Working Towards a Mobile Future
Anthony Keyworth, Director of Products at Orange UK, chooses four mobile applications with the potential to revolutionise the way we work
The mobile industry has a tradition of innovation, and new applications have the potential to change the way the business world operates almost beyond recognition. Technologies we once only dreamt of, such as touchscreen technology and voice activation, are now a reality, and play a vital role in our everyday working lives. With phones that can translate form one language to another being readied for launch, it is hard to imagine where mobile devices will take us next.
Such developments are testimony to the future potential of the mobile industry and mobile applications in the business world moving forward. Here are four mobile applications I think are going to have a big part to play in the future for business users.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Have you ever stared at your computer screen in confusion or gazed blankly at the printer manual when faced with an error message? Well, heres where AR holds the potential to come to the rescue. For instance, by scanning the error notice using your mobile, this application will analyse the message then provide a visual step-by-step guide on how to solve the problem. Businesses, especially those without dedicated IT teams, can use AR to save time and money by acting as a virtual stand-in.
Personal health monitoring
Businesses across the UK could save up to 13.2 billion (the amount of money lost through ill health in the UK each year, according to the CBI) by keeping their workforce healthy and happy. A personal health monitoring application could give staff the power to check their own health, ensuring they receive any early warning signs of potential illness. Though this is no replacement for a fully qualified medical professional check-up, it could help employees better manage certain aspects of their health, such as blood pressure. The application also holds the potential to ensure the safety of lone workers, by reducing their risk of falling ill in isolated situations. By continually monitoring their vital statistics, any health alerts can be immediately transmitted to emergency services, and reported to their place of work.
Cutting carbon emissions and reducing energy costs is a priority for most businesses. However, ensuring that all staff turn off their computers or switch off the lights when they leave work can be difficult to enforce. The synchronisation application will link your mobile device with your office and by determining your location and activity, alter your work environment accordingly. This means that it will be possible to switch on the computer when you are nearby, turn it to standby when you leave, activate the printer, and maybe even boil the kettle when its time for tea.
The days of carrying multiple wallets and personnel documents, especially when travelling for business, could soon be over, with the advent of personal identification applications. Were already on our way with the ability to conduct monetary transactions via your mobile; in a few years time, we could even be boarding a plane with a mobile passport.
As the above examples clearly show, the lines between the physical and digital worlds will continue to blur, with the mobile industry able to use its unique position to encompass this growing trend through mobile devices and applications all of which will go a long way in continuing to shape the business world of the future.