BlackBerry forges ahead
We all know that Research In Motion (RIM), the creators or BlackBerry devices, are struggling – stocks are falling, they are no longer the media darlings, devices hitting the market right now are criticized for being less than visionary. Despite their challenges, BlackBerry envisions an amazing future filled with their devices in a way that automates life but doesn’t eliminate the need for human interaction.
A jazzed up version of today’s technologies
Some have criticized this video for being unrealistic, but there are already existing technologies that do everything in the video, but with a more disjointed interface and functioning through various devices and apps rather than just a single device that handles all of the functions, and they all look the same.
In the video, RIM imagines device integration , which is similar to how internet-connected Blu-ray players already behave. Point a device at a television and control it. You can even plug your iPhone or Android in to your HDTV, and even more amazing, there is already an app that turns any tv into a browser. Having all of your devices communicate already exists, although it remains disjointed.
Also in the video, we see mobile and social , which of course already exists. Most retail sites allow you to share content directly from the site, but the advantage RIM is pointing out in their device is that it could be tied to your device’s contacts rather than just your Facebook, or just your Twitter. Even companies like Bing are mixing in mobile and social, for example, as they have made search social, and even though that is only one aspect of a device’s use, the groundwork has been laid.
Immediate customer response is envisioned in the video, which exists today through a variety of web apps, website plug-ins, and e-commerce features, and at its most crude form is available through web chat on a standard website. Retail management apps and supply chain management tools already exist and have amazing analytics that are improving constantly, but RIM’s vision of how the user sees and interacts with the app is definitely above and beyond sexy. The goal here appears to be reducing many tasks down to a single click, which would definitely a plus.
In the cab, the woman is given her total electronically, pays by holding up her app, collaborates through chat and browser sharing, and her device knows she is on the way to the station and offers to sell her a ticket with one click. These are all current technologies, using GPS, geo-fencing, and mobile payment systems, some of which you can already use without pulling out a credit card, like TabbedOut, and collaboration tools as simple as Skype.Augmented reality (AR) has existed for years, allowing people to hold up their phone and see messages and pop ups through their camera, typically showing where a business is or what its offers are. This technology is, however, getting a boost from companies like Google with their augmented reality glasses which is not the same vision RIM has of AR, but close. Point of sale specials, and custom tailored offers are already done through loyalty program apps through phones, and the connected home is already here in many forms. Now, the one part of Minority Report that has not become a mainstream reality is walking into a store that recognizes your device, and begins communicating with you through a hologram. It’s coming though. We applaud RIM’s vision still including humans, rather than the idea that everything will be run by robots by 2020.