I can remember when my dad got his first mobile phone in the 1980s, despite being big and heavy, it seemed impossibly high-tech and futuristic.
At the time, it didn’t occur to me that this device could evolve into a small, sleek, beautifully-designed piece of technology that would take incredible photos, hold my whole music collection, let me work wherever I was, and more besides.
But there were visionaries who did see the potential. They spotted opportunities, and made changes happen – surely that’s the definition of a mobile master?
With each big breakthrough in technology – text messaging, camera phones, mobile internet, apps etc – it might be tempting to think ‘this is the pinnacle’, but think what kind of developments we could miss out on by doing this. This is what mobile mastery is all about – continuing to play and experiment to make the most of this powerful technology.
What do you think the next big opportunities are for mobile technology? Here are five areas where we think mobile technology is making exciting new breakthroughs:
Mobile technology, 4G, the Cloud and other innovations mean that for some professions, work can happen anywhere, not just in the office. Teams can be formed among people who aren’t in the same physical location, business can start-up without needing premises, and the pace of business has sped up.
In our Mobile Mastery ebook, we look at whether the internet is changing the way our minds work in detail, but even a quick look at the evidence suggests that it almost certainly is. Mobile devices are becoming an extension of our brains – they remember things so we don’t have to, perform tasks on our behalf, and because we have them with us almost all the time, we’re coming to rely on them in a deep and symbiotic way. The opportunity might be that we start to use our brains differently way as mobile technology becomes even more embedded – we won’t need to remember phone numbers, facts, figures etc because our phones will do it for us, could this free up mental capacity for other things?
Linking with the opportunity for changes to our brains, education is also changing too. Will we see the same emphasis on learning by rote now that it’s so easy for us to looking things up? Rather than remembering facts, perhaps the most important thing to know in the connected age is how to find things, and how to recognise a reliable source. It’s also making education more democratic too – remote learning and independent learning are going from strength to strength because of mobile technology, bringing education to people and communities that would otherwise not have had access. Nokia’s MoMaths programme is one such example. It gives South Africa children from low-income families access to high-quality education and has been very popular; in 2011, 8,000 South African high-school students completed 2.5m exercises using the app, with 82% of the activity taking place after school or during the holidays.
Many of us are already using our smartphones to improve or monitor our health and fitness with apps like that track our diet, exercise and sleep. In the developing world, mobile technology is making an even bigger difference to healthcare, with doctors using smartphone-like devices to collect and track data and access medical advice and records in remote communities. Watch this video to see how Nokia technology is helping fight dengue fever in Brazil.
The ‘internet of things’
With the ‘internet of things’ mobile technology means that everyday devices can go online and be enhanced. For example, an internet-connected car can tell you the nearest petrol stations and their respective prices or cut your costs with ‘pay as you drive’ insurance. Smart energy meters and internet-connected switches automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier and let you turn on the heating or AC before you get home.
Which of these five areas do you think is the most exciting? What other big opportunities do you think there are for mobile technology?
Image credits: Muhammad Ashiq, Viktor Bezrukov, opensourceway, Christian Haugen.
This article is part of Nokia’s Smarter Everyday programme, which aims to inspire you with the latest ideas on productivity, collaboration and technology adoption. To download our latest ebook Mobile Mastery visit http://nokia.ly/MMebook