Due to the development of technology such as 4G, WIFI, smart phones and tablets, the power of Internet-enabled mobile devices has risen exponentially. In five years’ time, it’s likely that smart phones and tablets will begin to replace the traditional desktop computer, and will become the only devices we carry on a day-to-day basis. With foldable thin screens, portable keyboards, 4G connectivity and shared cloud storage options, and other innovations, you’ll literally be able to work from anywhere, at any time, with the same level of efficiency as you would have in a dedicated office with a laptop or PC.
It’s clear that smart phones are becoming more and more powerful, with some of the largest technology providers now spending huge amounts of time developing devices that can perform a range of extremely advanced tasks. For instance, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google are all investing heavily in speech recognition technology and innovations, which will be embedded into mobile devices. Combining this technology with advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), we could see business users essentially carrying around a personal assistant in their pocket. Business leaders could tell their phones to arrange a meeting with three other people, and then the device would actually call them up and speak to them to co-ordinate diaries.
Sound far-fetched? Well it’s already starting to happen. Julie Desk is an AI-based personal assistant that can schedule meetings by email. The system is able to hold conversations with you and your contacts using Natural Language Processing (NLP), and currently it can speak English and French. Developments are underway, so soon it should be able to speak other languages too.
For me, one area I’d particularly like to see more investment in is video-calling technology. Already, it’s becoming less and less viable, or necessary, to spend full days in a car travelling to just one meeting. However, with dedicated video-conferencing systems, you are able to remain in your office and simply dial a number to have a face-to-face meeting with somebody. By embedding this advanced video-calling software into mobile phones, it would make it just as easy and seamless to conduct a video call as it would to make a standard voice call, from wherever you are and with more than one person at a time.
Taking us further into the realms of sci-fi, it’s even possible that mobile holographic technology (although still in its infancy) could become a reality in five years’ time. It’s not inconceivable that you’ll be able to project a 3D image of yourself from a mobile phone, as another means of conducting meetings without having to leave your office. This could help businesses save huge amounts of time, removing the need to travel back and forth to see clients and other contacts, while also helping to retain the human element to meetings. Conference calls could be held from anywhere, and at any time, making it much easier for companies to conduct business internationally.
By Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile.