In part 1 of this post, we outlined some amazing statistics and hopefully got your attention tuned to mobile for 2011 and beyond. For part 2, we'll outline a broader trend that ties together smarter handsets with a new connected way of living.
Articles on the "Internet of Things," or "Web of Things" continue to hit mainstream news sources. The concept is simple enough -- as connected sensors become cheaper to fabricate, the everyday things in our lives (like the bridge you drive across to get to work, as well as your HDTV) will become easier to run/repair/operate thanks to an ever aware computer network making sense of the data.
In The Economist's Nov 2010 Special Report on Smart Systems, one of the best articles we found on the subject, the smartphone is touted as one of the more important "nodes" in a global network of sensors that will relay information from our daily lives back to the omnipresent number crunchers making sense of our physical world.
Whether you realize it or not, if you're a smartphone user, you aren't just talking to friends and family and using your favorite apps...your phone is talking to the web. Whether it's new search capability through Google's mobile application -- which factors in GPS when returning search results -- or more open collaborative applications like WikiCity, which was used to map the city of Rome in real-time from opt-in users, the future will be mapped and course corrected via mobile.
From a health perspective, the computing power and cultural importance of your cell phone -- something most people are hardly ever without -- is a match made in heaven. Now through Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and other mobile health sensors, we will begin to see wearable and more non-invasive ways to analyze vital implants such as pace makers, blood glucose and more.
From a broader consumer perspective, the mobile will begin to "sense" more about your day -- through your routine of sitting, walking etc...as well as how to react in a given mode. For example, a handset that allows you to answer an incoming call with a motion gesture even if you are in the middle of a run, rather than fiddle with buttons, is a safer handset!
From the mobile apps onward, the transformation of living alongside our data streams will be swift and dramatic. From our local devices, data can be accessed anywhere and streamed thanks to cloud computing. The apps that prove to be the most important in our lives and daily routines will not just be confined to the phone...they will appear in multiple iterations across different operating systems and user interfaces.
So the next time you take out your smartphone for a Google search or to play a quick game on the subway...think of the future, and be ready to share your data!