Highly bespoke activity-centric apps (a concept Ovum has coined ‘soldier apps’) can now be developed far more quickly and incorporate greater security than ever before. Typically produced as Hybrid apps (HTML5 web apps wrapped in a native app shell), these offer best of all worlds. They can be very quick to produce with readily available web skills, they offer the same ‘evergreen’ functionality of websites meaning no need to constantly download app updates, yet they can access all the device functionality to provide a native user experience and incorporate advanced API integration for dynamic data sharing between an organisations existing backend systems
Using such apps on a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet or Bluetooth linked device allows the user to interact with proximity beacons, RFID devices, QR codes and NFC tags. Such devices send a signal, alarm or prompt and the app reads that signal in the context of the user’s location, activity or authentication. This can trigger a variety of responses from the app depending on what that tag/ beacon is associated with. Beacons, still a relatively new technology, can for example, send text, audio, images or video to the users device within a predefined distance so the user is aware that they need to take action at a particular location.