Friday, January 11, 2013

Mobile Is The New New Internet

Ok. That title is not really saying anything that has not been said before, but wait a second, we can go further. What does a mobile future look like? Now that requires some critical thinking and creativity. Well then maybe we can get somewhere new new.

The future of mobile is:

More Passive 
Mobile at the moment requires a considerable amount of attention and focus. Think about screen face - at the dinner table, driving in the car, walking on the street. The future of mobile is software that increasingly requires secondary effort from the user. It suggests instead of prompts. It learns instead of asking. It more than merely exist for your usage, it does. It is an experience that on net, does not subtract from human interaction. (1)

More Personal
Mobile is physically personal. You move your tablet around with you more than your laptop. You carry your smart phone with you more than any other device. The future of mobile is software that makes your phone as personal to you as the decision you made to always have it. Right now you do the tailoring, but the future of mobile is an experience tailored to you. (2)

More Practical
The explosion of mobile has been primarily social. The internet was driven by enterprise first, social really came later. The future of mobile looks more balanced too. This is more software that helps solves every day problems. This is more software that helps businesses get work done. This is more software that helps educate people. It is an alternating push forward on the productivity front. (3)

More Explorative
The mobile you is active. It is about going and doing. The future of mobile means more knowledge about what you are doing and where you are going. And as a result it is more information about what you could be doing and where you might be going. It is a richer experience layered on top of the real world, on standby for when you are ready to do and go. (4)

More Open
Yes, in the long run we are all dead, but in the long run open wins. It does not look that way now, but there are too many moving parts and too much at stake for it not too. Mobile to too big and unruly. It is sorting out the timing that is the difficult part. That aside for now, the future of mobile is platforms that put control and flexibility in the hands of developers and users the way the internet has done with information. (5)

More Central
Mobile right now is mostly an isolated experience, but there is no reason for it always to be. The future of mobile is seamless integration with other technology devices in your home, your car, your office. This means that other stationary devices start to get applications as well. This would allow you to control your immediate experience here, and your future experiences elsewhere. (6)

1. [This may manifest itself with personal trackers and cross communicating applications. Some current examples include Foursquare's new feature suggesting places based on your likes, Chronos analyzing your time passively based on where you've been*.]
2. [This may manifest itself through the centralization of identification into personal/private clouds and algorithmic learning functions based on your activity. This is our mobile learning curve.]
3. [This is already manifesting itself. Some current examples include getting on the move with Uber, synchronizing your thoughts on Evernote.]
4. [This may manifest itself with augmented reality. Google glasses is a major player effort in this direction.]
5. [This may manifest itself with Android or some other as yet to be developed platform eventually beating iOS. Think about the history of the web/internet with AOL and the browser.]
6. [This may manifest itself through the internet of things and low cost tagging. Examples include applications for your television, home security system or refrigerator.]

* Full disclosure: I know the founders of Chronos.

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