The Future of Mobile, Part 2

This blog posts continues my discussion for a recent Bisnow seminar I attended called “The Future of Mobility.”

After the government panel spoke, a panel of commercial investors, app developers, and communications companies spoke.

One of the “hot trends” in mobile computing can be described by the acronym “SoLoMo” (social, local, mobile). Phone geolocation technology allows smartphone users to get information on attributes of their local environment (places, shopping, eating, people near them). They can then easily share this with others who are local or interested in them.

Another hot trend is the move of communication to “non-phone phones” like an iPad or iTouch. WiFi networks are becoming more ubiquitous, so an increasing amount of voice traffic is occurring through cellular techniques. Thus, the mix of voice and data (e.g., 3G, 4LTE) is skewing more and more to the data side.

Panelists were asked about mistakes organizations make in developing their mobile strategies. They mentioned several:

  • They see mobile as something new, rather than as just another channel for their core business
  • They don’t consider negative use cases (i.e., what’s the consequence of an unintended use of the technology).
  • They emphasize the technology and hardware over the user experience. They gave the example of Nokia vs. Apple.
  • They put too much of an emphasis on how they’re going to make money (“I’ll put an app in the iTunes App Store, then sell advertising and in-app purposes.”) rather than on providing a product that meets a user need.

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