mobile technology. Among the more notables are wireless charging, enterprise mobile apps, geofencing, Android instant apps and 5G technology.