In April of 1973, Motorola’s Marty Cooper called up his longtime rival Joel Engel of AT&T in the middle of a press conference. It was a historic moment. Cooper had made the world’s first mobile phone call. The mobile phone delivered a long-awaited solution to a real need: connect with people anywhere, anytime. A tool which integrates with a person’s lifestyle, a companion which is always nearby. The mobile phone will always be synonymous with freedom and innovation.
In the modern age, mobile phones are as prevalent as ever, but their primary purpose has shifted dramatically. There’s a deep irony to how little the average person uses their phone to make calls nowadays, considering it was once the product’s sole purpose. But how did mobile phones become so much more than just calling devices?
In January of 2007, everything shifted. Ten years ago, Apple announced their newest product–the first iPhone. In the company’s original press release, Apple emphasized the integrated capabilities of this palm-sized device.
“Apple® today introduced iPhone, combining three products—a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod® with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps—into one small and lightweight handheld device.”
It featured a cutting edge touchscreen design which, according to Steve Jobs, used your pointer finger to “create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.” This innovative mobile-first experience empowered users to solve a problem (I need to make a phone call) with an intuitive solution. Simply “point” at a phone number, and you’ll start your call.
The mobile phone has evolved to become so much more than just a device which we use make calls. The applications have become endless, quite literally. Mobile apps reimagine the mobile phone’s purpose and test its limits. They ask an important question: how can we use this small, powerful device to improve an end user’s day-to-day life? Technology has transformed a mobile phone from a device for phone calls into an on-demand solution machine.
Mobile apps have revolutionized everything from shopping to food delivery, transportation to music, and everything else pertaining to an individual’s personal life. However, mobile apps remain under-utilized in the context of the workplace. On average, employees at small and medium-sized companies use 15 off-the-shelf cloud apps, with enterprise employees using an average of 11. However, many of these applications leave employees tethered to their computer as they work to juggle tools which function independent from one another. Where’s the seamless experience?
Optix, our workspace management software, solves this problem by offering a white-label, mobile-first experience. It offers tools which integrate seamlessly with a user’s activities at work, leading to increased ease–and frequency–of use. From booking desks and meeting rooms, to uploading credit card information and paying for an invoice, Optix makes working in a flexible office space seamless. It offers an experience that’s easy for users to access anytime, from anywhere. Mobile apps have the power to transform the working world, much as we’ve already seen mobile apps transform a user’s personal life. Given that we already spend the majority of our waking weekday hours at work, shouldn’t we be afforded the same seamless, on-demand mobile experience in the workplace that we enjoy in our downtime?
In November of last year, Optix partnered with Kisi to bring the seamless mobile-first office experience to the next level. It was a great opportunity to directly integrate two products created to add even more functionality into the mobile phone. Optix-powered workspaces can now be unlocked with the Kisi app. Our venue partners can build custom plans within Optix that will then link specific groups with specific access to spaces within their venue using Kisi. This enables a more secure and easy-to-access office.
This is the future we envision for the workplace. Solutions built into mobile phones offer tools which seamlessly integrate with a user’s daily life, much of which is spent at work. We need tools that improve the workplace experience for everyone, tools which work together in an integrated, holistic system. Most of all, we need tools that are intuitive to use and accessible from anywhere. This is why a mobile-first work experience is undeniably the future of work.