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SXSW Interactive: Emerging trends


by April Kinser 14 Mar 2009

I just got out of the “Emerging Trends of Mobile Technology” panel discussion and am really excited about the possibilities coming to mobile device consumers over the next few years. Below is a list of some of the standouts from the meeting. 1. T-Mobile’s Android Phone: Released in September of last year, the Android is […]

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I just got out of the “Emerging Trends of Mobile Technology” panel discussion and am really excited about the possibilities coming to mobile device consumers over the next few years. Below is a list of some of the standouts from the meeting.

1. T-Mobile’s Android Phone: Released in September of last year, the Android is seen by some as iPhone’s main competitor. It’s the first phone to offer Google’s Android operating system, an open-source system that allows developers to create their own apps for the phone. Apple, on the other hand, controls which apps are available to its iPhone users. Panelists predicted that we’ll begin seeing more users of the Android over the next few years.

2. Flash on mobile devices: “Flash on phones is going to change the way everything works,” said Rob Gonda, a panelist at the discussion and director of marketing strategy and analysis for Sapient. With more Flash applications available on mobile devices, the user experience will become more equal to what you would experience with a desktop computer.

3. App stores galore: Currently, there are around 20,000 apps available to consumers. The iPhone has 500 million apps downloaded a year, with $1 billion dollars in sales worldwide. Needless to say, the trend is catching on. Panelists predicted that app stores will soon be everywhere and with open environments like Google, we’ll start seeing hundreds of thousands of apps being built in the near future.

4. Mobile Augmented Reality: According to Wikipedia, augmented reality “deals with the combination of real-world and computer-generated data (virtual reality), where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time.” The panelists focused specifically on location-based augmented reality. Imagine you’re on vacation and come across a beautiful sculpture. With location-based augmented reality, you could snap a picture of that sculpture and historical information and other data would pop up about that sculpture on your phone. Pretty exciting stuff.

5. Image/logo recognition: With image/logo recognition, for example, you can snap a photo of your favorite store’s logo, and its Web site will pop up. Panelists even discussed being able to take a picture of someone with your phone and obtaining data about what kind of mood they’re in. Information on just about anything will be available everywhere.

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