Since MWC 2011 (Mobile World Congress), which took place in February, I have been thinking a lot about the development of the mobile world. There are 3.2 billion mobile subscribers in the world, that’s more people than own a car, showing how far mobile devices have become integral to our lives.
But, so often in the world of technology, we see one company launch a ‘revolutionary’ new device and the following years see every other producer scrambling to catch up. The tablet has been such an overwhelming success because it taps in to the human desire for functionality. It is far more intuitive for people to use a touchscreen to navigate the internet than the traditional mouse and keyboard and really this is just the tip of the iceberg. The next step for consumer technology will be the use of biometrics.
Biometrics is a fast-growing industry and we can see its application already in places such as airports. Now when I fly I no longer use my passport to the same extent, instead I will have a retina scan to determine who I am. I become my own passport and it is this level of personalisation that will take consumer technology to the next stage of development. Smart alerts will make devices more intuitive, so for example, your personal device will know where you are going for dinner and automatically send you traffic updates for the area, direct you to local parking and let you know what else is going on nearby.
The future will see the mobile device becoming more of an extension of you; it will pre-empt what you need based on your personal preferences and bring relevant applications to you, rather than you going to them. And really the world is your oyster, the device of the future will be completely in tune with the individual, eye movements, body temperature and even thought capture will control your device.
I think we’re going to see massive leaps in the maintenance of mobile devices as well. The latest development to be announced was a chip that uses the body movement to generate power, and there is no reason why this technology can’t be used to charge your mobile device.
The future of computer technology is hugely exciting and the possibilities are endless. It’s easy think of all the fanciful ways that we could be using devices in the future, and many of these are no longer that fanciful – just take a look at Google’s April Fool, Google Motion, and the speed with which it became reality at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies. (via Mashable)
If I knew what the answer was I would be developing it and making a fortune, but I will be keeping a keen eye on the industry to see what comes next, and who gets there first.
By Richard Hammond at b2b agency, gyro