When leading IT research and advisory firm Gartner announced that ‘the Internet of Things’ will grow to 26 billion installed units in 2020, they were counting on the cost of connectivity between ordinary, everyday electronic objects (mostly appliances) being negligible and predicted component costs being so low that even $1 processors will be interconnected. The question this brings to mind is two-fold. Firstly, if ordinary devices, such as the refrigerator in our houses and our mobile phones, were connected, does the connection actually serve any practical purpose? Secondly, if these two arbitrary devices were able to talk to each other, what would we like them to say?
Yet, the argument is far from convincing and is most likely to repeat the obstacles faced by earlier ideas for such a networked scenario. So, without further ado, here are the top 5 trends for mobile devices that are expected in future.
Mobile Trends to Look Out For
- Necessity: Agreed, a refrigerator that is smartly wired can include the possibility of alerting the householder on their smartphones that they are running out of cabbage or that the milk has begun to spoil, since it has been in there for too long. However, the actual scenario on the ground suggests somewhat bizarre lengths of complications such information sharing would preclude, like electrodes embedded into the cabbage or the need to place a wireless sensor in the milk It might also need to use RIFD integrated into the milk carton that lets passive sensors in the refrigerator read the state of the milk. It all seems like a lot of effort to replace the simple act of opening the door and checking the refrigerator’s contents.
- Standardization: To ensure that all electronic devices speak the same language will require a clear set of standards and protocol to be outlined at the beginning of any ventures into interlinked technology. In a world where data or files need to be accessed across multiple platforms, we will have to ensure that there are no issues with making the technology backwards and sideways compatible. This is especially true if we want to avoid a world in the future where problems like files on an iPhone not being accessed on an Android phone are to be avoided, forget getting the refrigerator to talk to the shopping list on your phone, first the industry bigwigs need to hash out a set of standards to unite diverse technologies.
- End to App-lunacy: The problem with mobile devices today is that half the world and their brothers want you to load their app on your already overloaded phone. Once you do, there is no avoiding the regular siphoning of your data balance to update the app (which is quite often). According to comScore’s US Mobile App Report, only about one-third of smartphone owners download apps in an average month, with the bulk of them downloading one to three apps.
- Broader-band: The future keeps mentioning 5G as the technology to connect inanimate objects. Meanwhile, by multiplexing data (signals digitally coded, chopped into bits, and sent on separate sub-channels at different frequencies instead of one frequency band), 4G networks have already set the pace.
- Data, Data Everywhere: With increasingly vast amounts of data everywhere, a ready and flexible data infrastructure will be a must. Already, given any device, users max out on their storage space. The future will need more data to be stored on the cloud and concepts such as shifting a portion of the cloud to the user’s mobile device as ‘cloudlets’ are already being discussed.
These trends, along with other potential areas of development, such as security, electronic money and health monitoring are likely to emerge as the Internet of Things. Meanwhile, you might benefit from keeping an eye on opportunities to sell your phone in anticipation of the Internet of Things to come.