In the last two decades, we have witnessed the transitions in mobile phones from simple black and white phones to advanced PDAs, from just a phone to capable Smartphone, from 2G to 3G, and from keypad to touch screens. Isn’t it exciting to think what future is holding for us? The mere thought of it excites and trust me there is a lot which is happening and soon going to become a reality.
Even our imagination doesn’t let us to think of those technologies where the world is moving on. A foray into the present technologies will help us to develop an insight for future technologies. Mobile services like M-payment, Mobile-commerce, Object identification, Health Monitoring, Location Discovery, M-Government and M-education which are in nascent stage will mushroom in the future on a very wide rage.
• Object Identification - This technology makes use of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technique. RFID is a term that is used to describe a system that transmits the identity of any object or person wirelessly in the form of unique serial number, using radio waves. The object whose identity is to be transmitted is tagged with a special RF tag. This tag gets activated though an antenna and it becomes possible to read and write data in the tag through a host computer. If RFID technique gets embedded into the mobile phone, it will be possible to get the information about the availability or location of any tagged object on the phone itself. So in other words, a person wanting to buy an article from market will activate this feature and type the name of article on mobile. The RF tags of the articles in the immediate vicinity will alert the handset about its availability or location. After reading the information from various tags the person will be able to decide which article to purchase and from where.
• Health Monitoring - A new technique called Bluetooth health monitoring will storm the future mobile scene. It is in its infancy right now where a Bluetooth enabled health monitoring device such as heart rate or blood glucose meter communicates with a pre-defined software on your mobile phone to log and upload information to a central internet server. This information is then relayed to your doctor. The information can be uploaded in real-time over a GPRS mobile data connection if constant monitoring is requires – such as in the case of heart attack. If it’s not that much urgent you can upload it at any convenient time. This means, that it will become possible for us to relay vital health information to our doctor while sitting at home, which will reduce the frequency of visits to hospitals. Mobile application developers are continuously trying hard to develop such mobile health monitoring applications.
• Mobile-Commerce or Micro-Commerce -This is quite similar to e-commerce, but here mobiles and/or PDAs are used to buy and sell goods and services. Various methods are employed for this purpose. Shopkeeper’s or companies sometimes offer mobile tickets, vouchers, coupons and loyalty cards, whose presence in the mobile phones enables the users to purchase through mobiles. Services like Mobile banking and Mobile brokerage are in embryonic stage. The payments made for M-commerce are called M-payments. Registration of credit-card that is linked to a SIM card is the common mode of M-payment. Apple’s iTunes music store is successfully using M-commerce for its dealings. In the future it will expand to a very wide market of mobiles.
• Digital Content - We are now heading towards a world where everybody is demanding for rich digital content. They want to have the best content all the times, at all the places and over all the channels. The mobile versions of websites, videos and images are already being developed on a large scale. The interruptions in YouTube’s video that we frequently encounter, the pixel-size problems of photographs, low-digital quality of e-books will soon be things of the past. The books on the screen will feel as if we are actually holding a book in our hands. Arrival of iPad will clarify this future cloud.
• Electronic-Voting - It is predicted that electronic-voting will take advantage of the mobile features for voting. Through this, it will be possible for us to vote from any state or district, other than our own. We will not need to worry about where we would be on the date of election. Isn’t this really interesting?
Needless to say, future mobile technologies are holding in their womb various precious gifts for us. It is very difficult to say exactly which applications and services will be available in the future; however, it is sure that these technologies will definitely affect the way we work, we live and we socialize. One thing is for sure, mobile technologies are future, and future is where hopes lies.