Chapter 16. The Future of Mobile

I like to think about what’s next and what tomorrow’s innovations will be. A question I get asked a lot is “What will the future of mobile be?” The best answer I can think of that comes close to capturing the potential that mobile offers is simply “Everything.” Tomorrow’s innovations will not only involve mobile technology, but they will come from the mobile investments that are made today. This won’t be because of the iPhone or Android phones, operators, or the big device makers, but because of people.

We are inherently social beings. We actively seek connections with people every day. The Web is supposed to bring us together, but people feel more isolated than ever. In a survey conducted in 1985, respondents said that they had at least three close friends they felt they could talk to about important issues. In 2006, a Duke University study[9] found that the number of friends people felt they could talk to was down to two people, and 25 percent stated they had no close friends at all.

Mobile technology by its nature is designed to facilitate interaction between people. It is portable, personal, and ubiquitously connected. It enables us not just to communicate in real time, but to collaborate. It is that last point that is so compelling. Phones used to be simply about talking; if we wanted to communicate something, we had to explicitly state it. Collaboration is the iterative back and forth that naturally occurs when two or more people share information. ...

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