New technologies are being introduced every day to expand the usability of apps and personalize the app experience for users. This article highlights new technologies and app trends that will revolutionize the usefulness of the apps people are already using, and will help drive them to download new apps, and of course in turn will reap benefits for the companies who invest intelligently in these areas.
Augmented Reality on Smart Phones/Tablets
Augmented Reality is a technology that overlays computer generated information over the real-world environment from your device’s camera, creating an enhanced composite view in real time. It was introduced by Apple on iOS with their ARKit in 2017 and by Google on Android with their ARCore the same year, and while it has had a slow start but is starting to pick up steam. In 2018, its market size was $12.1 billion and is estimated to grow 68% by the end of 2019 to $20.4 billion. As we reach 2022, it is forecasted that augmented reality in apps will have explosive growth of over 840% to a market size of $192.7 billion1.
While video games are still going to be the biggest market for Augmented Reality, there are also going to be a plethora of other industries taking advantage of AR. For example, the healthcare industry is expected to be revolutionized by this technology. Someday in the not-too-distant future, doctors and surgeons will have access to real-time patient information such as x-rays, MRIs and vital stats that they will be able to pull up real-time while performing treatment.
The real estate market is going to depend on Augmented Reality heavily in the future as well. For example, at showings where clients often have specific wishes for the home, real estate agents will be able to show them real-time how a new granite countertop could improve the kitchen or how moving a wall could transform a home’s layout into a workable solution for the client… just select it in the app and apply to see a preview of the changes you might want to make.
Retail is starting to adapt the technology, too. The furniture store Ikea is a good example; they give customers a more personal experience by letting them visualize what Ikea’s furniture would look like in their home. In the app, users can simply select the furniture from Ikea’s app they’re interested in, do a quick scan of their room and place the furniture in the preferred location. The app even allows users to “walk around” virtually and look at the furniture from different angles. This help speed shoppers into the purchase decision-making process by letting them skip the store visit, make choices before even visiting the store and add the item to their shopping cart for either delivery or store pick-up.
IKEA uses augmented reality to put their products right in your home without needing to visit a store.
These are just some of the markets taking advantage of Augmented Reality, but in the coming years, pioneers in most markets will be finding ways to utilize the technology as part of their marketing strategy and harnessing its virtual power to help improve their bottom line.
If you want to take advantage of augmented reality, now is the time to act, since being on the cutting edge means you’ll gain first-mover advantages. You’ll be able to entice your customers by catering to them with a with a much more exciting, meaningful personal experience than what your competitors offer.
Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence
Chatbots are on the rise in 2019 due to new advances in artificial intelligence. They are now able to provide a more personalized experience than ever before by collecting information about target audiences, better tailoring marketing strategies to meet customers’ expectations.
Chatbots are still good at providing answers to customer service related questions and promoting new offers, but by using more complex machine-learning algorithms and collecting more information about their target audiences, combined with using natural language programming for more realistic and helpful bot conversations, chatbots will continue to improve in their ability to replicate human-like interactions.
Chatbots will add cost savings of over $8 billion per year by 2022, from $20 million in 2017.
The chatbot market is expected to reach $1.25 billion by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 24.3%2. At the same time, Juniper Research estimates chatbots will add a cost savings of over $8 billion per year by 2022, up from $20 million in 20173. Using chatbots is a cost-saving technique, allowing companies to pare back on customer service representatives; for example, healthcare providers and banks can expect to save 4 minutes per inquiry — an average cost saving of $0.50-$0.70 per interaction4.
Bots are also faster, which helps increase customer satisfaction if used correctly, because they don’t need to spend as much time finding an answer as their human counterpart would.
Chatbots are used across a range of industries, but the challenge is to implement them the right way for your business. It requires the right strategy and thoughtfulness to be sure the chatbot works for you and not against you when it comes to your customers’ satisfaction. It’s key to use the latest, most refined mobile app development techniques to get it right, but once you do, it can be an important asset for your company.
Faster Connectivity with 5G
5G is the successor to the 4G LTE network which was introduced back in 2010. It’s the next generation of wireless connection for smart phones and has already started to roll out as of April 2019. 5G phones have already been announced from Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo and more, and new smart phones Apple and the other big players are already in the pipeline for release this year and in 2020. MarketWatch predicts the 5G technology is estimated to reach 90 million by 20245.
While the average speed for phones on 4G LTE networks in the U.S. today is 16.31 Mbps6 (with a theoretical 100 megabits per second at peak speed), 5G will bring that number up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). This will make 5G 100x times faster than 4G. For example, at theoretical peak speeds, downloading a 1080p 2-hour movie at 7 gigabytes takes 10 minutes on 4G, versus just 6 seconds on 5G.
At theoretical peak speeds to download a 1080p two-hour movie at 7 gigabytes takes 10 minutes on 4G, versus just 6 seconds on 5G.
The latency, or the time it takes for your smart phone to communicate back and forth between the cell tower, will also be reduced significantly. 4G averages at a latency of between 50-100ms while 5G is estimated to be 1ms. This is going to have a big impact on your app’s response time every time new information is pulled and when requests are being made.
What is this going to mean for apps?
The possibilities seem endless. We’ll be able to see the world more comprehensively as the virtual world and real world continue to merge within apps, and 5G speeds will allow us to utilize technologies that are currently too bandwidth-intensive on data networks (for example Augmented Reality, as mentioned above).
Consumers will be able to receive information and entertainment real-time: event makers will be able to offer live 360-degree views from concerts at different locations, on stage, behind the stage or from the crowd. The tourism and hotel industries will be able to offer a more comprehensive view of their offerings by using apps to provide users 360-degree tours of famous sites and hotel rooms, show tourists detailed information during their trip, and offer upgrades real-time during a trip, as just a few examples.
As important as it is to adapt your app to the new 5G network, it’s just as important not to forget about the people who will continue using 4G and even 3G. While your app should take advantage of the faster speeds 5G introduces, you must make sure the app delivers a great experience on slower networks, too. An experience app developer agency will know how to plan for this, so users of all speeds will get a similar overall experience, but will get the benefit from 5G when it’s available.
The Internet of Things & Mobile Apps
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data via the Internet, for example thermostats, refrigerators, sprinklers, lights, voice assistants, cars, etc. According to Gartner, Inc. 66% of organizations plan to deploy 5G by 2020 and most of these are expected to be used for Internet of Things (IoT) communication and video.
The ecosystem of IoT is growing massively. The IoT market is projected to grow from its 2016 value of $1.79 billion to $16.58 billion by 2023 at a compounded annual growth rate of over 37%7.
The IoT market is projected to grow from $1.79 billion in 2016 to $16.58 billion in 2023 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of over 37%.
Each of these smart devices must be controlled by an app, and with 266 million8 estimated smartphone users in the U.S. in 2019, the smartphone is the #1 choice for app deployment. It is also a logical choice, since most users always have their phones within reach, whether they are home or traveling, when they want to interact with their smart device(s).
What Are You Waiting For?
Creating an intuitive app using technologies that simplify and enhance the customer experience is imperative and can be an important differentiator for your app. Don’t let your competitors gain the advantage.