Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tech Trends

As much as we talk about the 2010 takeover by mobile, we must bear in mind that it is in its infancy. Much like the early home computers, users are not yet using the mobile devices to their full potential. A recent survey of mobile users found that the top uses of the device were (most to least)

Social networking

Other than Navigation and Search, this is not much different from how we have been using computers for some years now.

And yet you can use mobile to watch television, watch movies, use many productivity tools, for your personal banking and finance, and shopping, shopping, shopping. All of these tools are out there but not yet in high use. As today's kids, the digital natives, mature enough to be entrusted with their own mobile devices, expect some of the less-popular things come into greater use.

TechCrunch has a nice summary of a presentation by Ron Conway about big tech trends.  What I have noticed is that many of these trends are about collecting, using, and disseminating collective wisdom about the places, people, and things around us.

Examples:  Twitter and Facebook. 
People are worrying less about privacy online while wanting financial and other information secure.  Users are sharing more each quarter.  People want to connect.  It also, for better or worse, one of the trends that allows for the creation of "collective wisdom" about any topic.

Real Time -
Examples:  Twitter, Foursquare
Collective wisdom is spread right away.  You can also find out right away just which Starbucks in a one block radius your friends are actually located. 

Location Based Services - Examples:  Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp.
Using these services a person can use their gps-enabled mobile phone to find out what other businesses are nearby.  You can do a "checkin" to tell your pals where you are and make a mini review. 

This is another trend that spreads "collective wisdom."  If you see a lot of people who have checked in at the closest restaurant and left poor reviews, while you see people who have checked in at another neighborhood restaurant have given it great reviews, you use that collective wisdom and most likely are not going to the closest restaurant.

2010 was predicted and has become the year of mobile.  Mobile devices go with  you to give you the information you want right at that moment.  Mobile lets you get realtime information using location-based services and social networking.  It lets you socially share information, location-based or not, realtime. If other trends are about gathering collective wisdom, mobile is about accessing and disseminating it.

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