In the last decade, the number of smartphones, tablets and other connected mobile devices in the world has skyrocketed. Although an exact figure is hard to pin down, Cisco estimates the number of connected devices in use will reach 34.8 billion this year, and it expects that number to top 50 billion by 2020.
Our increasing reliance on mobile technology today has changed the way we find businesses, how we engage with brands and our expectations of everything from messaging, entertainment and time management to banking, shopping keeping up with the latest news.
Research shows that Americans 25 and older hit their smartphones around 265 times every day, while those in the 15 to 24 age group do so about 390 times daily.
With the average person being that connected with their phone, it's it vital for businesses across industries to adopt a mobile-first mentality or miss out on opportunities to reach customers.
Digital transformation is driving major disruptions, new ideas, innovation and breakthroughs in app development. Here are some forward-looking trends your business should consider when thinking about creating a mobile app that will stand the test of time.
Apps like Microsoft Pix, which brought artificial intelligence (AI) to iPhone cameras, Swiftmoji, the clever app that intelligently suggests emojis based on the words typed on smartphone keyboards, and FakeApp, the video software tool that allows users to create photorealistic AI fake videos with few signs of manipulation, are providing a glimpse into how powerful AI can be in the mobile app space.
AI-fueled apps have enormous potential in ecommerce sales and CRM applications, customer recommendations and location-based information, manufacturing, payment processing, and logistics, transport and delivery services.
Think blockchain and the first thing that springs to mind is the security technology behind cryptocurrencies. But blockchain is about more than providing a decentralized digital ledger to record encrypted transactions. This virtually impossible-to-break technology can be programmed to keep track of almost anything of value.
The growing potential of blockchain can be seen in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Britain’s National Archives testing of blockchain-based systems for digital recordkeeping. The governments of Australia and Estonia are already using the technology to store health, court, probate and social service payment records. Dubai has established a goal of becoming the first blockchain-powered government in the world.
Apps tied to blockchain's ability to securely distribute power and information away from central authorities will increasingly creep into many aspects of our daily lives and business dealings. And businesses that develop blockchain-focused mobile applications will be on the cutting-edge of the trend.
Started by wearable devices like the FitBit fitness tracker and emulated by the Apple Watch, coupled with an increase of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, has led to growing demand for sports, health and fitness apps.
Moving forward, you can expect great strides to be made in apps linked to wearable devices including smart watches and eyewear like Google Glass, then move into other intelligent wearables ranging from shoes and gloves that analyze and improve athletic performance to apps that help improve service, experiences and security in industries spanning finance, tourism, fashion and automobiles.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of digitally-connected physical devices, appliances and systems embedded with software, sensors, cameras, platforms and electronics that enable objects to collect and exchange data without human interaction.
IoT is what makes it possible to do things like control home systems remotely and start your car from inside the house.
This game-changing technology is poised for explosive growth in consumer, healthcare and industrial markets, and heavyweights such as Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, Qualcomm, Salesforce.com, SAP and Gopher Protocol are at the forefront of innovation.
Intuitive, intelligent and practical apps that power Internet-connected devices and control the transmittal of data and information have enormous potential for both end users and the businesses who develop them.
Personalization is probably the most promising trend impacting most businesses that operate on the Web. According to research by online marketing firm Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with companies and brands that offer personalized experiences based on their unique individual interests and preferences.
Personalization is completely changing the way companies engage consumers online by keeping track of the products they view and searches they perform to offer a far more personalized user experience.
Digital giants Netflix and Airbnb and Netflix have mastered the art of monitoring customer preferences on their platforms, then tailoring content and offerings to provide a more targeted experience.
Not only will ecommerce sites increasingly have companion apps in multiple versions that change in real-time with customers' behaviors, apps that provide personalized information or services based on suggestions, habits and other factors will find a growing market.
The future of business is mobile and apps will play an increasingly important role in digital evolution. Businesses with the vision to capitalize on these fast-growing trends could be well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in today's evolving technology landscape.