by December 5, 2009 0 comments

Mobility has been one of most happening areas since last few years. This
will continue to excite businesses for next 10 years, as experts foresee. Let’s
have a look at some of the trends which are on their way to give users a whole
new experience while resolving some of the commonly faced issues in the arena of
mobility such as charging.

So long power chords!
On a typical day, you will have your laptop connected to the power socket,
which at times would be accompanied by your mobile charger. And when at home you
may easily add wires required for broadband modem, or a personal storage
solution or some other gadgets. The end result is the junk of wires, which not
only look obtrusive but at times become difficult to manage. To do away with
such a situation, you may gear up for wireless power transmission. We have
spoken about this before which is set to become a reality in coming few years.

In next few days, a company called Gear4 will be launching a product called ‘Powerpad’
which allows iPhones to be charged wirelessly with the help of a receiver case.
Another company called Powermat is already offering wireless recharging
Powermats for Apple, BlackBerry and Nintendo. Here, one part of the Powermat is
plugged to the main electricity and you can put the other part i.e mat anywhere
in the room. All you need is just to put your mobile phone onto the mat and it
will start charging. Big shots too are joining the wireless power transmission
bandwagon. In October last, Sony announced its power transfer system which can
transmit up to 60 Watts of power over a distance of 50cm. Dell has recently
launched a laptop which can be charged using wireless power.

Layar is a free augmented reality browser for mobile
phones. It uses GPS, compass and camera to identify surroundings and overlay
information on screen.

Mobile Augmented Reality
This is one of the most happening areas right now. And quite a few
applications are set to come up in the areas such as video games, cellphones,
defence, etc. Nowadays, all smartphones have cameras, GPS, accelerators, which
make augmented reality possible.

There are couple of apps starting to come up in this area. One of the most
popular ones called WIKITUDE, also known as Augmented Wikipedia, released its
app for iPhone and Android. WIKITUDE World Browser provides users information
about their surroundings by overlaying the information on the camera of
smartphone. It also allows you to add your own content and browse information
about a particular landmark, if available on Wikipedia.

Sony’s prototype of power transfer system. It can transfer
upto 60 watts of power over a distance of 50cm.

Urbanspoon has released an application called Scope which can guide you to
nearby restaurants and show their distances. When you point your camera to the
ground using this app, it will turn to map view. It also allows you to drag your
current location on map, just in case GPS doesn’t show your current position or
you would like to see map from other locations. Similarly, an app called
WorkSnug allows users to find nearby workplaces. It’s freely available for
iPhone 3G currently but mainly covers London.

Mobile Care
coming your way
Mobile Care is a self service solution from Nuance
Communications for telecom providers. This app, once installed on the
mobile, quietly intercepts call to customer care and opens a data
connection. Here customers are offered with various services such as
checking balance, change plan, change settings, pay bills, etc. The
advantages here for customers are, they can get relevant information within
a click of few buttons, instead of going through the entire IVR process and
speaking to a customer care executive. For a telecom service provider, it
means he can easily reduce his customer care costs as well as real estate
costs. Plus the customers do not have to wait for a long time to get their
problems sorted out, which means better consumer satisfaction. That’s not
all; the app also comes with social networking features. It allows users to
upload their pictures on Facebook or Twitter. Users can even order prints of
the pictures taken from their mobiles.

Mobile augumented reality is all set to deliver virtual worlds on your hands.
Using a smartphone or other similar gadgets, you will have a different view of
every street you go to, you can easily find places around, browse what other
people have to say about the places or even add your opinion about a particular
place. In Indian scenario, augmented reality can have a significant impact as
cheaper smartphones make way into the market, but it’s likely to take a few
years before people actually start benefiting from it.

Femocells have been making a lot of noise lately. Femocells are like micro-base
stations which can be placed inside a house or building to improve cellular
networks coverage and performance, and provide wireless networks to the users.
Here the advantage for end users is that they get a Wi-Fi network directly from
the operator, and users don’t have to manage the network as management part will
be taken care of by the operator. However, users would need to pay a small fee
for it. Femocells are considered to be direct competitors of Wi-Fi. Another
advantage with Femocells is that they can be used with various types of
technologies such as WiMAX, CDMA, LTE, UMTS, etc. As Wi-Fi enabled cellphones
are getting cheaper and getting big in numbers in India, this area seems to be
get hot soon.


Social Networking and Web 3.0

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