One of the biggest technology shows (and for sure, the biggest for consumer stuff) is happening this week in Las Vegas – the CES 2015. Lots of people have packed their bags with tons of gadgets, tablets, phones, wearables etc. to get into venue to showcase the latest and greatest stuff for the whole world. Let’s look at some of those things that are – or will rapidly become – highly relevant for mobile app and game developers…
Historically, the Consumer Electronics Show has been one of those events where tech giants introduce and launch their new high-end phones, tablets or something else ground-breaking for mobile users. Despite the show is much more than just mobile – and when the Mobile World Congress is just a few months ahead – the CES has been important show for mobile OEMs to bring out other complementary devices.
Wearables – Tons of new gadgets for apps!
The wearable technology – which already was one of the major themes from last year – is expected to be even bigger this year. Apple unveiled their Apple Watch in September, many of major mobile OEMs have brought in their own smart watches, and a myriad of smaller players have also come into play the wearable competition. It’s very likely that the wearable market continues its growth and with many of these devices to be based on Google’s Android Wear platform. As more and more devices based on Android Wear will be unveiled, this will be another great opportunity for app – and also game – developers to get their stuff bolted on devices and expose their stuff for hundreds of millions of new consumers.
Those wearables are a new ball park for app devs, but there will be new challenges as well. Different sizes of screens, variety of different chipsets, customizations to vanilla Android Wear by OEMs, different hardware specs in terms of memory, controls and so on, will make building apps a bit more challenging for these devices. Naturally, we’re ready for those amazing devices here at Bitbar Testing and will make sure you have a development and testing access to all the most relevant gadgets out there!
Automotive IVI’s – Another great platform for new apps!
Maybe we are quite not there yet, but hopefully very soon automotive in-vehicle infotainments will be another great platform for mobile app developers to build their great stuff on it. Now, it’s important to strike a balance where those external third party apps can be installed and used: instrument cluster, the dashboard of your car showing gauges, important metrics about car, probably won’t be that open for app developers due regulations and safety measures. But in-vehicle infotainment can be seen much more open for app developers. The same applies for entertainment devices that can be found in cars today and even more in the future ones. This gives also game developers a new platform to build their games for.
For example, Android Auto, Google’s public in-car connectivity initiative, runs on top of the car’s existing infotainment operating system. Basically, the Android Auto runs on a device, and the interface is ‘streamed’ to IVI’s screen over network (or USB). There are currently certain limitations with it, such as it can only access certain peripherals, but surely this can expand in time and become even more usable for external applications.
IoT Gadgets – Third ’emerging’ segment for new apps!
The connected home and home automation has been one of the major expansion points for Google last year and generally this market seems to be huge for the following years – and decade – to come. It can – and probably will – become another big ecosystem for these platform owners, so this is also very important and relevant for app developers. We’re not too far away from designing and implementing for home appliances, gadgets that traditionally has been built-up embedded devices with only OEM-installed software.
Now, who wouldn’t be interested to capture this opportunity and start building a set of great apps for home appliances?
Virtual Reality – What is here for App Devs?
One of the biggest hype at CES will be around 4K displays and consumer availability for the Ultra HD sets, which have four times the resolution of HDTVs. The major TV manufacturers have already announced their new TVs in pre-show releases and surely there is more to come. However, one very interesting area where we will see new stuff is the virtual and augmented reality. Some people think it is still too early for these devices, some think it is here for good. Nevertheless, when more of these devices will emerge, more ground will be created for app and game developers to build. For example, Google Glass has been out for some time – when do we see the next-gen of it and when can apps devs start utilizing those?
Well, there are some alternatives available already. The commercial availability of the new VR sets (such as Samsung’s Gear VR) signals that virtual reality is definitely not dead, but is quickly expanding beyond its gaming background into new areas, and hopefully soon app devs can build their stuff on these devices.
Are you attending at CES? Please comment below what you think is the hottest thing for consumers and what app developers should know about it!