Within the next few months Apple’s much anticipated iPhone 8 and iOS11 will hit the UK market. Over the last few years Apple has been partnering with experts in enterprise to extend their business capabilities. These enterprises include household names such as Cisco, Deloitte, IBM and SAP to name a few. With iOS11 due to debut around the same time as the new iPhone launches, the timing of the new technologies and much rumoured features will look to engage businesses in new and innovative ways.
1. Business Chat
iOS11 is due to launch with a Business Chat feature for iMessage, which was featured at the US WWDC developer preview in June. Business Chat allows real customer service representatives to communicate directly with users, differentiating the feature from existing AI chatbot systems. Users send the first message to start a Business Chat conversation by tapping Message icons that appear beside the names of businesses in Spotlight searches, Siri, and Maps, or by scanning a relevant QR code with their phone’s camera. These actions switch them into the Messages app, where the business can offer products for sale, provide appointment scheduling options, and send notifications to customers in the related chat thread, among other services.
2. AR (Augmented Reality)
ARKit will arrive with major software updates and new features that come with the iOS 11 update. ARKit will attempt to give the user new experiences by using the real world as a starting point, utilising cutting edge motion tracking technology to render computer generated objects for a variety of purposes in real time within the user’s pre-existing environment and adapting to the user’s movements. The business benefits for ARKit would include remote guidance and better training. In terms of remote guidance, workers in the field could use AR glasses to feed them relevant information such as manuals or instructions on how to solve the task in front of them. That information could be provided by a remote human expert examining the scene from afar or in the case of a system capable of computer vision — via smart software. AR also encourages better training, particularly for those who are customer facing. For example, sales teams can use AR glasses to help the customer buy products that best suit their requirements. Not only could the sales team see what the customer would like to buy, they could also get guidance on how the product would suit their environment. Ikea is a launch partner for the iOS 11 AR feature, and they will be allowing customers place imaginary furniture in rooms down to the millimeter.
The new operating system will also see the launch of a new drag and drop feature, giving users a quick and easy way to move text, images, and files from one app to another. Drag and drop has been integrated throughout iOS and can be used in the places such as: Home screen, Dock, Reminders, Calendar, Messages, Files, Safari, Contacts, News, Notes, Photos, Maps and Keynote. This opens up many opportunities for businesses to engage customers and internal staff with a fluid working style and reporting system that makes enterprise mobility faster and more efficient.
With the power of apps already creating new ways to engage and improve enterprise mobility and working, today’s business world has never been more mobile. With the increasing popularity and ever-expanding functionality of mobile affecting companies worldwide it is essential that organisations understand how to make the most of these new and developing technologies. The new iOS power and capability for cross platform integration will provide further opportunity for companies to engage in new working practices that result in business improvements.