The old 9-to-5 workdays are dead and buried, since replaced with the ever-on and office-ready mobile device. The computers in our pockets aren’t just a distraction, they’re also powerful business allies that can make life a whole lot more productive – when we use them properly.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
To put your mobile device’s computational ability in perspective, today’s smartphones are 10 times more powerful than IBM’s 1997 supercomputer Deep Blue, which beat chess master Garry Kasparov. That thing you play Angry Birds on? Yeah, it could destroy Deep Blue at any computation you throw at it.
Carrying around that kind of power means you can multi-task much more effectively. Out for a coffee with a client who hasn’t received their invoice? You can pull up the QuickBooks Online app and re-send in a second. Your laptop goes kaput in a meeting? Pull out your smartphone and start taking notes. Need to remember a business card? Take a photo of it with your smartphone. If you can think of it, you can probably do it with the help of an app.
Innovating the Way You Do Business
Besides the smartphone being your handy sidekick in all work-related matters, they’re also changing the way we conduct business. For example, Samsung reinstalled infrared technology into some of its latest phones, such as the Galaxy S5, in a bid to capture more of the corporate market. Infrared powers your TV remote and is pretty old tech, but Samsung sees it as a way for you to control your projector or TV screen during sales demos.
Another way phones are forging the path forward is through Wi-Fi Direct. Although not specifically developed for phones, it’s a great way for two devices to swap data and applications. Need a bunch of people’s contact information? Share your phone’s data with someone through Wi-Fi Direct. It’s the next generation of Bluetooth but a lot smarter.
The Future of Smartphones
We live in a time of great technological advancement, I mean, who would’ve ever thought someone like Elon Musk could make electric cars sexy? Smartphones are already pretty nifty, but haven’t exactly reached the summit of their potential.
Here are some cool things to expect in the next five to 10 years that could help your business:
- Augmented Reality (AR): You can use the camera on your phone as a kind of Google Map, marking out places of importance in the camera’s display. We’re not quite there yet in terms of live feed, but when we are, that’ll mean you can find other people’s phones (and hopefully them) through an AR app. Great for getting to unknown coffee shop meetings on time!
- In-built Projector: Forget infrared, smartphones are on the cusp of being able to project video onto other surfaces. Imagine whipping that out in a meeting! In 2010, Samsung launched a device capable of such feats, however, the projector app suffers from poor luminescence and an alarming battery drainage rate. So we’re still in a holding pattern on this one.
- Iris Scanning: Despite sounding a little like Minority Report, iris scanning is a great way to beef up the security of your phone – taking ‘for your eyes only’ to a whole new level. Fujitsu is banking on it being the next way to verify online payments and recently released a prototype. Could be in your hands – or eyes – very soon.
Whether it’s today or tomorrow, the computer in your pocket is the most powerful business device available to you, but how you use it is up to you.