Beyond the App: How New Technologies are Redefining Mobile

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Over the last decade, mobile technology has grown to play a pivotal role in business and in society as a whole. Starting from the early days of the mobile web, mobile technology has developed to the point that so many of us couldn’t last one day without our favorite apps.

However, technology never stands still, and mobile is no exception. Over the next few years, new technologies will completely redefine what we can do with mobile. We’re truly about to find out what it means to go beyond the app.

The growth of artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and the Internet of Things (IoT) will make mobile much more than just another business channel. Instead, it will become a constant companion for so many of the things we do every day, both in our personal and professional lives.


Mobile Disruption for Employees: Democratizing Expertise

Today’s employees tend to gain the knowledge they need to do their jobs on an ad hoc basis: slowly building up their expertise over time, before taking that knowledge with them when they inevitably leave the organization.

With the power of AI, any expertise within your organization can be available to all your employees—even when that expertise is hidden in unstructured data sources like work orders or manuals. Crucially, this expertise is available right when an employee needs it, and wherever they happen to be. This means that every employee in your organization can be as good as your best employee. With this in mind, it’s no surprise the AI market is expected to grow to $47 billion by 2020.

To understand the power of new mobile-enabled technologies in action, let’s consider the example of a field technician dispatched to help restore electricity in the aftermath of a major storm.

The technician will be able to view streaming IoT data on their mobile device, giving them a look at the grid’s “vital signs.” Then, they can use AI to help them diagnose the problem by zooming in on similar issues the organization has experienced in the past. Finally, AR technology can allow the field tech to simulate high-risk procedures before performing them in the real world, or allow a more experienced technician to look over their shoulders and guide them as they work.

The end result is that the field tech can make the repairs more quickly, and increase the likelihood of getting it right the first time, saving time and money. In addition, the technician can also use their mobile devices to report an estimated restoration time, keeping consumers and small businesses informed about how long their power will be out.

Mobile Disruption for Consumers: Retail Reimagined

Another powerful example of the possibilities of modern mobile technology can be found in the retail space. Today’s shoppers are more empowered than ever when it comes to getting their questions answered and making the most of their purchases.

They can accomplish this by using AR technology to connect the digital and physical worlds. AR is clearly a technology that’s set to take the world by storm: experts predict that AR adoption will skyrocket over the next few years, from 343 million unique active users worldwide in 2016, to 1.9 billion by 2022.

Customers who use this technology will have the opportunity to experience products before they buy them. This could mean trying on clothes without setting foot in a dressing room, or looking at different colors of paint on their living room walls without ever picking up a brush. When customers get this kind of exceptional experience, they can feel confident making a decision to purchase. In the future, they’ll also view that experience as the new standard for what they expect to receive every time

Customers will also be able to use AI to source the expertise they need after they purchase a product. By enabling customers to answer their own questions, businesses can increase customer satisfaction, and cut down on the resources needed to staff help desks.

Learn more about the Total Economic Impact of Mobile at Scale

Vice President & Partner Mobile & Extended Reality Leader North America, IBM iX

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