Cellphone Tech and Your Event: What You Need to Know

With the release of Apple’s iPhone X, we dive into some more technology that could shake up your meeting style

Much to the excitement of Apple fans and tech observers, Apple recently released its iPhone X, the company’s latest creation with an edge-to-edge OLED screen that will run buyers $999. It’s not just the phone’s hefty price tag and larger-than-life screen that are causing a stir; the gadget boasts a string of new features, including the widely discussed Face ID, a facial scanner that logs you in automatically when you glance at your phone.

While Apple often leads the news cycle as a trendsetter, the smartphone business is hugely competitive, with a plethora of new releases vying for consumers’ attention—and which could ultimately shake up the way attendees receive and process information during your meetings. Here are the features to watch. 

Facial Recognition 

As we’ve discussed before, facial recognition technology has already begun to cement itself as a staple for events. And while instantaneous check-in (being tested by some airlines and concert venues) and crowd-emotion analytics might still seem far-fetched when it comes to most meetings, facial recognition security will likely only become more widespread. A scenario in which attendees check themselves into events via Face ID from their smartphones might not be so far off. 

As far as how you can use facial recognition technology in your meeting right now, don’t be afraid to tap into Facebook’s instant tagging tool (with your attendees’ permission, of course). The method can be an excellent way to connect reaching––and connecting with––new attendees for future events.   

More Artful Images

In our selfie- and Snapchat-centric culture, smartphone cameras are no longer simply a bonus feature. And we require more than technical precision––art plays a role, too. 

Most smartphones made within the past few years contain dual rear camera arrangements where one high-res camera is paired with a low-res camera––otherwise called “portrait” mode. It creates a “bokeh” effect, or a slightly blurred background juxtaposed against a defined focal point. The outcome: nearly professional-grade images that you or your smartphone-wielding attendees can create sans a photographer. In an especially active Network or Celebrate meeting where guests are mingling, the effect can help create a more dynamic, stylish picture for sharing via social handles afterward. 

Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence

From apps like Pokémon Go! to presentation-enhancing concepts like “storyliving” (or virtual storytelling), we’ve covered the ways in which virtual and augmented realities are transforming meetings. But with a string of recent smartphone updates, VR and AR are set to shake up the status quo even more. 

e are also seeing a sharp influx of devices equipped with machine-learning capabilities that allow them to read, analyze and respond to the environment around them. In the smartphone market, the most prominent example is Google’s recently released Pixel 2, equipped with Google Lens. One of its primary features is called Google Assistant (similar to Amazon Echo or Alexa) that speaks with a voice that actually mimics your own. In terms of how that tech relates to your day-to-day planning, a digital assistant can help you manage your daily tasks, adjust lighting and move through a slideshow.