Hardware

Development Trends in Mobile Devices and Suitability for Users

Fingerprint Scanners

Fingerprint scanners are a new trend amongst mobile phones, used to provide a quick and secure unlocking mechanism for unlocking phones, entering passwords or even purchasing items. 

Apple has made it's touch ID fingerprint scanner hardware available for third party apps. Enabling fingerprint scanners as an unlocking mechanism not just for unlocking the phone but for third party applications such as the Commbank Application as shown above. 

The convenience and security of fingerprint scanners on mobile devices has allowed for more complex passwords. For example, my phone could have a 10 digital pin but in most cases I would not need to enter it as I just simply enter my fingerprint. The flip side is that more people are forgetting their passwords as they are inputting them less frequently.

Suitability for Users (Business)

Fingerprint scanners offer an affordable biometric security solution for businesses. Business owners can easily secure sensitive data without having to remember complex passwords.

Near Field Communications (NFC)

NFC is a communication hardware that comes standard in phones nowadays, enabling a variety of features. Apple restricts third parties from accessing the NFC features in their phones. But we have seen the practical application of such features with 'Apple Pay' enabling users to pay for transactions using their phones or smart watches. Payment by NFC is also more secure, requiring a pin, password or more conveniently linked to a fingerprint scanner. Unlike regular tap and go cards, when a phone is stolen, a user cannot use the phone for transaction purchases.

Suitability for Users (Business)

Similarly, businesses have been taking advantage of NFC with Apple's Beacon, a device that communicates to devices with NFC providing information based on a small geographical context. For example, a business could have a beacon operate near a special counter. When a customer is nearby the counter, the beacon could send a notification to the phone to alert the consumer of the arising specials nearby. 

Wearable Technology

Innovation around mobile phones is diminishing with the latest features including the usual suspects of better cameras, processors and screens etc. Technology companies are investing more to wearable technologies of smart watches, smart bands or smart glasses. Smart watches/bands enables quick access to notifications, fitness tracking and communications more convenient then pulling out a phone (Which I personally find the convenience questionable - don't mention this in your exams!).

Suitability for Users (Business)

Wearable technology can have a positive impact on businesses. Business owners often care about the health and wellbeing of their employees which will impact on productivity levels. Wearable technology can promote a more healthier workplace, with fitness trackers calculating step counts. 

Virtual Reality

Mobile technologies are now incorporating virtual reality, the mix of virtual elements in the real world. This is most evident in the 'Pokemon Go' application which uses cameras that record a user's real time environment and software to project virtual creatures (pokemon) on the screen interacting with that real environment. 

Suitability for Users 

VR can also be seen through goggles which enable a user to see through a virtual world based on physical movements. There are a number of gaming as well as business applications such as virtual training simulation which is a much more affordable way to train employees. VR goggles is also used to allow for a more intensive experience of 360 degree video. 

 

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