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Future of the Mobile World

22 March 2017

By Sylwester Szymanski

I work for Yotta as a Mobile Applications Developer, creating Asset Management Software for mobile devices. When you make software for mobile devices you need to be extra careful, and consider many factors like battery life, processing power, offline functionality, and the use of limited resources. However, year after year, month after month, there are less and less limitations.

Mobile has become one of the main tools for the use of the internet, communication and entertainment. My role here is to make it the main tool for work purposes too.

When you are using software, you may sense it is evolving into a smarter, more intelligent system. Software can often know what you want to type, it predicts what you need to do and so on. This is because of the constant improvement in Artificial Intelligence, (AI). Let’s take a closer look and see how we could use this in our work.

I can hear

This type of intelligence can be defined as voice recognition, and has improved greatly, even with the recognition of varying accents, in more difficult scenarios. This tool not only reacts to commands, but also recognises intent.

It is simple to imagine how to use it in Yotta’s case. Searching for streets, specific assets, or building complicated queries. Having a mobile device out in the field and saying “show me streetlights with attached signs around me”, is not only a cool thing but, it’s a time saver, and real co-operation between human and machine. And the best thing is this is not a concept of the distant future, it can happen now.

I can see 

The situation here is similar to that with voice recognition. Recent improvements in this field have been tremendous.

Machines can already recognise thousands of different things within a picture. They can adjust to different light conditions and can still estimate what is on the picture, or what they can see through the camera lens.

For Yotta, it would be great to have something like that in a mobile device. Let’s say I am out on the road and I found a pothole. I am pointing my mobile device camera on it, and within seconds I have its measurement, type, and analysis. Science-Fiction? Not anymore.

I know what will happen

One of the biggest advantages of AI now is its ability to predict the future. People can do it too i.e. I know that if I put my finger into the fire, I will get burnt. In fact, this ability will prevent me from doing this and in the end, I won’t do it, because I don’t want to get hurt. Machines do learn in a similar way (i.e. by an evolutionary algorithm), but they can do it a lot faster and analyse a lot more data.

It’s easy to imagine usage for mobile users, i.e. automatically creating inspection routes based on risk, with alerts that some of the assets are more likely to be damaged than others. Again, this will save time, and improve accuracy.

I know where I am

Putting everything above together with the addition of some GPS tracking and sensors available in mobile devices, leads the machine’s ability to understand 3D space called Augmented Reality.

This is a newborn idea more than a tool right now, but as other things it is improving very fast and I believe that we will see a change of our whole world because of it. For now, we are seeing visualised data as a layer in the real world through a screen of a mobile device, though in the future – who knows…

I need you

All of this is very exciting, and looks like machines are improving extraordinarily fast, but if this is happening, are they still tools for us, or will they become competitors, and perhaps we will become tools for them? Maybe we won’t need people for managing infrastructure, if machines will be doing it better?

No.

Machines can’t do a few things, and one of them is making responsible decisions, they can give you data, help analyse it, do predictions, but decision, even if it is not always best judged, is always up to you.

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