Envisioning the Future of Work

Alanna Cotton (right), senior vice president and general manager at Samsung Electronics America, speaks about the future of work with Jason Tanz(left), Wired magazine site director, at the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. (Credit: Pooneh Ghana)

Alanna Cotton (right), senior vice president and general manager at Samsung Electronics America, speaks about the future of work with Jason Tanz(left), Wired magazine site director, at the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. (Photo credit: Pooneh Ghana, courtesy of Wired)


Alanna Cotton, senior vice president and general manager at Samsung Electronics America, believes we will soon be working from anywhere. In fact, Cotton, envisions a world in which virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G will soon give rise to a new workforce — one enabled by mobile technology, and governed by creativity, flexibility and the ability to travel anywhere while still being productive.

In fact, Cotton is already living this reality. Recently she was working on deadline at Dallas Fort Worth airport when, rushing between gates, she remembered she had to edit a 15-page presentation before boarding. With little time, she grabbed her Samsung Notebook 9 Pen, folded the lightweight 2.2-pound notebook into tablet mode, uploaded the documents and made handwritten notes with the battery-free S pen and emailed them off — all while making her way through check-in.

“I didn’t have time to set up the mouse and keyboard so I pulled out my pen,” she says. “I just made my flight, which happened to be without Wi-Fi — it was a life saver.”

Cotton has made a career out of pushing new boundaries, from becoming the first African American woman to introduce new products for a major technology company to overseeing mobile computing and wearable technology at Samsung to now launching the company’s latest flagship PC, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pen — a device bridging the mobile and laptop worlds like never before.

“People want flexibility in their work just like they have in their personal lives,” Cotton says, smiling. “So, this is a truly mobile solution that allows you to work and be creative on the go — taking your career and life to the next level.”


Alanna Cotton, senior vice president and general manager at Samsung Electronics America, speaks about the future of work at the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. (Credit: Pooneh Ghana)

Alanna Cotton, senior vice president and general manager at Samsung Electronics America, speaks about the future of work at the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. (Photo credit: Pooneh Ghana, courtesy of Wired)


In recent years, the workplace has changed dramatically, from office spaces becoming more open with IT centers in the cloud to employees being able to work anywhere with mobile devices — and now, with emerging technologies like AI and AR (the blending of both digital and physical worlds), our personal and professional lives will inevitably become even more entwined.

“People are using technology like voice-activated apps and smartphone calendars to enhance their everyday lives and that is also translating to their work,” Cotton says. “As employers, we have to embrace that — how do we give people the opportunity to work from anywhere while still being productive?”

So far, tablets, laptops and smartphones have allowed people to pursue their passions and goals, giving flexibility in the gig economy. But, increasingly, keyboards themselves are becoming outdated, voice and touch interaction on devices now allow more freedom — and something as simple, yet innovative, as the S pen (popularized in Samsung Galaxy Note smartphones) brings these worlds together in a single stylus, offering cutting-edge technology with the ease of human touch.

A blend between a laptop, tablet and Galaxy Note, the Notebook 9 Pen offers the same level of freedom in a lightweight, durable PC. With its S pen stylus, capable of jotting notes, capturing lectures and creating unique content, such as GIFs on the fly, the user can jump from smartphone to notebook, because the S pen offers precision while retaining the feel of a classic pen.


Samsung Notebook 9 (2018) and Samsung Notebook 9 Pen

Samsung Notebook 9 Pen with the built-in S pen


“It used to be that work was all about data crunching,” Cotton says. “Now, it’s about creation and immersion, people working anywhere and bringing their passions to life — and that’s enabled by the technology emerging today.”

While the workplace has seen incredible change, the rise of mobile and wearable technology is only the beginning — AI, VR and AR are already starting to transform our lives like never before. Powered by 5G networks that can transfer huge amounts of data, these technologies are connecting everything around us, from our cars to homes to offices, allowing unprecedented communication and possibilities.

In the near future, surgeons will use AI and VR to guide doctors through complex procedures in remote regions. Architects will use these technologies to conjure hologram-like renderings of buildings on tabletops, moving through designs of rooms with the brush of their hand. AI-enabled wearables will become smaller, more sophisticated and equipped with more powerful sensors to monitor our health in life-changing ways.

All of this will be powered by mobile technology — bridging our work and passions like never before. “Every day, we work to bring humanity into technology,” Cotton says. “From flexibility in the workforce to our creative lives, the pace of change is accelerating — and the future is exciting.”

*A version of this article by author Stayton Bonner first appeared in Wired magazine on March 30, 2018.

Media Contact:

(Mobile (Phones, Wearables, Tablets & Computing)) SamsungMobileUS@edelman.com

Download Assets: