Several weeks ago, I posted several of my prediction for 2014 as a research note in the Lopez Research syndicated service (see below). This was before the bevy of announcements at CES. It’s always interesting to review and compare the concepts and product announcements presented at CES to my predictions. After nearly a week of gadget heaven, I can firmly state that nothing revealed at the show has changed my perspective.
In fact, some of the announcements reinforce my position. Voice interfaces were prevalent at CES, especially as part of the connected car landscape. The wearable landscape grew tremendously. Everyone, no matter unlikely the vendor, seems to have announced a wearable or IoT product. This highlights the explosive growth of connected devices and the massive fragmentation in IoT that I discussed in prediction #10. Additionally, Brian Krzanich, Intel’s CEO, showcased an example of contextual, confidence-based security systems during his keynote. In the demo, an ADT security system could sense the presence of a homeowner’s smartphone and use facial recognition from Intel to confirm who the person was at the door and open the door if it’s the homeowner. Indoor location technologies were also present to help attendees navigate the show floor. Given that it’s a consumer show, we didn’t see as many new services for enterprises. I expect vendors will unveil more enterprise products at Mobile World Congress.
In the Lopez Research newsletter, I predicted that:
- 2015 will be the year of the enterprise mobile app and enterprise micro apps will grow into richer apps. Last year, IT and the apps team largely discussed what apps they should mobile-enable. Forward-looking firms spent the year testing the waters and deploying solutions to enable scalable mobile app development. A few of the options companies deployed for scalability included mobile app development platforms, mobile testing and analytics solutions, and mobile back end as a service (MBaaS) offerings. In 2015, companies will enable dozens, if not hundreds, of apps, which leads us to our second prediction. Similar to the evolution of consumer apps, IT will start its enterprise mobile app journey by providing lightweight apps that perform a specific task. This is the right first step, but not a long-term solution. Your employees don’t want a dashboard with hundreds of apps. One way to evolve these apps is to combine several micro apps to create one complete workflow. For example, you could combine inventory availability, deliver schedules and order entry to deliver a commerce workflow. Creating components that can be used across several apps is another way to expand app functions. However, it’s important for these composable elements to be functions that require little to no change. If it has to change, the component isn’t reusable. Examples of reusable components are location lookup, click to call, and send an SMS.
- Context and predictive will surface as the new buzz words. Mobile and big data were the hot buzzwords in 2014. The focus was specifically on the technology and how it will evolve. This year the focus will shift to how these maturing, yet still evolving, technologies will change business by delivering insight and actionable information to a company’s employees and customers.
- Contextual services emerge and flop. The combination of mobile, sensor data and new analytics provide a foundation to deliver contextual services. Market leaders will use these tools to deliver the right information, on the right device at the right moment. Lopez Research calls these new contextual services Right-time Experiences because they provide information and services when they’re most useful. However, technology availability doesn’t ensure success. Contextual services require linking various information sources together in near real time to deliver specific information and services. Meanwhile, most companies operate in application and process silos. Mobile-enabling an application doesn’t equate to changing a process or breaking down information silos. Hence, contextual services can’t be created until companies address larger process issues.
- Indoor location services gain traction. In 2014, the industry quibbled about various methods for indoor location. This year companies will embrace multiple indoor locations technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi triangulation and Bluetooth Low Energy beacons) to deliver communications and useful information. We’ll see indoor location in retail, transportation, and hospitality. However, indoor location services will also be available in applications for warehousing, healthcare and general business. A basic app that many companies deploy is a conference room location tool.
- Voice becomes a more prevalent user interface. Siri, Cortana and a myriad of other solutions based on Nuance illustrate that the voice momentum is in full swing. Voice is a natural interface for mobile and it’s impacting mainstream services today. For example, approximately 40 percent of Google’s mobile queries are launched via voice. Next generation PCs, 2-n-1 and mobile devices are all also voice-enabled. This year companies will embrace voice for partial navigation and discovery within consumer apps and a small set of enterprise apps. Successful voice implementations will provide a limited set of voice options while natural language services mature.
- Native mobile apps reign supreme. Despite the progress in HTML-5, most of the companies that Lopez Research interviewed still believe that native app development delivers the best experience. In 2015, most firms will deliver greater than 60% of their mobile experiences via a native application.
- Mobile customer care becomes a new requirement. Today, mobile customer care is largely unavailable. In 2015, leading brands will illustrate how mobile can be used to deliver richer engagement, customer support and competitive differentiation. For example, the Starwood hotel chain offers text message as one option for guest services requests at certain hotels. Hilton is testing the ability for a customer to perform a mobile check-in and select his or her own room. Cachet Financial Solutions customers can now initiate self-service or agent customer service from a new help button option within their app – eliminating the need to leave the app to place a call and start their interaction over again. These are simply a few early examples of how businesses will deliver right-time experiences with mobile.
- U.S. mobile payment remains a mess in 2015. The issues in the payment market have never been solely technology issues. Even with the long awaited introduction of Apple Pay, the U.S. payment market will continue to suffer from numerous competing offerings and business models. Mobile payments will pick up but the landscape will still take years to settle.
- Confidence based security solutions emerge. Today a company uses multiple security mechanisms, but most of them are flawed as we move to mobile. Going forward, companies will embrace better contextual security services that are based on the content and the user. User authentication will move beyond password and leverage multiple types of context, such as proximity of registered devices, device state (jailbroken, malware-infested) and even biometric data (e.g. fingerprint, heart rate etc.) to verify the identity of a person that’s trying to use an app or service.
- IoT remains an ill-defined yet promising market. As much as Lopez Research loves the connected devices landscape, we’re troubled by the wave of IoT islands that are created daily. It’s hard to tell what adds value and which companies will still be in existence within five years. In IoT for the business world, it’s even more troubling. We’re still years away from creating a scalable solutions were products from different vendors can communicate with each other. Security is also a looming challenge for IoT. In 2015, the industrial industries will be the first to achieve some form of integrated IoT solutions because business value (e.g. preventative maintenance, better equipment efficiencies etc.) can be measured and quantified. Other hot buzzy markets, such as home automation and digital fitness, will remain fragmented and won’t live up to the market’s expectation for at least the next year.
These are just a few of the things that I expect to come to pass in the 2015. I’m sure there are many any other exciting and challenging events ahead. What’s your prediction? Leave your comments here or follow me on Twitter @MaribelLopez .
This article was written by Maribel Lopez from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.