Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mobile Net the next frontier

The next big shift in the way people gather information and surf the Internet will be mobile browsing. The industry is experiencing a surge in the uptake of devices capable of providing the ability to browse the web from a mobile device.

On the other side of the equation, Organizations are not keeping pace with this demand by optimizing their websites for viewing from a mobile device. At the same time we are still saddled with less than exemplary mobile browers available on today's devices. Apple is the first (aren't they always?) to recognize this paradigm shift in the way people are trying to access information. The iPhone arguably provides the best mobile web browsing experience available today.

Some of the applications that will provide future services, have yet to be written. Surprisingly, Nokia was testing these waters back in 1997 when they wrote an application that used GPS and crime statistics database, to offer life insurance to users who strayed into statistically high crime neighbourhoods. That was probably all most people needed to "high tail" it out of there!

The mobile Net will be the next battle ground for the hearts and minds of consumers and information junkies. The mobile Net will belong to those who best anticipate the new ways people will use it. Just think how the functionality of GPS can create a "situational awareness" of not only where you are, but what goods and services are available near by. It adds the benefit of creating a context to where you are and what you may be doing. to which Goods and Services can be applied and offered.

But that's only the first part of what some people envision for mapping. Using data they collect with GPS handsets, people will begin to create virtual maps of their lives. It's already starting to happen. Last year, Nokia posted a prototype of Sports Tracker, a free application for runners and other athletes that uses a GPS phone to record their training. A million people downloaded the program, which quickly morphed into a way for users to create online diaries and share photos of their whereabouts. Nokia rebranded the program as viNe for athletes and others, underscoring how the mobile Web is evolving more by user creativity than corporate decree.

BRICs and the Mobile Web
New research from Nielsen reveals contrasts in Web surfing of cell-phone users in developed countries vs. those in the so-called BRIC nations. Mobile subscribers in Brazil, Russia, India, and China rank entertainment, gaming, and music sites among their top five categories visited. In Europe and the U.S., e-mail, weather and news, and sports top the list. Why? BRIC residents often don't have the home PCs, cable TV, and iPods that Westerners do. (AAPL) So more use cell phones for entertainment. Read the study HERE

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