5 Mobile Technology Trends 2018: What You Should Know

Advanced technologies have made the business landscape more cut-throat, keeping business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals at the edge of their seats. To stay ahead of the competition, owners need to constantly observe both their target markets and their competitors, and learn how each side adopts the latest trends.

One such trend that has emerged is mobile technology, primarily the adoption of connectivity to gadgets. The cost of adopting this mobile technology to businesses—both big and small—will be within reach, making it more accessible.

Furthermore, with the integration of smartphones and handheld devices into the daily lives of consumers, companies and organizations need to understand the various opportunities that mobile technology presents to both the business and its customers.

What are the mobile technologies that my business should know about?

Internet-of-Things

The ability to turn almost any device into a smart object is possibly the best use for IoT. It’s the metamorphosis of the internet that will allow something to connect, monitor, control, or search without human intervention.

A Statista report shows that by the end of 2018, IoT-connected devices will be more than 23 billion and that by 2025, it may reach 75 billion. Items will range from LEDs, toys, sports equipment, and medical equipment, to controllable power sockets.

These smart objects will be interacting with mobile devices to function as a remote. IoT will allow users to interface with their social networks to monitor things, pay for subscription services, update object firmware, monitor readings of devices and sensors, analyze data, and so much more. Soon, it will be useful for many industries, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, and transportation.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

In 2017, both Google and Apple invested heavily to study and improve AR, releasing ARCore and ARKit, respectively. This technology allowed developers to innovate and create mobile solutions for the smartphone using AR.

AR was mostly used in gaming apps and marketing campaigns, as the additional digital layer provides a more realistic and immersive outlook to entertain and impress consumers. However, there is an opportunity for retail, life science, manufacturing, and other sectors thanks to a wide range of AR apps being developed today.

New applications using AR for more practical purposes is expected to launch on mobile, like object measurement, navigation, interior design, and more. Its power to provide a compelling user experience may result in a variety of creative AR apps targeted to market customized offerings.

VR, meanwhile, will still be focused on the game and events sphere but may go beyond by offering a better form of entertainment.

The Digi-Capital New Report in 2017 shows that “mobile AR could become the primary driver of the $108 billion VR/AR market by 2021.”  Indeed, mixed reality or immersive environments have the potential to integrate the digital world into the physical to address the needs of people who are consuming the digital world through mobile.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Developments in AI and machine learning will help fuel intelligence to machines through Deep Learning. This could mean that computers will soon be able to make smart decisions without human interventions. Mobile chatbots are the best example of machine learning by AI.

It has also been predicted that apps that can make decisions and customized to anticipate user behavior would soon be developed. Smartphone developers are looking to pack future devices with as many AI elements as possible and inspire more voice- and images-based AI innovations. Mobile data will be tapped for all these future innovations.

AI and machine learning could also be useful in the education industry through apps that can teach kids based on how they learn. Naturally, mobile e-commerce could also benefit, with apps that could shop based on the consumer’s preference.

5G

The fifth generation of mobile network dubbed as 5G New Radio (NR) is expected to launch by 2019, starting with a few US cities. The world regulator of cellular communications standards 3GPP has already approved it.

5G NR is built around sub-6 GHz and mmWave (24 GHz) spectrum bands. The increased spectrum chunks, bigger carrier aggregation (8 times for mmWave), and beamforming and tracking capabilities can significantly improve throughput and efficiency.

This new standard is expected to provide up to 100 times faster connectivity than 4G, improve user experience, and promote the advanced technologies aforementioned for mobile. Qualcomm already demoed their prototype during the Mobile World Congress 2018, showing a smartphone connected to an actual 5G mmWave and transferring data of over 4 Gbps.

Instant Apps

Android has led the way for this trend, with the Go edition of their latest OS version Oreo. Instant Apps are substantially smaller or lighter versions of apps that do not eat up too much storage space and do not require a download of the whole app from the Play Store. They were borne out of the hassle of deleting apps to make way for other purposes.

These apps have the same design and animation extracted from the native application, without the bulky size. Google is expected to integrate this along with the launcher and is believed to be the next step in the app streaming feature. Other OS will hopefully follow suit.

Which of these technologies is the best for my business?

With different power requirements and data consumptions, the answer to the question depends on what your business needs. And in some ways, one technology would require another piece to work more seamlessly.

For instance, a company that plans to adopt IoT should not be satisfied with m2m sim cards that only use 2G or 3G networks and move to LTE, and eventually to 5G. Both networks are expected to shut down soon and would spend the remainder of their lifespans through applications with legacy devices (that will also be replaced).

More trends are expected to pop up as 2018 comes to a close and a new year comes in, making it harder for organizations to decide which technology to utilize for their business. The good news is whatever mobile trend you choose from the above mentioned will help your company be more successful.