Friday, January 11, 2008

Things to watch carefully this year

Here are some topics that I feel this year will be hot and worth following closely. If you can combine any of those together you might create a winning solution...

Social networking and mobile terminals
The success of Facebook and other social networking tools says it all - people want to share moments with their friends. What kinds of new mobile tools there will be that enable people publish their social data stream to their friends? Which of the current solutions will come out from the competition as a winner? What kinds of new innovations we will see that use the possibilities of mobile device in an unusual way?

Everything goes green or greener
Discussion about global warming, ecological footprint, traffic's carbon dioxide emissions, rising price of energy and similar issues will continue and all this will slowly start to have a deepening effect on our everyday life. Now in younger age groups mobile phone is already the most valuable possession and thus mobile channel has strong influence on people. Mobile phone is always with the user and using the phone to [your solution goes here] people can become more aware of the ecological consequences of their everyday choices.

Device fragmentation, browser and widgets
We got S60, S40, mobile Linuxes of all kinds, UIQ, iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Palm, Brew and so on... Anyone who is concerned about creating a solution for mobile world must now be more careful than ever when determining the system architecture. Installable application or browser? Native implementation or virtual machine based (Java, Python etc.)? XHTML or rich internet application? Store data locally or on a server?

Recent improvements in mobile browsers and networks have made browser a good choice for mobile applications and availability of mobile widgets will even increase attractiveness of browser solution. Still there will be some use cases when native application will be more attractive.

I remember the day back in 2001 at Barcelona when Nokia released their first camera phone and I got wondering why somebody would like to have a camera in a telephone? Has somebody been watching too much episodes of "Get Smart" or James Bond? Then Nokia's marketing division started their work and now everybody is taking "imaging phones" for granted.

So, don't underestimate the power of marketing in creating customer demand. Now Nokia has invested over 5 billion euros on acquiring Navteq's solution and this year we must see new solutions utilizing that investment. After a couple of years a terminal without GPS and mapping is an oddity and in location based services there are big possibilities for the whole mobile ecosystem. Car navigation is just a beginning, I guess. You don't now yet what is the solution that is absolutely necessary next year and you just cannot live without...


No comments: