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Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing, Chris is the cofounder of Successful Workplace. He believes there’s no end to what we can change and improve. Chris is a marketing executive and flew for the US Navy before finding a home in technology 17 years ago. An avid outdoorsman, Chris is also passionate about technology and innovation and speaks frequently about creating great business outcomes at industry events. As well as being a contributor for The TIBCO Blog, Chris contributes to the Harvard Business Review, Venture Beat, Forbes, and the PEX Network. Christopher is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 305 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Who needs Apple if everything is a mobile device?

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This post comes from at the Successful Workplace blog.


In a story everyone could enjoy, Heineken announced the creation of special beer bottles that are connected devices. That story raises a great point…why should humans ‘carry’ a single mobile device when everything we come into contact with can be the point of interaction? If we think about it, the idea that our desktop, tablet, laptop or phone are our only views to the connected world is highly inefficient and maybe silly…each person has to own and carry a device whether they’re using in a given moment or not.

Redefining devices

While this is great for Best Buy and Apple, it concentrates enormous power (distribution, design and more) in the hands of what should be simply an interface. If we break that paradigm, we can disintermediate the limited number of manufacturers and allow the consumer and the brand to talk with each other directly through any and all devices.

Take a clothing retailer like Nordstrom, where the ‘virtual mannequin’ is an excellent way to build past purchases into a visual display that can be updated with consumer choices and suggested ‘add ons’ like scarves, shoes, or just about anything. It doesn’t work well on an iPhone but if the store offered the right-sized devices that allowed for social conversation, search, display and purchase in one place, the need to use the wrong form factor disappears. The clienteling possibilities are enormous.

Everything is a device

If this sounds far off, consider that GM today announced 4G LTE connectivity in all of its US vehicles starting next year…it’s here and it will accelerate.

AT&T will provide an in-vehicle connection for GM subsidiary OnStar’s safety and security services and provide services such as streaming audio, Internet, application downloads, streaming video for back-seat passengers and enabling the in-vehicle Wi-Fi hot spot and voice calling. Customers won’t need a smartphone or table to use the Internet services.

You can argue that cars are a unique opportunity, but are they? How many ‘things’ in your life do you use for periods at a time that would benefit from being a mobile device? Your purse? Absolutely. Your toolbox? Why not? Your backpack? Easy one. Your sunglasses? Google is almost there with that one, needing just some polarized lenses to add to Google Glass.

Era of convenience

The biggest question will be where it makes sense for a ‘thing’ to be a mobile device. The answer has to be in part, “Wherever the ‘thing’ is more conveniently used, hands-free, than the traditional devices.” I can see that being many, many things. As the price of the components of mobile come down and this surges forward, I’d rather be Foxconn than Apple.

Published at DZone with permission of Christopher Taylor, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Greg Brown replied on Mon, 2013/05/06 - 4:01pm

Why exactly is this article on Java Lobby? It has absolutely nothing to do with Java.


Roger Koche replied on Wed, 2013/05/08 - 10:57am in response to: Greg Brown

What is the language that runs on an incredibly large number of these devices already? Java. They have.a huge headstart in market share.

Daniel Lord replied on Wed, 2013/05/08 - 4:16pm

Who needs one of the premier UI design companies of all time? That you would even ask such a question means you don't value UIs (Apple popularity with users shows you are nearly alone) or you have an ax to grind with Apple (perhaps on premium pricing which is a valid objection but not for the putative topic of the article).  Plenty of people recognize that the utility of a device, particularly a mobile device, is largely a result of it's UI design.  The utility of device you use declines rapidly with their difficulty of use—very rapidly as UIs are small in form factor and mobile data is needed quickly. I am surprised you don't recognize that and that their UI designs are the primary reason for Apple's success.

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