The humble mobile phone from its early avatar of enabling voice
calls has now metamorphosed into a device which can perform multiple functions.
The mobile smart phone is the new Swiss knife. From making voice calls, to
watching video clips, from mobile TV to Location Based Services (LBS) the uses
of the mobile phone are many. The mobile phone is both ubiquitous and almost
indispensable to daily life. This post looks at some of key technologies which
will still further the utility of the mobile phones are discussed below.
Bringing the bank to the mobile: Mobile banking is a trend
that is just picking up. Mobile banking provides for the banking needs for the
poor who have no access to banks and has a lot of potential for growth. Mobile
banking refers to a method where the rural poor can make payments and do cash
transactions through simple SMS text messages. Mobile banking is crucial in
emerging markets where traditional banks are not viable. A recent McKinsey
Report 2010 states that the though the number of mobile phones in emerging
markets is in excess of 1 billion, only about 45 million use mobile money in
the place of traditional banking. The report further states that opportunity in
mobile banking is about 3 billion annually.
requires the inter-working of telecom operators, application providers and cash
agents for making this service a reality. Mobile banking can promote customer
growth and reduce churn for service providers. Some success stories are M-Pesa
in Keya and SmartMoney in Philippines.
There is a tremendous opportunity for this application in countries like India and China and other emerging markets.
In this application, the mobile phone helps the user to bank while on the move.
Communication (NFC): Mobile phones enabled with NFC technology can be used
for a variety of purposes. One such purpose is integrating credit card
functionality into mobile phones using NFC. Already the major players in mobile
are integrating NFC into their newer versions of mobile phones including
Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, and Nokia. We will never again have to carry
in our wallets with a stack of credit cards. Our mobile phone will double up as
a Visa, MasterCard, etc. NFC also allows retail stores to send promotional
coupons to subscribers who are in the vicinity of the shopping mall.
Based Service (LBS) is another useful application on the
mobile phone. The mobile phone can send a SMS if friends are nearby. Apple has
patented a service which takes advantage of friends attending a particular
concert and inform you will be subscribe to this app.
E-Ticketing: With an application,
our flight itinerary, tickets or movie tickets will be sent to the mobile
phone. E-Ticketing can also be used for train and bus rides and does away with
the need to carry small change.
applications: Some other exotic applications that will happen in the future
will be based on LBS, NFC and GPS. Based on your buying preferences the user
can get discount coupons. Another interesting application could provide a user
an alternative route to his/her office if the regular route is facing traffic
jams. This would be based on the user’s LBS and GPS applications
Some of the key
applications envisaged for the mobile phone of the future has been discussed and many are
already in use. The smartphone will not only be indispensable in future but
will be omnipotent and omniscient.
Disclaimer: "The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions,strategies or opinions"