As PR professionals, it’s our job to stay on top of the news that may be relevant to our clients, not just so we are aware of what is popular, but so we also know which topics, trends, and buzz words we should use or avoid. With the amount of never-ending news stemming from Mobile World Congress (MWC), we wanted to highlight a few trends we noticed from this year’s show.
We saw a rise in connected devices, from fitness sensors to color-changing lights, which revealed the “Internet of Things” is no longer a trend of the future. Consumers are seeking more ways to track activities in their daily life through various devices, and more often than not, expect the ability to monitor the information conveniently from their smartphones. That being said, it’s no wonder “a better connected world” was one of the top trends from MWC, which recently took place in Barcelona.
Amidst the connected world, wearables and smart watches took the spotlight as consumers naturally flock to the newest and hottest gadgets. Companies like Sony and Samsung released their takes on fitness bands, which included features such as sleep monitoring, control of the music on your smartphone, and heart rate monitoring.
The most interesting aspect of the connected trend came from, unsurprisingly, Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote about Internet.org, “a global partnership dedicated to making Internet access available to the two-thirds of the world not yet connected.” While the hot new gadgets are useful and, honestly, fun to play with, a truly connected world brings about a whole new realm of possibilities.
Another popular trend from the show included bigger screens on smartphones, making the “phablet” increasingly common as more consumers want to use their phones for work, to view videos, and more.
Overall, companies have big plans for the future of not just mobile phones, but also for the way our world is connected. From a PR perspective, we now have insight on how these trends are covered, how people are talking about them, and what people actually care about. These insights will be helpful as we move forward with campaigns for current and future clients.
So what is one of our biggest takeaways? “The Internet of Things” was voted as one of the most overused terms during the conference, and while this continues to be a trend for 2014, it presents the opportunity for us to reconsider how we, as communicators, position it within the tech industry moving forward.
Laura Szatkowski is an Account Executive for Airfoil, an integrated marketing communications firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Detroit, London and Hong Kong. Follow Laura on Twitter: @LSzatkowski