Technology Trends #1 - Mobile and Connected

This post, the first in a series on Technology Trends, discusses how mobile devices and physical objects will begin to take their place on the virtual web. Their location and properties will be mapped and through various services, users will be able to interact with them.

Creation and adoption of new technologies and the resulting changes in behavior is faster than ever. Organizations of all types struggle to keep pace with new technologies. Those who are able to spot opportunities and then play to them, gain a temporary advantage over their peers.

At Overtone, my Product Management and Research team keeps an eye on the emergent technologies to ensure that we can respond and advise our clients accordingly. This series of posts identifies a set of emerging trends around human adoption of web technology and forecasts how they might play out for consumer businesses in the next few years.

Trend #1 - Mobile & Connected

  • All devices will have an IP address, they will report back to their manufacturer, their owner or other interested parties as to their location and status.

  • As a result, the world map will be fully geo-tagged indexing physical objects, their present, future and home location will be available and possibly more meta-data to those with the permission to see it

  • Livestock, pets then people will carry a chip that will allow them to be tracked and associated. The chip will become the passport and form of authentication. The philosophical arguments as to whether chips should be carried, worn or embedded have yet to be had, however, if ‘on-board’ data is not required, but a simple form of uniquely identifying the user for authentication against an available database, then a simple retina scan may suffice.

  • Devices will talk amongst themselves, they will form loose and temporary associations (e.g. pairing of phone and car via Bluetooth) and exchange data

  • The opportunities lie in exploiting the huge volumes of data that are being generated, exchanged and obsoleted; in the monitoring and tracking of objects as they move around, the mass trends that can be derived and in the semantic meaning of the change in state of an individual object.

2010 Business Strategies for Mobile & Connected

CPG, B2C and B2B Organizations

Think about your customer touchpoints, the points of interaction between your organization or product and your customers. Where can a location based service allow your customers to find you, enrich their experience or make their life more convenient? How can location based services be used to enable your alliance partners to add value? Kick-off research and pilot initiatives to work with mobile telephony, GPS and mobile/geographical application companies.

Technology Vendors and Data Intermediaries

Understand how location based services affect your existing business model - will users want to access your services from their mobile device and what benefits or efficiencies will location awareness bring? How can you gain access to and leverage the new location based data - what products and services can you provide that will be enabled or enriched by this new information.

Worth Reading

NSFW: Halloween in San Francisco and the gathering clouds of a location-based privacy storm by Paul Carr at TechCrunch (Oct 2009)
Web 2.0 Panel: Humans as Sensors by Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb (Oct 2009)
More Details On Loopt’s Acquisition Of GraffitiGeo And Its Plans For The Future by Jason Kincaid (Oct 2009)
At least a few consumers think location-based ads are useful (survey) by Anthony Ha at Digital Beat (Oct 2009)
Location-Based Services: Discovering Old and New Paths by Michael Boland at Search Engine Watch (Sep 2009)
Surrounded by Search Engines: A New Kind of Mobile SearchBy Michael Boland at Search Engine Watch (Aug 2009)
2009: The Year of LBS (Location-Based Services) by Sarah Perez at ReadWriteWeb (Jul 2009)
Pay-as-you-drive insurance, privacy, and government mandates by Ari Allyn-Feuer at Ars Technica (Jul 2009)
Gartner Says Consumer Location-Based Services Market Will More Than Double in 2009 Gartner Press Release (July 2009)
What’s next: a Mint for your physical location?By Mark Goldenson at Entrepreneur Corner (Jun 2009)
How Internet-Enabled Appliances Can Save You Time & Money by Celeste LeCompte at Gigaom (Sep 2008)

Gam Dias is VP of Product Management and Research at Overtone Inc. Co-Authors of this article are: Simon Handley, Tim Mueller Eric Scott and Kryztof Urban

Next post in this series: Trend #2 - It's all Social Media

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