Futuristic applications set to revolutionise our working lives

Touchscreen technology and voice activation were once the subject of science fiction films but are now common place in many businesses across the world. With even translator phones soon to appear in our offices, it is hard to imagine where mobile devices will take us next, according to Orange.

Anthony Keyworth, director of products at Orange UK, has predicted which business mobile applications could be the next big thing in the forthcoming five years.

He said: “The mobile industry has a tradition of innovation and now new applications in particular have the potential to continue to change the way the business world operates. Technologies we had only dreamt of are now a reality and play a vital role in our everyday working lives. These developments are testimony to the future potential of the mobile industry and applications in the business world moving forward.”

The future four according to Keyworth are: augmented reality; personal health monitoring; mobile-office synchronisation; and personal identification.

Augmented reality – Have you stared at your computer screen in confusion when faced with an error message or gazed blankly at the printer manual? Well, here’s where augmented reality holds the potential to come to the rescue. For instance, by scanning the error notice using your mobile, this application will analyse the message then provide a visual step by step guide on how to solve the problem. Businesses, especially those without dedicated IT teams can use augmented reality to save time and money by acting as a virtual stand-in.

Personal health monitoring – Businesses across the UK could save up to £13.2 billion by keeping their workforce healthy and happy. A personal health monitoring application could give staff the power to check their own health, ensuring they receive any early warning signs of potential illness. Though this is no replacement for a fully qualified medical professional check up, it could help employees better manage certain aspects of their health such as blood pressure. The application also holds the potential to ensure the safety of lone workers by reducing their risk of falling ill in isolated situations. By continually monitoring their vital statistics, any health alerts can be immediately transmitted to emergency services and reported to their place of work.

Mobile-office synchronisation – Cutting carbon emissions and reducing energy costs is a priority for most businesses. However, ensuring that all staff turn off their computers or switch off the lights when they leave work can be difficult to enforce. The synchronisation application will link your mobile device with your office and by determining your location and activity, alter your work environment accordingly. This means that it will be possible to switch on the computer when you are nearby, turn it to standby when you leave, activate the printer, and maybe even boil the kettle when it’s time for tea.

Personal identification – The days of carrying multiple wallets and personnel documents, especially when travelling for business could soon be over with the advent of personal identification applications. We’re already on our way with the ability to conduct monetary transactions via your mobile; in five years time, we could even be boarding a plane with a mobile passport.

As the above clearly shows, the lines between the physical and digital worlds will continue to blur with the mobile industry able to use its unique position to encompass this growing trend through mobile devices and applications – all of which will go a long way in continuing to shape the business world.