Smartphones have provided a revolution in internet affairs ever since they crashed onto the scene 5 years or so ago. A development as big as Wifi, now you can order a pizza, check your emails and browse Facebook in the middle of a park. Then you can follow an interactive map on your phone to guide you to a shop where you can pay with your Smartphone or Smartwatch. Every website should be mobile responsive, able to fit a watch screen or a 65-inch TV!
This is all happening today. So the big question, what’s coming?
More and more time is being spent online due to the ease of access Smartphones provide. With all this extra time spent online comes a huge amount more data. Now data analysis companies can see not only how you interact with a website, but how that online interaction changes your actions in real life. Geo-location means they can see where you were when you searched and where you went afterwards. With all this new data and much more you can guarantee it’s going to impact how we’re marketed to. Ads that show only if you’re moving at a certain speed in a certain area?
Building on what we know about Geolocation and Geotargeted ads there’s an emerging practice called Geo-conquesting. Traditional Geotargeted ads will show to you if you’re in a defined area, searching for a certain product or phrase. If you have an App with the right permissions then it can send you alerts if you enter certain areas.
Geo-conquesting takes this a step further. The idea is that if you had an App with the right permissions then that App might send you notifications if it registers you in a competitors area or store. There’s talk of integrating Geo-conquesting based only on normal cookie tracking. So if you’d ever visited ‘site X’ then they would serve you an Ad in some form without prompting if you enter set geographical areas. We’re not too sure about the ethics or legality of that last one though!
We’re seeing Apps becoming smarter and smarter and big brands are constantly trying to think of new ways to utilise them to improve the customer experience. In the US megabrands like Target and Walmart are using Geofencing to passively update their store inventory in their App the minute you set foot on their site area. Interactive site maps and the ability to scan barcodes to pull up full product specifications and reviews are starting to become common place in big brand Apps. Some even push the shop’s promotions once they recognise a customer is on site. Integration with this alongside user history means we could soon see a list of personalised offers beamed straight to our phones when we walk through the door of our favourite shop.
With more and more ‘Smart’ devices on the market we can expect to see some very impressive integrations and interactions. Bio-metric data sent from your Smartwatch to your Smartphone to keep a log of your daily health. All of this being beamed straight to your Wii-Fit style console when you turn it on to give you a full picture of your daily health? It’s already happening to some extent. There’s already technology around that allows you to control almost all of your electrical systems from your phone wherever you are in the world. It’s already feasible to have an e-PA like Cortana recognise when you are in your car and have a properly linked Coffee-maker start it’s process so that you always arrive home to a fresh pot of coffee no matter what time you leave the office.
For a lot of us maybe the last paragraph is a good few years away. After all the technology to control all of the TV’s in your house from your phone has been around for a couple of years and few of us do it.
What’s undeniable though is the dizzying speed of progress when it comes to all things Mobile. The average price of ‘Smart’ devices is plummeting whilst their capabilities are advancing day on day. The disruptive power of these devices is going to keep changing the way we live our lives. Ten years ago we had the Motorola Razr and the Blackberry 7100. Whatever is in our pocket in 10 years is going to be a whole lot different to the iPhone 6!