The Mobile World Congress in February brought together 101,000 people from around the world to share and discuss the trends that will change the way live. In Part One of this two-part series, I discuss mobile being at the center of innovation in Internet of Things (IoT) and inspiring connected experiences.
While IoT and connected experiences are extremely exciting trends – trends we actively explore at Adobe – how we interact with our devices and what is made possible through them are important developments that will have major impacts.
The Future of Interaction
Up until now, most user interfaces have been controlled through buttons or switches – both of which have pros and cons, but both of which also require physical touch to operate. When you pick up your phone or tablet, you tap it to make it respond, or you swipe it to change screens, etc. But, what if it could respond without touch?
The future is optical sensors. With just a simple motion of the hand or finger, you will be able to control a device near you – no more touchscreen limitations; no more direct physical touch at all.
Optical sensors integrated into mobile apps will allow someone to scroll through a recipe without touching the screen, skip a song on a playlist without breaking stride during a long run, and take a photo or start and stop a video without physically touching a smartphone or tablet. The innovation in optics will change the way we interact with our apps – while also making them even more integral to our lives.
Optical sensors are already incorporated into some home-utility and security sensors, but further utilizing the technology to control these connections will bring a whole new level to what is possible.
The Potential Reach of Virtual Reality
At this year’s Mobile World Congress, Mark Zuckerberg said that he saw virtual reality as being the next social platform. Samsung unveiled a camera – controlled by an app on a smartphone – that records 360-degree video that can be viewed using a virtual-reality headset. This kind of technology changes everything from house hunting to checking in on kids or pets at home.
Virtual reality is poised to play a role in video gaming, conference calling, and theatre going. Literally, the way people see the world is about to change. Major changes to media and entertainment are already underway – changes that are poised to take virtual reality from science fiction to daily use. Soon, we will be able to broadcast and receive video that allows us to connect with others – live and beyond a flat screen.
The Future Is Connected
There were many other significant and interesting things at the MWC – including ways we will be able to control our online identities and privacies; how financial organizations like PayPal, Stripe, and Visa are changing the way people expect to pay for products and services; and what the global shifts around technology accessibility look like – but one thing is clear: The future is connected.
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