折りたたみ式スマートフォンとAR (拡張現実) 眼鏡： 銀行における未来の顧客インターフェース？
Celent is keeping an eye on the emerging consumer tech that might provide new ways for banks and service providers to engage with digital customers.
It’s helpful to review what came out of Mobile World Congress (MWC), the year’s largest device and hardware showcase, held last month in Barcelona. On display were the latest smartphones and wearables from major suppliers in the US and Global markets. One area of interest are foldable smartphones and wearable virtual-reality/augmented-reality headsets (VR/AR). As those devices slim down, become more ergonomic, and begin to gain mass market appeal, they suggest some new and intriguing possibilities for digital customer engagement.
But which interfaces are likely to be in the mainstream soon and which are still ‘conceptual’?
Foldable Smartphones: Starting to Get Mainstream…
Foldables are catching on with consumers, to an extent. They should be on the radar today for digital banking product teams. Folding screen devices provide new opportunities for mobile app design, including multi-screen and wider spaces. Popular consumer apps are already optimized for foldable Android smartphones including YouTube, Microsoft Office, and Google Maps.
Data from Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) indicates Samsung sold between 2 and 4 million foldable Android phones in the US in 2022 (1-2% of all US smartphones in use, per Pew Research). While sales growth recently has flattened, foldable sales are expected to triple by 2027, according to consumer researcher Research And Markets.
It’s been almost a decade since mobile product owners had to worry about meaningful screen resolution and size optimizations (remember the original iPhone “Plus” models?). Now, digital leaders should be directing product teams and mobile app partners to at least think about app optimizations for foldable screens. The Android Developer platform provides extensive support for foldables: adaptive design, resizing, and app continuity between screen sizes.
Headsets For VR/AR: Still “Conceptual” and Mass Adoption is Years Away…
Wearable headsets have been around for a decade but what was unveiled this year at MWC is getting closer to a size “light” enough for mass market. Model sizes have shrunk to basically “thick sunglasses”, down from “swim-goggle” designs a year ago. Market research firm NPD Group says about 9 million VR/AR headsets were sold globally in 2022, but that was a decrease of 12% from 2021.
For now, these devices can only mirror content from a connected smartphone, and some require a wired connection to do so. Celent concludes that this current generation of devices still lack a killer transactional, location, or otherwise value-added application for banking, to go along with the slightly more acceptable form factor.
Apple has hinted at developing a new glasses-based wearable product, but Apple was not at MWC, and has indicated the glasses project is being postponed, citing hardware capability that simply isn’t ready for a new category-creating Apple product.
Takeaways For Digital Banking Leaders:
- Foldable devices could soon be a meaningful (but still very small) segment of customer touchpoints. Mobile app design teams should begin considering at least regression testing on these devices, and also new design opportunities. A poll by app testing platform Perfecto found that nearly one-in-ten mobile app QA teams surveyed are planning to test on foldable devices this year.
- Wearable AR/VR is probably not a priority channel for near/medium term product design, for most banks. Among the ever-expanding digital touchpoints for banks, wearable VR/AR still cannot deliver value in the near/medium term.
- Celent recommends that digital leaders be pragmatic about where to invest on product innovation. Cutting edge touchpoints don’t always bring clear and lasting value to customers (think of the unfulfilled promise of voice assistant speakers, or app extensions for Apple Watch).
- At the same time, banks should continue to pay attention to VR-powered use cases, which are developing independently of hardware advances (see: Metaverse: Here Be Dragons?). A continued shrinking of wearables that leads to mass adoption could one day put new use cases for fledgling virtual environments into play.
Headsets and wearables might someday deliver more immersive experiences to vast swaths of banking customers and bank employees. Augmented Reality applications have been built by a handful of banks. More likely in the near term is that the smartphone remains the main interface, even for augmented experiences.
Source: Google, licensed under Creative Commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en
Related: Oliver Wyman Forum has produced a thoughtful background on virtual environment opportunities for banking: Reckoning with the Metaverse: A Primer on the Metaverse and NFTs.