MWC, Post 3:
Mobile Invades Everything

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Walking through Barcelona, I stumbled across a fantastic idea: a GPS enabled Go Kart for tourists.

As you drive it around town, it provides historical information about your current location, automatically. This type of technological mash-up illustrates the current state of mobile technology quite nicely. As I mentioned in my earlier report, mobile isn’t just about phones anymore.

A GPS-Enabled Tour Guide

A GPS-Enabled Tour Guide

Spurring Adoption through Intuitive Design

Good UX design and the development of logical workflows both play a critical role in the adoption of new technology. To drive adoption and mass appeal, not only must your technology be affordable, it must be intuitive.  (My colleague wrote a related post on this idea earlier this month.)

To show off their new KM900 smartphone, LG set up an interactive table top display. The set up utilized a unique cube based interface. Each cube represented a different feature of the device. By placing a cube onto the tabletop, a virtual phone would be spawned. Users could interact with the virtual phone to explore the highlighted feature. By rotating and interchanging the cubes, users could get a closer look at the device’s features. Though the navigation was completely alien, users had no trouble understanding and interacting with the setup. It sounds complicated, but the appealing aesthetic and surprisingly intuitive interface lures you right in.

LG's tabletop interface showcasing their new KM900 smart phone

LG's tabletop interface showcasing their new KM900 smart phone

That’s the key. It’s OK to be innovative, but you have to keep the end user in mind.

Obligatory Dick Tracy Reference

The importance of good usability will become more and more apparent as technology continues to converge. When I was a kid, a watch with a built in stopwatch and lap timer was a big deal.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, there was an entire line of smart watches / mobile devices equipped with the kinds of features you would expect from a robust smart phone.

The evolution of samsung smart watches

The evolution of samsung smart watches

Above, you can see a timeline of watch phone device models from Samsung, and below are LG’s watch phones. There was even a PRADA model. As form and fashion continue to merge with function, is it even accurate to call these things phones anymore?

LG's Watch Phone offerings

LG's Watch Phone offerings

Technology is becoming less like technology and more like… well… everything else in our lives.

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(Headline Photo Credit:  jp.ubiqua)