Do you really need a smarter drill, a more intelligent lawn sprinkler, a light bulb connected to the Internet, and an app – for all of them – on your phone?
Recently I had the good fortune of attending the 2015 Mobility LIVE event hosted by the Metro Atlanta Chamber in Atlanta, GA. The event was fabulous all the way around, from the keynote speakers to the breakout sessions to the great networking opportunities. Over 800 attendees from several industries gathered to discuss what’s current and what’s on the horizon in the world of the IoT, or “Internet of Things”. Many event sessions focused on mobility and security, several dealt with mobility and engagement, and a few brought to light the potential for mobility and its role in health and wellness.
On day two, the morning’s keynote featured Glenn Lurie of AT&T and Eddy Cue of Apple as they described the inception of the “smartphone era”. These two men were primarily responsible for bringing their companies together to launch the first generation iPhone on the AT&T mobile network. This session was a fascinating look back at how this iconic partnership came to shape the mobile smartphone world as we know it today.
As a student of psychology with a career focused on customer service, the most enjoyable moments of Mobility LIVE for me focused on the humanistic impact of mobile technology. I was most interested in how the rapid advancement of mobile technology and wicked cool interconnectedness of nearly every aspect of life will impact personal communication. How will the continued pursuits of “smart” mobility play out when I want to talk to you, or you to me? I had an opportunity to question many of the panelists and thought leaders in the various sessions and was encouraged by their responses. They commented on the importance of both human touch and human interaction, and really tapped these relationships as the driving force behind the rapid expansion of the mobile movement.
I believe mobile tech must remain human centric. Just as Glenn and Eddy, two humans who spearheaded the industry, communicated to me, a simple mobile user, we must keep communication and mobility human centered, and something that occurs between individuals. At its core, mobility is about how humans utilize technology to communicate more effectively and make life better. Though I’m not sure if I need a smarter drill, I know I want a hole in my wall. Do I need a lawn sprinkler that connects to the Internet when all I want is greener grass? It scares me to think someone smart enough could use my light bulb to send thousands of spam emails without my knowledge. However, this is very much the reality of our world and technology will continue to evolve at lightning speed. The notion of “get on board or get left behind” was heard loud and clear at Mobility LIVE by all who were in attendance. Nearly everyone was at the conference to ensure their companies would not be left behind.
Maybe in the future, Mobility LIVE will only be attended virtually via screenshare or mobile technology. I for one was happy to see that this time, it was a conference attended by 800 real human beings with their cell phones in hand. Although mobility offers tremendous value, I believe it can only enhance the human experience, and never truly replace the importance of face-to-face human interactions.
I look forward to continuing to explore the IoT and its continually evolving effect on human behavior.
About the Author: Tim Moore
Tim works at Education at Work as the Director of Mission Growth and Sales. He has extensive work experience in the customer service industry. To learn more about Tim’s background, you can click to visit his LinkedIn profile or engage with him directly on Twitter.