As we enter the new decade of mobile, there has been a frantic pace of mobile evolution. Communication has become multi-dimensional, consumer expectations about media have changed, and the business of monetization is transforming. There is no other platform that captures the essence of this change and holds more promise than the mobile device.
The global mobile industry has made phenomenal strides in the past 15 years yet best is still to come. The mobile ecosystem has become much more dynamic, lightening fast paced, and breathtakingly unpredictable. We are likely to see more change in the next 10 years compared to the last 100 years. The evolution of mobile services is impacted by several key forces of change. These include technology innovation and diffusion, consumer behavior, globalization, and easing of the regulations to promote trade and commerce. This is leading to the emergence of new players and new ecosystem dynamics, as well as the creation of open architectures.
In 1991, Mark Weiser, in his seminal article, “The Computer of the Twenty First Century,” described computing as “a world in which humans and computers were seamlessly united.” The article opened with “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” If we look forward to the next 10 years of evolution in the mobile industry, two things are certain.
First, over this decade, mobile will become so ingrained and embedded in our daily lives that, as Weiser suggested, it will be indistinguishable from the mundane. Second, the very definition of a mobile device and mobility will undergo a drastic transformation over the next decade. Instead of just mobile phones having cellular radios and connectivity, there will be hundreds and thousands of different devices, each a unique appliance, which will have wireless connectivity to the network. There will be sensors in the buildings we live in, the clothes we wear, the roadways we commute on, and the vehicles we drive in. Almost everything of substance will have connectivity, from cereal boxes to shoes to mirrors. With the evolution in networking technologies, middleware architectures, and mobile devices, we are entering a new era of always-on, real-time access mobile experiences.