How will mobile continue to evolve in 2014? From low-energy Bluetooth beacons to Google Glass, 2014 will change “There’s an app for that” to “There’s an app for everything.” From my recent Vocus webinar.
The iPhone arrived nearly seven years ago and changed the world of computing with apps and a Multi-Touch interface. We’re seeing a similar important year coming in 2014.
From Google Glass to the Pebble Watch, 2013 introduced many of these new devices to us and 2014 will see them come of age.
Business follows consumer trends. We have iPhones & iPads now in the office because CEOs, managers, and employees had them personally and demanded them in the workplace. So we need to understand these trends and assess how they can impact our businesses.
To ensure we’re on the same page, what’s an app? It’s important to understand that we’re not talking about mobile web apps or something ran in a browser but rather mobile native apps that use software development kits such as iOS or Android. Ultimately, it’s a piece of software that you or a carrier, manufacturer, must download and install on a device.
Web versus apps: Facebook -16% on web, up 27% for apps
There always with you, a tap away, offer more features, and more personalized than websites. Think about apps like Starbucks, ESPN, and The Weather Channel..how often do you go to the websites of these brands versus their apps? Every billboard, commercial, website, now promotes theirs apps to download on app stores. It’s your new home base.
They immediately know about your location, preferences, and are always on
Earn your space on the home screen.
We need to understand that the word “mobile” is largely becoming obsolete. Are laptops mobile? Are tablets computers? The reality is that our smartphones and tablets are actually BETTER computers; they are always with us, always on, know more about us, etc.
We need to stop thinking about mobile as its own entity and initiative We need to see it as another extension of what we do and how we reach customers.
Biggest impact is on post-sale loyalty (Forbes Insight). While apps may not appear to be at the top of the funnel, they amplify social media & often complement experiences (especially in retail).
If anyone remembers an app called Bump (which was acquired by Google and will be shutting down), you’ll know it was relatively frustrating to use…and unfortunately not so cool. But it showed us an early version of how apps can do interesting things based on location.
Bluetooth low energy technology isn’t just another Bluetooth revision, it’s a whole new technology.
This isn’t just something that will happen ten years from now. These are screenshots from the MLB’s new app using beacons. As someone walks towards the stadium, it will highlight info about the game, help people find their seats, and give loyalty offers based on where they are in the stadium.
Beacons are overall now part of what is known as the Internet of Things or the IoT. Powered by cheap, location-aware Internet-connected sensors, they are impacting what we wear, how we live, think, stay healthy (or not), and get around.
Mary Meeker calls these items “wearables, driveables, and flyables” in her annual state of the Internet for 2013. The IoT is also shifting these apps beyond just our smartphone and tablets. They’re now on refrigerators, in cars, and in 2014, many other places
Google Glass GolfSight by SkyDroid Recon Jet
Glass may seem geeky but wearables in general are going to be huge, especially when Apple enters the game.
brand new Tesla Model S, complete with a internet connected 17-inch touchscreen
Cecilia Abadie became the first person to receive a traffic ticket for driving while wearing Google Glass. Google Glass was not in use at the time of the speeding offense and she was therefore not in violation of any law. We’re going to have to be aware of legal issues around IoT.
This may seem “out there” for you but it’s going to be here sooner than you think. You can get ahead right now by creatively thinking about how to participate here.
Don’t waste money building an app on a platform that just brings you up to what some brands were doing 2-3 years ago. If you don’t have an app, you’re at a unique time for the playing field to be reset.
There are some unique online / offline elements at play, especially when combined with beacons and location. You may not need to build a Glass app but you can definitely play and interact in this space and get ahead of the curve.
"Mobile" in 2014: What You Need to Know
[CEO & FOUNDER]
“Mobile” in 2014
what you need to know