Five Features Of The ‘Always-On’ Mobile Experience

What capabilities are consumers expecting in the next generation of mobile devices?


Today’s technology consumers – labeled as the ‘always on, always connected’ generation – are some of the most demanding when it comes to what they expect from their devices for work and play. Not only do consumers want devices that are able to manage their multiple demands on the go – from mobile gaming to video streaming – but they also want devices to work continuously without the need for constant charging. Here are five features consumers want – and need –  for connected devices that survive and thrive ‘on the go.’

Laptop battery life and performance
Predictions that smartphones and tablets will lead to the demise of the PC market have not yet come to fruition. Nevertheless, they have helped to shape expectations from consumers for their laptop and PC devices. CPU performance on smartphones has seen strong improvements without compromising on battery life, but the same cannot be said for laptop devices. They have achieved modest annual performance gains in the single-digit percentages year-on-year, but battery life improvements have lagged behind other device areas.

Machine learning and future innovation
Machine learning (ML) is a key part of smartphone innovation. Devices that perform ML “at the edge” (within the device rather than in the cloud) reduce the need for constant interactions with the cloud, which improves latency and security. With a more secure and intelligent device, consumers have come to expect accuracy in ML use cases such as predictive text, face recognition and tracking, speech recognition, and the digital assistant.

Mobile gaming and mixed realities on the go

Consumer demand for mobile gaming is at an all-time high. According to a Newzoo report, the market is expected to grow to $137.9 billion in 2018. It is now becoming increasingly important to deliver PC and console-based gaming experiences on mobile.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are also expected to grow in popularity among consumers, with the GPU supporting an improved immersive experience for users. Better-than-ever battery life further supports sustained mobile gaming and power-hungry AR and VR, allowing consumers to enjoy their immersive experiences for longer, from virtual travel to virtually experiencing huge world events like the football World Cup.

Preparing for 5G
Despite the growth of Wi-Fi networks worldwide, the only way to be always connected is through cellular networks. 5G is set to be faster than the typical home internet connection currently on the market. Therefore, the network will be a vital development for consumers who want to work, play and watch on the go without connecting to Wi-Fi. Consumers will need products that can support this step-change in mobile connectivity, with phones, tablets and PCs across different operating systems all needing to perform seamlessly on the 5G network.

UHD 8K content
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics has already made a big promise that the games will be seen in full 8K coverage in two years’ time. The ability to multi-task means that content providers like Netflix and Amazon can provide their customers with high-quality rolling previews of up to four different shows at once, saving the consumer decision-making time when selecting which show to watch.

Path forward for always-on mobile
The mobile industry has, over the past several decades, driven broader systems-design trends, thanks to pioneering efforts in compute efficiency. And this innovation is now changing the face of large-screen devices in the always-on mobile era.

The recently announced premium suite of Arm computing and multimedia IP will enable a better user experience for content-hungry consumers constantly on the move. This is mainly achieved in two ways: improved performance to manage the greater demands being put on devices; and improved battery life so devices can be wireless for longer.  The new premium IP suite aims to provide laptops and smartphones with the tools required to grasp the opportunities from future innovation. Preparing for developments around AR and VR, ML, UHD 8K content, and the roll-out of the 5G network will help to provide truly compelling experiences for consumers in the future.

Consumers demand freedom
New and current technology trends show that consumers need devices to support the multiple activities they now perform on the go. Perhaps more importantly, consumers need greater freedom when using their devices. Freedom from wires, freedom to be flexible in working, freedom to not recharge a mobile device after during the day, freedom from Wi-Fi, freedom to play games and watch different types of content on the go, and the freedom to adapt to new innovations, such as AR, VR, machine learning and 5G. The average technology consumer might be demanding, but they are right to have these expectations for their current and future devices. Arm aims to be at the forefront of innovation now and in the future to help satisfy the high demand from the ‘always on, always connected’ generation of consumers.

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