Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 brought to life how connectivity will be the key element that empowers business transformation. Where SCSW annually shows the businesses that new technology allows and CES demonstrates the devices that will do this, Mobile World Congress projects the infrastructure that will make both happen. Four trends that took center stage:

The World of 5G:

4G enabled livestreaming, empowering anyone to become a content creator and accelerated the proliferation of mobile video consumption. At MWC 5G standards were released, calling for at least 20Gbps downlink, enough to download two movies per second. 5G must support at least one million connected devices per square kilometer, a nod to the Internet of Things. With such speeds, security, low latency and capacity, we will see the development of smart cities, connected self-driving cars, and new ways to leverage personal data to best serve ads in real time.

A Smarter World and More Intimate Data:

Sensors are proliferating. From smartwatches to home monitoring devices to health trackers, the speed, accuracy and abundance of data is becoming richer. Combined with better connectivity and faster processing, we can now extract, analyze, and obtain more meaning from data, ranging from feelings, intentions and beyond. Through advanced analytics and better data visualization tools, brands can make better inferences and people’s wants and needs, anticipating and even making decisions for consumers.

The Anticipatory Internet:

Soon the internet will surround the physical world. An ambient layer and screens will become entry points to a lattice connecting everything through an omnipresent internet and a vanishing interface. Anticipatory computing will make constant micro-predictions about what consumers will likely do, need, and want. When screens vanish, consumers’ lives will become seamlessly assisted by contextual information and suggested options from artificial intelligence (AI) virtual assistants including Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa.

New Screens Introduced:

At MWC, Huawei launched a smartwatch phone, and Robert Scoble reiterated his prediction that Apple and Carl Zeiss are working on augmented reality glasses to launch this year. People now own personal device ecosystems, with the mobile phone acting as the sun in a device solar system. For advertisers, this is cause for revisiting every assumption. Smartwatch advertising requires capturing more intimate information to help consumers decide what to buy. If AR headsets come to fruition, this could create entirely new experiences. Marketers need to consider for both sharing marketing messages and providing utility to make life easier.

Author: Tom Goodwin, EVP, Head of Innovation, Zenith