The State of Mobile & the Future Yet to Come

Daniel Maycock is one of Slalom’s acknowledged thought leaders in the realm of new and emerging technology.

Since the first commercially available hand-held phone was released approx 8 years after that call took place, the world has been transformed by the rise of mobile phones. Not only did it give people the means to communicate like never before, but it freed people up to feel like they could contact and be contacted no matter where they were at.

The emerging smart phone market is no less of a revolution, brought on by the rapid rise of the iPhone, and subsequently followed by a whole slew of OEMs & devices in every shape and form.

The most exciting thing is that the best is yet to come.

If 2010 is any indicator of where mobile technology is headed, we’ll see more form factors, better OS content, and even more impressive hardware than ever before. It’s truly such a significant growth, that most cellphones now have the computing power of a typical laptop from 9 years ago.

This, in only 30 years – Imagine what the next 30 years will look like

Social networking is vast becoming the means for which people plug into society, through the use of their mobile phone. The new high end devices, such as the Droid X or Galaxy S, are hardly mobile phones though. They’re much more like mobile PC’s, where dialing someone is one of the hundreds of functions one could utilize out of the box.

Texting however, is fast replacing calling, and browsing from a mobile device is quickly out pacing browsing on a traditional PC.

Soon our mobile devices will connect to our environments like never before, with technologies like bluetooth leading the way to help integrate our phone books & music into our cars. Already, you can integrate your phone into your home, allowing you to control everything from the fridge temperature to the heating system right from your mobile device.

So what will the next innovations look like? What can we expect to happen in the next 5 years?

It’s my personal feeling that you’ll actually see less and less about smart phones, as the technology works it’s way seamlessly into your every day life. There was a time when cars advertised seat belts and windshield wipers, not to mention air conditioning. As these technologies went on, it became expected, and now is a general assumption that a car will have those certain things.

Mobile phone OEMs will continue to release new models, but you’ll be hard pressed to find something your phone won’t be able to do. However, the world around you, will slowly begin to incorporate more and more environmental technologies that will allow for greater interaction. Be it shopping and checking out with your mobile phone at the local grocery store, or driving by a car dealership and downloading the latest inventory of cars without having to stop and go in.

These technologies will no doubt come at a cost, increased advertising & loss of privacy perhaps, but it’s no doubt the growing pains of seeing new technologies emerge. Over time, protections will advance as well, leading the way for safe and secure interaction, without fear of too much transparency.

As these integrable technologies emerge, companies that take the forefront will gain a significant amount of exposure for the innovative new things they do with it. The novelty of having an integrated experience, will encourage people to not only download the required application to participate in the experience, but will also gladly allow whatever permissions and signatures are required to try this experience out. That is of course, until the technology has saturated itself enough that the novelty begins to fade and fringe companies abuse the innovation.

This creates a golden window then, for companies, perhaps your own, to embrace this period in the next 5-8 years where developing innovative solutions with mobile technology can not only advance people’s understandings of how mobile technology can shape lives – but gain the recognition and attention associated with ground breaking advancements with emerging technologies.

Being a pioneer has it’s draw backs, no doubt, and many people will experience the pain of doing something for the first time. But we at Slalom Consulting thrive on the energy gained from blazing trails within the mobile technology front, and helping shape the course of business for the world over.

We don’t know all of what’s in store for mobile technology in the years to come, but we know we want to be a part of it. If you’re still reading this article, I have a feeling you want to be a part of it too.

If that’s the case, leave a comment and share your thoughts on where you see mobile headed. We’d love this to be an on-going conversation, so feel free to share your thoughts.

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

More info on this topic: http://cloud.gigaom.com/2010/09/13/sensor-networks-top-social-networks-for-big-data/

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About Daniel Maycock
Driven & passionate IT thought leader with several years experience working with companies to help solve their most difficult technology issues. Focus is around successful adoption of emerging technologies, such as Mobile & Cloud technologies, and providing the tools & expertise to help companies successfully adopt these technologies where they make the most business sense.

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