Rishu Mandolia, lead mobile instructor at the Digital Professional Institute, shares his predictions for where the future of mobile is headed:
- Intelligent Apps Will Offer Personalized Experiences: In 2013 services helped users collect and track their interests and behaviors, from what foods you eat to the articles you like; 2014 should see companies leverage this data to make intelligent apps provide more value- better recommendations, actionable statistics and more.
- Phones Become a Healthier Lifestyle Coach: While we already have apps that track how well you have slept, how much you exercised and the calories you consumed, this year companies will combine this information to help with better decision-making. “This trend will be especially apparent when combined with the growth in smartphone sensors and wearable technology,” says Mandolia.
- Routine Chores Become a Game: Adding entertainment to routine activities offers a successful way to motivate people and smartphones are well-equipped to help. Mandolia notes, “More services will emerge that track your progress automatically and offer creative ways to execute goals, while offering different types of incentives.”
- Companies Improve Individualized Marketing: The same data that can help companies provide users with a more personalized experience will also be used to further target promotions and advertising. “Expect more mobile ads that leverage your data to provide offers that are relevant to your lifestyle,” Mandolia says.
- Wearable Technology Shifts to Mainstream: The generation of wearable devices is emerging with everything from health trackers to smart watches and glasses. In the coming year, expect to see a significant portion of the smartphone-owning population own at least one connected wearable device.
- Retail Locations Utilizing Mobile Technology: Mobile technology will continue to become a widespread adoption for retailers. Mobile checkouts will become more prevalent as well as the inclusion of new low-cost technology like iBeacons that can communicate with phones within 50 meters as well as help users determine their precise location indoors (think interactive maps within malls that offer real-time updates and notifications).
- Cars Feature Deeper Mobile Connectivity: In 2014 cars will go beyond USB charging and music playback to include more direct access to phone functionality and control directly from the car. “Apple’s iOS in the Car (iOSitC) is expected this year and others should not be far behind,” says Mandolia. “Your phone should soon be moving from an ad-hoc connection with the car to feeling like an actual part of the vehicle.”
- The Phone Becomes an Active Controller: The disconnect between mobile phones, tablets and TVs will begin to vanish as more network programmers encourage viewers to connect in real-time on their mobile devices for a more immersive experience. Additionally, new Internet-connected TVs and video-streaming boxes are supporting mobile as a powerful way to control and interact with the device and content.
- Mobile Makes More Inroads into Education: Mobile devices, especially tablets, are becoming common in different levels of education. “We should start seeing more creative applications of these devices, with entire curriculums built around electronic delivery utilizing mobile as a cornerstone,” says Mandolia.