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Mobile Technologies To Watch For In 2009-10

by Sachin Balagopalan on January 29, 2009 · 1 comment

The Gartner Group today revealed eight mobile technologies to watch for in the next two years. ReadWriteWeb also reiterates them in this post. I found a couple of them pretty interesting…

Location sensing, powered by GPS as well as Wi-Fi and triangulation, opens up new possibilities for mobile social networking and presence applications. Technology’s earliest adopters are already familiar with social networks like Brightkite and Loopt which let you reveal your location to a network of friends. But we’re still on the tip of this iceberg. Take for example, the iPhone IM client Palringo, they’re just now adding location services to their application. This allows users to see how far away their contacts are, introducing a whole new dimension to mobile communication. Over the next year or two, this sort of technology is expected to become more commonplace, but it will also raise questions about privacy. Will you want your network of online friends and acquaintances to really know your exact location? Will turning off location awareness signal that you’re up to something sneaky (so asks the suspicious wife, husband, boss, etc.)? As a society, we will have to answer these questions and more in the near future.

Enabling smart phones with GPS has definitely added a whole new dimension to mobile communication especially in the presence apps space. I don’t agree with the privacy concerns issue. I’m a huge fan of BrightKite and I use it extensively. One of the main reasons I use it is because of it’s privacy lock feature. If you don’t want to reveal your exact location, turning on the privacy lock will only display your approximate location - so if you’re at home for instance you might have the lock turned on as opposed to a public location like a mall. You can also override the location manually. I also like the seamless integration with Facebook and Twitter. I’m also looking forward to some of these mobile location based apps moving beyond the social networking realm where they can add some real value.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a technology that provides a way for consumers to use their mobile phones for making payments, among other things. It’s something that has taken off in many countries worldwide, but certainly not all, and definitely not in the United States just yet. Unfortunately, Gartner predicts that the move towards mobile payment systems will still not occur this year or the next in mature markets like the U.S. and Western Europe. Instead, NFC is more likely to take off in emerging markets. Other uses of the technology, such as the ability to transfer photos from phone to digital photo frames, will also remain elusive to more developed markets.

New short range (less than an inch) wireless protocols like Transfer Jet are slowly gaining momentum and it’s just a matter of time before we start using our cell phones for short range secure applications - like making payments via our cell phones -  here in the United States. Due to our trepidation - and justifiably so in some cases - with privacy issues here in the United States some of these applications that can really add some value and convenience have been slow in coming. Technologies like Transfer Jet will hopefully eliminate some of those concerns.

There is no doubt mobile technologies are going to be huge in the next couple of years.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Swing Trading 10.20.09 at 10:13 pm

Insightful read. I have just bookmarked this at stumbleupon. Hope others find it as interesting as I did.

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