Mobile Trends 2012

The use of mobile devices continues to grow as an extension of our work and social life. Here are some mobile trends:

1. Location-Based Services (LBS): The big buzz at SXSW was about geo-location apps, including Highlight, a “social discovery” app that sells itself as a “fun, simple way to learn more about the people around you,” and Glancee––both of these apps notify you when people with common friends or interests are located near you … and yes, this does seem creepy to me.

3. Mobile Commerce: As of February, there were more smartphones in American hands than basic cell phones, and if this trend persists, mobile commerce will continue to grow at an impressive rate. It is predicted that mobile commerce will grow almost 74% next year.

4. Near-Field Communication (NFC): Predicted to be the replacement for the QR code, NFC will become very important in 2012, allowing information to be uploaded to your mobile device with a wave of the device over a transmitter. Contactless payments will also become prominent this year. In the not-too-distant future, we could be swiping our mobile devices at subway stations or bus stops instead of carrying around MetroCards.

5. Object Recognition: Snapping a picture of an item could soon give you the information you need, including nearby stores with it on sale. This could be extremely helpful for the visually impaired––for example, when a customer is shopping in a supermarket, he or she could aim a smartphone at an item and the phone could say what it is.

Author: Susan Hallinan

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