Ten top predictions of mobile device trends in 2014
The transition from desktop computer to handheld device has helped shape the way we communicate, share information, and complete daily tasks- but what else does mobile technology have in store for us? Rishu Mandolia, lead mobile instructor at the Digital Professional Institute, shares his predictions for where the future of mobile is headed:
Intelligent Apps Will Offer Personalized Experiences
In 2013 services helped users collect and track their interests and behaviors, from what foods you eat to the articles you like. 2014 should see companies leverage this data to make intelligent apps provide more value- better recommendations, actionable statistics and more.
Phones Become a Healthier Lifestyle Coach
While we already have apps that track how well you have slept, how much you exercised and the calories you consumed, this year companies will combine this information to help with better decision-making. “This trend will be especially apparent when combined with the growth in smartphone sensors and wearable technology,” says Mandolia.
Routine Chores Become a Game
Adding entertainment to routine activities offers a successful way to motivate people- and smartphones are well-equipped to help. Mandolia notes, “More services will emerge that track your progress automatically and offer creative ways to execute goals, while offering different types of incentives.”
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Companies Improve Individualized Marketing
The same data that can help companies provide users with a more personalized experience will also be used to further target promotions and advertising. “Expect more mobile ads that leverage your data to provide offers that are relevant to your lifestyle,” warns Mandolia.
Wearable Technology Shifts to Mainstream
The generation of wearable devices is emerging with everything from health trackers to smart watches and glasses. In the coming year, expect to see a significant portion of the smartphone-owning population own at least one connected wearable device.
Retail Locations Utilizing Mobile Technology
Mobile technology will continue to become a widespread adoption for retailers. Mobile checkouts will become more prevalent as well as the inclusion of new low-cost technology like iBeacons that can communicate with phones within 50 meters as well as help users determine their precise location indoors (think interactive maps within malls that offer real-time updates and notifications).
Cars Feature Deeper Mobile Connectivity
In 2014 cars will go beyond USB charging and music playback to include more direct access to phone functionality and control directly from the car. “Apple’s iOS in the Car (iOSitC) is expected this year and others should not be far behind,” says Mandolia. “Your phone should soon be moving from an ad-hoc connection with the car to feeling like an actually part of the vehicle.”
The Phone Becomes an Active Controller
The disconnect between mobile phones, tablets and TVs will begin to vanish as more network programmers encourage viewers to connect in real-time on their mobile devices for a more immersive experience. Additionally, new internet connected TVs and video streaming boxers are supporting mobile as a powerful way to control and interact with the device and content.
Mobile Makes More Inroads into Education
Mobile devices, especially tablets, are becoming common in different levels of education. “We should start seeing more creative applications of these devices, with entire curriculums build around electronic delivery utilizing mobile as a cornerstone,” says Mandolia.
Augmented Reality Arrives- Virtual Reality Lingers
Augmented reality technology and applications in mobile have been around for years, but few services have used them beyond gimmicks or novelties. As Google’s Glass and other similar products start becoming affordable available to consumers, we’ll start seeing the new wave of apps built around augmented reality. The first virtual reality headsets should hit the market in 2014 as well, though mobile applications may be few initially.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.