During the Apple Live event on September 9th, the DoubleDutch team identified many new products and software that will greatly impact the future of events and conferences. We've highlighted our thoughts below, but you can also read a Q&A on iOS 8 with our Senior iOS Engineer.
Improvements in connectivity and indoor positioning
With better LTE and an increase in Wi-Fi speed by 3X, the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will improve connectivity in crowded conference halls. Additionally, the new M8 motion chip, along with other advancements in iOS 8, will improve indoor positioning at Apple-supported venues. We expect many major conference venues will gain this support, which will help event apps, like the ones we build at DoubleDutch, to do a better job of telling attendees where they are, and how to get where they need to be.
NFC facilitates transactions
The new phones now have NFC chips in them, which in essence, facilitates transactions. While Apple talked about payments specifically, we see this technology as an enabler for many other conference-specific transactions, such as lead scanning, session check-ins, exchanging contact information, and more. Some Android devices already have NFC, so this has the potential to be ubiquitous in the not-too-far future.
Battery life extends usage time
Lastly, battery life improvements will impact the experience at events significantly. While the iPhone 5s had 10 hours of battery life, the new iPhone 6 Plus will have 16 hours of battery life which gives attendees the ability to use the mobile app without fear of draining their battery. While there are charging stations at most events, attendees will not have to charge their phone as often.
Notifications and directions when you need them
The new Apple Watch will offer event apps the ability to present quick, contextual information (like session reminders) without requiring users to take out their phone and open the app. This is going to have a significant impact at conferences allowing attendees to focus on interacting with others and participating in the event.
Other simple, lightweight interactions mobile event app users could experience with the Apple Watch are:
- Gentle reminders (a subtle buzz on the wrist) when one of your bookmarked session is about to begin
- Notifications when you are near another attendee or exhibitor whom you are interested in meeting, and perhaps a quick flash of their bio information
- Quick and easy access to a conference map
- A welcome message when you enter the conference hall to register, or at the beginning of each day
- Distribution of important messages from conference organizers to attendees during an event
For mobile developers like DoubleDutch, the quality of the hardware (phones, watches, bands, etc.) makes a huge difference. Because our products are delivered via hardware that is outside our control, we rely on companies like Apple to continue to push the envelope of innovation.
We were thrilled with the announcements yesterday and are already hard at work to take advantage of these new products.