Future of Work : Taking the Lid Off 3G
Mr. Colin Ong TS is the Managing Director of MR=MC CONSULTING PTE LTD, a company that provides HR & New Technology articles for Magazines and Web portals, Corporate Training and Research. He is also a Mentor/Catalyst for participants at the Oxford University Business Plan Competition 2003 and StartUp@Singapore National Business Plan Competition 2003.
Imagine this: you are about to make an important sales presentation. You realise you've brought the wrong presentation slides ! Time to freak out ? No, not if you're armed with 3G technology. Just call up your colleague so she can immediately email the file to your 3G terminal. You can then transfer it to your laptop.
Here's another way you can use 3G. You can simultaneously have a video-conferencing session with, and send character-based messages to your clients. These scenarios are possible with the availability of 3G technology. But what's 3G technology ? How will it revolutionise current HR and commercial practices ?
3G stands for the third generation of wireless communication technology. Industry directions are to raise speeds from 9.5K to 2M bit/sec.
According to 3gnewsroom.com, devices will fall into four categories. The first category includes the basic 3G phones used mainly for talking and will store all their information on the network. The second category will support video-streaming, and provide the user with news and web content. More sophisticated models will be information centres which let users download information from the Internet and store data on the device.
Applying 3G in the Workplace: The HR Advantage
The WearTel (TM) phone, for example, uses EyeTap technology to allow individuals to see each other's point of view. The miniature laser light source inside the WearTel eyeglass-based phone scans across the retinas of both parties and swaps the image information, so that each person sees what the other person is looking at.
This technology will enable the HR manager to have a better understanding of how to motivate and reward their employees as personal documentaries of their work-life will be shot from a first-person perspective. HR managers can provide better advice about handling difficult customers or closing sales. The immediate benefit is that this technology can be used as a training tool. Nevertheless, privacy laws have to be reviewed and updated in order that customers are adequately informed of this technology.
Mobile Job Interview
With an attached camera in a mobile device, job interviews can be conducted as video-conferencing between the HR manager and the potential job applicant. Initially, the job candidate can answer basic questions like his highest qualification and salary expectation by pressing the key-pad of the mobile device. If successful, he can proceed to a face-to-face interview.
3G technology will enable advertisers to send more sophisticated and customised permission-based advertisements to their target audience's mobile devices. This will be an improvement from the current SMS.
There will be a convergence between the internet and wireless technology as the target audience can request that more product information be sent as email. It is unlikely that these services will provide a sustainable advantage over the long run but they will shape the brand perception of an operator at the initial stage of the introduction of wireless Internet services. But with the rise of m-commerce, 'business-webs' will become even more powerful as every customer will become linked into the web.
Potential of M-Commerce
To quote Don Tapscott, "Mobile commerce is the next stage of e-commerce, where we have the integration of the physical world with the digital world…What we're talking here is the beginning of pervasive and ubiquitous computing where billions and billions of inert objects become Internet appliances - enabling the sharing of knowledge and the delivery of a vast new array of services."
According to the findings in Wireless Portals: the Information Gateway to the Wireless User, by the end of 2006 :-
- there will be close to 1 billion wireless portal users worldwide, the bulk of these users will be wireless voice users, WAP users, 2.5G and 3G subscribers, and other wireless device users such as those using PDAs.
- multi-modal users worldwide will stand close to 282 million in 2006.
A survey by industry analysts ARC Group reveals these applications are felt to have the greatest mobile commerce revenue earning potential and the market sectors expected to pay for services, with the emphasis that :-
- Ticketing and music are expected to generate most revenues.
- Security issues can be resolved.
- Youth sector is predicted to be critical to the growth of a mass consumer market.
- Personalised, easy to use applications for Palm & Pocket PC are expected.
Challenges Ahead: The Privacy Issue
Privacy is a huge question as in the case of m-commerce, each of us will leave a trail of "digital crumbs". With the increasing likelihood of a convergence between the net and wireless technology in many facets of social and business interactions, each of us will leave a mirror image of ourselves as we travel around.
© Colin Ong Tau Shien. All rights reserved