Tomorrow Starts Here

Mobility has been changing our lives and there's no end in sight. What are the next big things mobility will be associated with?
Trends in mobility for businesses

FedEx was built on the idea of access and that connections make the world a better place. That’s why 10 years ago we created the Access program to share stories about the people, places and things defining global opportunity and connectivity.

This year we examine how mobility is reshaping the globe. More specifically, the 2016 FedEx Access 25 digs into three ways it’s happening:

  1. Mobility is empowering people as consumers and as part of a global workforce.
  2. Mobility is reshaping the globe by fueling innovation.
  3. Mobility is driving societal change.

Here are five highlights from the 2016 list. We invite you to go to fedex.com/access to read the full list and view related content.

Micro-moments
Margo Georgiadis, president of Google’s operations in the Americas, on a critical point in the mobile commerce transaction process.

“The rise of mobile is completely reshaping the consumer journey. Rather than engaging in a series of longer digital sessions, consumers are engaging in thousands of micro-moments in which they turn to the nearest device to learn something, do something, watch something or buy something. These micro-moments are increasingly the new battleground for consumers’ hearts, minds and dollars. [Consumers] expect things right — and right away. For businesses, that means you have to win the micro-moment to succeed.

Our micro-moments research found that 82 percent of smartphone users turn to their devices to help them make a product decision.

Mobile is giving users the confidence to make more informed purchases. And as consumers’ decisions are happening faster than ever, brands will have to adapt with the right content, product and purchasing options to stay in step.”

Sky-Fi
Wi-Fi in the sky? It’s here.

People want to be connected. But that’s a challenge in parts of the world where internet service is thwarted by a lack of fiber, towers and other infrastructure. That’s not stopping companies from finding creative solutions to stream Wi-Fi signals. Google and Facebook are already testing drones. (Facebook’s is solar-powered and wider than a 747.) And Tesla/SpaceX founder Elon Musk has asked the U.S. government for permission to use a fleet of 4,000 tiny satellites to beam internet service from outer space. Many hurdles remain, but these innovations promise to help connect millions around the globe.

The Mobile Concierge Economy
An Uber for everything.

Once a novelty, Uber’s driver-on-demand service is now a bona fide business model. Need someone to do your errands? Call TaskRabbit. Are you a physician looking for specific high-tech equipment? Cohealo can help. And what if you need a quiet space to get work done or simply chill out? The Breather app will help you find and book your urban oasis.

And then there’s DUFL, which promises to make lost luggage nothing but a bad memory for business travelers. The service is elegantly simple: Punch up your DUFL app, and the company sends you a DUFL-branded suitcase. Pack it and send via FedEx back to DUFL, which inventories its contents and sends it where you need it to go next. And once your trip is over, FedEx ships the suitcase back to DUFL, where your clothes are cleaned and repacked, ready for your next journey.

In short, it’s the type of on-the-go, on-demand service that illustrates what could be called the Uber-economy.

5G Wireless Networks
Progress continues to accelerate on the next-generation wireless network
.

As we push the internet to carry more and more data, we need more powerful wireless networks. Much of the world remains wirelessly connected via 3G and 4G cellular technology, but a number of telecoms are already laying the groundwork for 5G.

It’s not hard to see why, as 5G promises speeds up to 40 times faster than 4G — and a more profoundly interconnected world. For example, it could enable near-instant machine-to-machine communication, thus rendering new efficiencies in logistics, facility management, manufacturing, residential controls and infrastructure (detecting leaks in city water pipes, for instance). And that’s just a short list.

While 5G remains in its infancy, providers are moving at warp speed in China, the U.K. and numerous locations around the U.S. And South Korea also has plans to build a fully operational 5G network by 2018, in time for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Renewable Water
Will technology help with an increasingly scarce resource?

The California drought is just one example of a global shortage that’s prompting new approaches to water acquisition, conservation and usage. California has more than a dozen new desalinization plants in the works, for instance. A Bill Gates–touted device called the Omniprocessor converts human waste into drinking water, much like Singapore’s toilet-to-tap reclamation program, which has been converting sewage into potable water since 2003.

Access to fresh water could also provide an economic lift to areas such as the U.S. Midwest. Boosters believe that the region around the Great Lakes — which contain 21 percent of the world’s fresh water — could become a new “Water Belt.” Many of the region’s cities (such as Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee) have been struggling to shake off their Rust Belt status. The Great Lakes could lure new residents and businesses needing access to an abundant water supply.

Read the full report
Go to FedEx Access to learn how this year’s innovative trends could change your world.

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