How to Leverage Emerging Technologies in Mobile Apps Effectively
Alan Winters

Innovation has always been one of the hallmarks of a successful company. Taking risks with new technology has created some of the world's largest businesses in the last few decades. From retail giant Amazon to Google, the single largest source of advertiser revenue and aggregated data in the world, these companies found enormous success in the rapid adoption of new technology, cornering their respective markets in less than a decade. Whether it's augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things, or artificial intelligence, new technologies provide a tremendous business opportunity in a variety of areas, including mobile application development. These opportunities don't come without risk, however, and it's critical to have a plan in place in order to capitalize on emerging tech in your mobile app.

Determine a clear strategy and purpose for innovation

Taking advantage of new technology needs to have a purpose. In order to have a high chance of success, your mobile product or service needs to have a clear target market, selling points, and reason for existing. Far too often companies throw new technology at the wall just to avoid fear of missing out on the latest trend. While this can sometimes result in blind luck creating success, more often than not it leads to failure.

Reducing the chance of falling victim to these pitfalls comes down to planning. Once you have a working strategy in place, deviating from that strategy for the sake of new tech should raise immediate red flags. Sometimes radical new products or services can make a lot of sense, but the key part of that sentence is that they need to make sense. If the reason for launching a brand new pair of augmented reality glasses is “this is possible!” that should give everyone pause.

Sticking to a solid strategy gives you the tools to determine how new tech trends affect your business. How does a given technology affect the way you do business? Does it make life easier for you or your customers? Are you able to improve upon your current services or product offerings, or does it deliver something brand new that meets a need your customers have?

As with any product or service, establishing tracking metrics can aid in this planning. With a bit of forethought and detailed market data, the impact of a new technology initiative doesn't need to be a mystery.

See whether users are ready for it

Even useful technologies need to come at the right time in order to be widely adopted. Releasing a brilliant innovation at the right time is just as important as releasing it in an appealing way.

There's a technology adoption curve that ranges from early adopters to people who only get the newest thing when it is no longer new. Thinking about where your customers fall along this range is an important step when considering the launch of new products. Businesses that reside on the cutting edge of technology and have customers who share the same viewpoint will have an easier time rolling out new technologies.

Using Amazon again as an example, the 2018 launch of a bevy of devices with built-in Alexa functionality demonstrates both smart timing and understanding of their customer base. Alexa had already been positioned at the time when the Internet of Things gained popularity, and the wide acceptance of voice-based technologies would blend seamlessly with Alexa's launch. Integrating this demand with new and existing products made Amazon products an attractive solution for consumers.

Microsoft found itself at the opposite end of success with their Kinect technology. Originally launched largely as an entertainment product, Kinect utilized motion capture to accept commands on their flagship entertainment product, the Xbox One. This was a product that not only failed to resonate with Microsoft's customers, it came far too early to be useful. Even now, a few short years later, Kinect-like technology is being used to power VR spaces and is finding applications in everything from medical tech to business management and even research.

Another major example of a failed tech launch would be Google Glass, which was discontinued in 2015 thanks to a variety of privacy concerns and overall disinterest in the product.

Maintaining this thought process when considering new tech will have a positive impact on newly-launched services and products. Using customer data to gauge interest in new technologies plays a key role in the proper timing of rollouts.

Find the right technology partner

It's very rare for a single company to engineer, produce, and assemble technology products. Choosing the right tech partner can make or break a successful launch. A good technology partner will work in tandem with your company to develop the features and specs that your product needs to excel in a competitive environment. Strong communication helps enable both companies to get what they need out of the partnership. With new technology, there's often a limited pool of experienced partners to choose from, so ensuring you've selected the right one requires thorough vetting and research.

Teams that can adapt to changes in technology and innovate when necessary are game-changers when it comes to technology partnerships. Partners with expertise in their respective fields are better able to respond to market needs that can dramatically shift from year to year.

Again, communication is key, and particularly important during the vetting process. Good technology companies will have a ready set of examples to show off to prospective parties, with references available from previous partners. Doing a bit of background research will quickly weed out sub-optimal partners.

Technology companies with shared interests and goals will have a better understanding of your products and services. This creates a recipe for success, as both companies will understand the drive and direction behind the product.

Prepare for your business breakthrough wisely

With proper timing, a solid plan, and a little bit of luck, bringing new technology to your customers can create new possibilities and open doors you didn't even know existed. Failing to implement new technologies correctly can lead to financial losses and impact your businesses reputation.

Partnering with the right company will dramatically increase the probability of success for any product launch and potentially lead to even more lucrative opportunities in the future.

Bringing this all together into a complete package can be the start of an entirely new line of products or services – or even a turning point in history – and shape the way your company does business for years to come.