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If 2013 has taught us anything, it’s that ideas, products and solutions can move from niche to mainstream practically overnight. With the successful launch of a few fitness trackers (Fitbit Force, Nike+ Fuelband, Jawbone Up) and the very splashy beta version of Google Glass, wearable technology became the biggest trend of last year. And while we have captured over 1,700 potential use cases for Glass through our simulator, we still can’t make it show us the future.

Even without an analog crystal ball, we’re boldly going where many pundits will go before New Year’s Day and laying out our 2014 predictions. These are the hot topics in mobile marketing and technology we see coming in the next 12 months:

MARKETING

  • Tech is the new black – Every brand will start differentiating itself through digital offerings, especially in the mobile space.
  • Many devices, one experience – Users will get tired of disjointed brand experiences and companies will answer with omnichannel thinking that lets the user pick up where they left off across multiple devices.
  • Agencies get physical – More marketing companies will branch out beyond services and create physical products through incubators, accelerators and crowdfunding.
  • Apps get smarter – The mobile initiative planning process will continue to gain sophistication as marketers align business priorities and user needs in the mobile space.

TECHNOLOGY

  • The M7 keeps on giving – Developers will create richer wearable tech experiences thanks to the abundant data, limited battery drain and 24/7 tracking scenarios made possible by Apple’s new M7 chip.
  • Voices do more – Google will revolutionize voice activation by opening up voice search capabilities to developers, creating a new wave of speech-detecting Android apps. The Apple development community will start chanting, “Free Siri,” shortly after.
  • Passive listening excites and enrages – While developers and marketers try to make our phones better eavesdroppers, consumers grow more concerned about privacy issues.


TRENDS

  • Shoppers without borders – Near-instantaneous fulfillment and delivery will be expected and demanded by mobile consumers making purchases on their smartphones or tablets.
  • New authentication methods make us feel safer – Fingerprint readers and two-factor authentication features ease our fear of data collection and identity theft. Users will also grow less skeptical of Big Brother, in exchange for anticipatory technology.
  • Mobile payments and smartwatches save each other – Consumers finally see the utility in mobile wallets and app-ready watches once they start purchasing merchandise by simply tapping their wrist against a sensor.


Which of these prophecies will come to fruition? We’re betting on all of them. But with the unpredictable nature of modern technology, you can never be too certain. From the highly-secured R&D departments of Fortune 500 companies to garages all over Silicon Valley, there’s always the chance a revolutionary innovation will come along and change EVERYTHING. The only thing we can say for sure is we can’t wait to see and shape what the future has in store for the mobile space.


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