Mobile innovation is transforming every industry and bringing gigantic growth opportunities with it. Every company, in some way or another, is becoming a mobile company, and we can no longer make the distinction between the wireless industry and everything else.
What are the largest companies doing to stay on top of their industries? They’re partnering with disruptive mobile startups who will help these companies stay on top of the latest technologies and trends. As our “things” are increasingly connected to the internet, forward-thinking teams are making sure companies keep pace.
Here are the top five mobility growth areas you need to know now — the same key areas being developed by industry heavyweights and their startup partners.
Video: Video is eating the whole internet
Cisco predicts that by 2019, video will account for 80% of global internet consumption. Think about the growth we’ve already seen in video: Periscope, Vine, and others were just recently tiny startups seeking attention and their first round of funding — now they’re owned by Twitter. Who will be the next generation of video-oriented startups, and what platforms will they work with? Which companies will they transform as they’re bought up and acquired?
Mobile Advertising and Marketing: There is so much money to be made on mobile advertising
Think about how Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat make their billions. Advertising — and increasingly, mobile advertising. It’s a crazy business. Business Insider estimates that by 2020, video ad revenue will increase three times faster on mobile vs. desktop, raking in $6.5 billion per year. And as the mobile ecosystem grows beyond our phones to include an array of connected devices, advertising is sure to follow. Imagine the marketing opportunities embedded in a smart refrigerator!
The Internet of Things: Everything that moves will be connected to everything
The Internet of Things provides opportunities beyond just smart thermostats and connected home appliances. It's much bigger. Think digital sensors in jet engines that record data about flight conditions and software that predicts when each piece of factory machinery will need repairs before anything goes awry. That’s exactly what GE is doing with the industrial internet — a revolutionary approach that optimizes industrial processes through integrated data analytics.
Industry reports predict that by 2020, the Internet of Things will comprise as many as 50 billion connected devices and could generate up to $1.7 trillion in revenue. Every "thing" we use at home and work, every vehicle that transports us, and every medical device doctors use to treat us will become smart devices connected to the internet. We’ll need new software and algorithms for every device in the world. And those billions of devices will need developers.
Connected Transportation: Your car is the ultimate mobile device
Traditional auto companies are rapidly transforming themselves into technology companies as each new model is more connected than the last one. From GPS navigation systems to satellite radio, your car is already loaded with wireless services — technologies that once seemed impossibly futuristic. But what about the next wave of digital devices to become onboard staples? Auto giants like GM are reconceptualizing the future of the auto industry, partnering with tech startups like Lyft to meet the transportation needs of 21st century consumers: on-demand ride sharing, autonomous vehicles, and more. And who knows what these innovations will mean for riders? Will hands-free driving lead to new car-specific social networking apps or in-car gaming systems? Our entire relationship to cars will be redefined by emerging technologies.
Cybersecurity: More devices, more data, more headaches
These days, there’s a lot about data encryption in the news — and in the halls of Congress. What’s not getting quite as much attention is the fact that mobile devices requiring robust cybersecurity in the very near future will include your connected home thermostat, your car, and even your pacemaker — every "thing" we equip with smart technology. Our soon-to-be 50 billion connected devices, and their extensive networks, and the troves of data they collect, will be sitting ducks for hackers with bad intentions.
This unprecedented need for data security is why the cybersecurity industry is projected to more than double its growth and revenue, leaping from $75 billion in 2015 to over $170 billion by 2020. Data security underpins mobile development, protecting information at rest, in transit, and in use. It will take an army of developers and cybersecurity specialists to fortify these networks and the connected society that will depend on them.
The bottom line:
So what’s the bottom line here? Two big things. One, on the consumer side of things, people will continue to share and be entertained by video, no matter what device they’re carrying and whatever platforms they’re using. There is tremendous opportunity to not only enable people to do more of this, but to monetize against it.
Two, on the more industrial side of things, when everything from mobile hospital equipment to cars and trucks is internet-enabled, these things will need new operating systems, algorithms, applications. GE has already developed Predix, an operating system for the Industrial Internet of Things. Will there be video commercials and programming embedded into your doctor’s equipment, or a “Facebook for cars” specially designed for automobile platforms?
That’s what events like CTIA’s StartUp Lab are designed to explore. CTIA, an authority on all things wireless, hosts its annual StartUp Lab to foster these corporate/startup relationships — the very partnerships that drive mobile innovation forward and continue to blur the line between wireless and everything else.