AOL’s David Shing on the future of apps caught up with David Shing, aka Shingy, AOL’s well-known digital prophet, ahead of his appearance at Apps World Germany (20 – 21 April 2016) What are the big opportunities IoT presents to traditional brands?

David Shing: People have a hunger for developing a better self. So introducing IoT into the game (so to speak) allows people to collect data on themselves. The key is to turn that data into a value service for people to further engage with. It moves away from brand advertising and into brand advocacy through utility and connectivity.

As connectivity disperses into so many other objects, what does this mean for the smartphone? Does the screen have a long term future?

Screens are going to stay critical as more devices that measure will want to tether to them. The smartphone (or visual controller) will play a more central role as services will need to communicate and present this information in a more beautiful visually rich way.

Looking specifically at apps, how do you expect IoT to impact the present ecosystem?

Apps will need to do a much better job of cross-pollination and provide a better way for information architecture to be presented coherently.

Service will be key to ensure these experience feel human curated and lux. Data will make us feel like we are adapting without the heavy lifting.

How would you define the relationship of apps to the development of consumer technology? What has the app made possible?

Apps provide an interesting opportunity to understand both people behaviour and need state: what people want, when, where and how. The key is to understand how people use this technology and how engaged they are (headphones in, horizontal versus landscape rotation, screen pressure, frequency of touch etc.) through device interaction.

You’ve attended Apps World events before. What makes them stand out from other conferences?

To speak with actual software and hardware developers is priceless. Great knowledge shared feels open, community-like, and that is awesome.

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