Mobile World Congress 2014: “Everything that can be connected, will be connected”
The Day 2 keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was dubbed “The Connected Lifestyle: Transforming Industries” and after it wrapped, I made a strong connection to what life will be like in the not-too-distant future.
Michael Ohara, CMO, GSMA first showered the packed auditorium with a seemingly endless barrage of awesome mobile stats (i.e. currently 7 billion mobile connections, 3.4 billion mobile subscribers, etc.) before real-world mobile scenarios were thrust into the spotlight from the likes of Ford Motor Company and Deutsche Telekom.
The FiLIP from AT&T is the world’s first “smart locator” that children aged 5-11 wear on their wrists. A great GPS-enabled device for safety-minded parents, the FiLIP also enables kids to hit one button to instantly dial important phone numbers.
Oral- B Smartseries toothbrush connects via Bluetooth, measures how you brush and lets you know of problem areas so you can adjust brushing technique. Data is loaded into the cloud and sent to your dentist for the ultimate in virtual check ups.
BrewBot is a smart beer brewing appliance that uses sensor technology used to track and automate the brewing process. Simply follow instructions in the app and add the ingredients when prompted.
Obviously, Mobile World Congress embodies much more than the latest gadgets. In keeping with the conference’s theme of “What’s Next”, Tim Hottages, CEO, Deutsche Telekom hit the stage to underscore the importance of addressing trends that are currently impacting the entire industry.
To frame his discussion, Hottages cited a famous quote from Brad Berens of AdTech: “Everything that can be digitized will be digitized.” Hottages believes this reality is here and also added his own spin about mobile’s future: “Everything that can be connected will be connected.” Bridging the infrastructure and ecosystem to digitization is “a mega trend we see in the second phase of the Internet,” according to Hottages.
Other trends from Hottages include:
Sensors: Will be everywhere. Cars are connected and will become smarter. LTE connectivity is becoming a new standard thus making cars “the new device”. eMobility and self steering cars will require “perfect maps” for users.
Wearables: Digitalized info and connectivity are coming together. A rising number of mobile users are connected for fitness training and monitoring, for instance.
Internet of Things: Market size is half a trillion dollars but any forecast will be too conservative.
Big data: Algorithms analyze in real time and enable the intelligence infrastructure to make autonomous decisions.
Cloud and Digital Nomads: Everything is going to be in the cloud. From a security perspective, cloud is actually much safer. Streaming is even more commonplace so unfettered access, complexity reduction and support for open platforms are essential.
Steven Odell, an EVP at Ford Motor Company (pictured above) also painted a rosy future for mobile and in many ways, supports Hottages notion that cars are becoming devices.
“Creating the future is what separates our company and will separate winners and losers in the mobile industry, “ said Odell who provided attendees with an early peek at the latest Ford Focus model. “Cars are the smartphones of the future.”
Odell said customers have come to expect the same connected experience in their cars as their phones provide. Ford obviously saw this coming a long time ago, which is why the company has been so successful bundling SYNC capabilities in its cars. But the connected car momentum hardly begins and ends with Ford. Odell said 79 percent of industry experts believe connectivity will soon be the primary decision in car purchases and 8o percent of cars will be “connected” by 2020.
“This is more than customers connected to vehicles, it’s about cars connected to their surroundings,” said Odell. “We see real changes in how people will travel.”
Future vehicles will help ease traffic jams, parking issues and accidents by taking human error out of the equation. The New Ford Focus is a good example because it brings advanced tech, like hands free parking, to masses. “We envision a truly integrated network not just for cars but for all transportation,” said Odell.
To learn more about connected cars, be sure to find a good parking spot with SAP in Hall 6 at Mobile World Congress and/or check out the video below.