Emily Tan
Mar 23, 2012

How mobile is changing our lives: JWT

Mobile will disrupt everything, according to JWT Intelligence in its report, "15 Ways Mobile Will Change Lives". Here, a few of the most relevant insights.

How mobile is changing our lives: JWT

Everything is smart

It's not just mobile phones getting "smart". Everything from cars to dustbins are able to gain access to the web wirelessly. Down the road, as more manufacturers embed Wifi, SIM cards and other technology, expect anything to link into the intelligent Internet of Things, said JWT. 

“There really isn’t a device in your life right now that wouldn’t be better if you could connect it on a wireless network," said Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer of GSMA, quoted in the report. "Consumers will eventually have six or seven devices in their life, and they’ll all talk to one another. 

An example is the Copenhagen Wheel. Built by a partnership between Ducati Energia and MIT, this prototype Internet-connected bicycle includes a sensor that can detect information such as carbon monoxide emissions, noise, ambient temperature and relative humidity. The wheel then relays the data to the cyclist's smartphone.  Cyclists can map faster or healthier rides to work and track their mileage; they can also share their data to provide their city with useful real-time info.

Humanisation of tech
As voice and gesture control become more common, our technology (mobile included) will adapt to us, rather than us adapting to it, predicts JWT. Ericsson, for example,  envisions a “social web of things,” with objects such as lamps, fridges and ovens communicating with each other via a Facebook-like website. Users “friend” their devices, which can then post detailed messages, begin short conversations and collect instructions—turning on the heating, for instance, if the user says he’s heading home.
Mobile devices save lives
We're all familiar with the smartphone as a gym buddy and health monitor, but mobile devices are also becoming important diagnostic tools as well as broadcast devices that save lives in crisis situations., particularly in developing regions. In 2011, Vodafone partnered with TélécomsSans Frontières to bring emergency mobile communications to crisis zones, developing a portable GSM network that can be set up in less than 40 minutes to allow free local calls. The prototype system fits into three suitcase-size containers that together weigh less than 100 kg. It can be powered by various energy sources, including green power such as windmills or solar panels, making it self-sustainable.
Smartphone as the universal remote control
The smartphone is already becoming the key interface between connected devices and products and their users. Among other things, people will use the device to remotely control household appliances, interact with screens and automatically adjust car settings to their preferences. The Nissan Leaf app lets owners remotely check the electric car's battery levels, gauge how far it can drive, begin battery charging and activate the climate-control system.
Charging for access, rather than ownership
Cloud-based services like Hulu and Spotify have already shifted media ownership towards subscription based models, giving people access to content anywhere they want, however they want.
The report quotes Universal Music Group Sweden managing director Per Sundin as describing the music industry moving from a "transaction business to a subscription business". 
One company embracing this model is Sony Entertainment Network, which allows users access to content via enabled devices (Sony's as well as other brands). Users can access a catalogue of nearly 15 million tracks on Music Unlimited, buy or rent movies via Video Unlimited and view their personal photos and videos through PlayMemoriesOnline. The network also provides access to radio, movies and more via apps from providers like Pandora, NPR, Netflix and Hulu.
Mobile devices will increasingly use the data they’re privy to—from purchases made to social interactions to location—to offer information tailored to the user. They will analyse past and current behaviour and activity to provide recommendations on where to go, what to do and what to buy. While this raises concerns of privacy and data ownership, for marketers, it's a potential gold mine. 
Foursquare is starting to leverage the staggering amount of data it's gathered from its 15 million-plus users and 1.5 billion check-ins with Foursquare Explore. Explore is a location-based recommendation engine that allows users to discover places to eat, drink and so on, searching by category or specific term. The feature, which CEO Dennis Crowley described as a contextually personalised “buzz in your pocket,” draws on data from the user’s activities, the user’s social graph and the broader network. It can suggest places anywhere in the world and connect people with users who share similar tastes.

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