Tuesday 29 October 2013

Today’s technology means that taking and storing pictures on a mobile is easy and convenient. But pictures are just as powerful in business as they are in bringing back memories of sun-filled holidays.   

We are working with businesses to create mobile applications that open up the power of pictures to commercial applications. 
Modern smartphones, such as Nokia’s Lumia range, can pack a lot onto a small screen thanks to an 800x480 resolution on even their modestly priced 520 phone.  That means a well-designed line of business application can display pictures, information from a database, and allow you to update information. And that’s just the taste of things to come, the Nokia Lumia 1520 has a 1920 x 1080 resolution. 

Despite their power, smartphones are not the same as desktops, and the way we work with them is different. We are often (but not always) on the go, so information needs to be accessible, easily understood and clear.  And for some businesses photos or other images are the perfect way to convey a lot of information – more than any amount of text could. 

The photos could be product shots, equipment from different angles, competitor’s products, diagrams, settings on equipment, etc.  The list is long – although we are so used to thinking “textually” in business, often the applications for photos are not obvious.  But there are business people out there determined to make work quicker, easier, and more accurate amongst their team.  And photos may be the answer.

Deep Zoom

Microsoft’s Deep Zoom technology makes adding pictures to mobile applications efficient.  The clever tiling technology, which is also used in applications such as Bing Maps, means you only download the level of detail you want to see at any one time.  So you can look at a number of thumbnail images, but only download the detail on the one you are interested in.  This is important on a bandwidth-dependent mobile device.  It also works seamlessly, so if you are in front of a customer or showing off a product, it looks good.

Microsoft’s Deep Zoom allows businesses to be more creative and thoughtful about their data.  You can store the big picture and the detail, downloading only what you need, when you need it.  Just as smartphones changed the way we use photos in our personal lives, so they are transforming the way we use images in business. 

The how and why is down to each individual business, and the rewards in terms of productivity and efficiency are there for the taking.  Research shows that 20-30% productivity gains are being reported by people using line of business mobile applications for their work.  Mobile computing is changing the way we do business, and the way we think about doing business.  So if you’ve not thought about using photos within the mobile business applications before, maybe now’s the time.        

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