Future of Mobile Phone Innovation

by Idris Mootee

Future of Mobile Phone InnovationWhere is mobile going? It is the hottest space right now to be in and will remain so for another 10 years as it evolves and converges. Not sure what mobile means when most devices will have the wireless networking capability be it 4G or 5G. VOIP will remain a disruption for years to come as it takes over older telco infrastructures now threatening mobile operators that have yet to embrace VoIP and will suffer the consequences. Frost & Sullivan sees a bright future where mobile VoIP will generate $29.57 billion by 2015. iPhone and iPad and the apps that are now allowed to make VoIP calls is a series threat to carriers’ revenue and they will try every way top create barriers including surcharges on VoIP usage over the data networks.

And for the banks, the adoption rate of mobile financial services is surpassing that of other financial service innovations such as online banking and ATMS. So it will soon take over as the main channel with ATM being the second. Come the year 2015, the United States will have a penetration of some 149 million WiFi enabled mobile phones according to a recent study performed by Coda Research, it means the US will account for 66% of all WiFi enabled mobile phone shipments in the year 2015 with a growth rate of 25 percent CAGR between now and 2015. ? Obviously a big part of that growth will be in the smartphone sector with two thirds of WiFi hotspot connections coming through smartphones in 2015.

So what is next for mobile? What would the next generation of mobile phones look like? We have been doing a lot of research and prototyping imagining new customer behaviors that drive new design and features. Some of the ideas are so exciting but unfortunately I can’t share that here for obvious reasons.

We have been studying the changing global cultural trends and socio-economic factors, how our lives and communities are changing and how the mobile phone evolves to fit that or drive change to that. ?? Bigger screens or better screen, foldable screens or no screens? Will the ultimate device would be entirely virtual and it follows me, from my sunglasses to my windshield and desktops or bedside alarm clocks? Or something like interactive holographs that pop out like a ghost? Yes augmented reality phones and seeing a video voice mail from someone who has passed away for years?

What about keyboards? Will they disappear with the screen? Or we still want to type? Voice input will make physical keyboards almost entirely redundant but we still want to type if I have to make a prediction. For those of you who like to express themselves with gestures, gesture recognition is another big one. Imagine sending a middle finger virtually? What about eye-focus tracking that will provide virtual full-size keyboards so no more fingers will be needed. So how do we exercise our fingers?

We definitely need to move away from silicon to biological processors, open your phone’s battery compartment you will find a few ants working to produce energy? The computer you inject is more likely to resemble a specialized virus than a tiny silicon chip. This gives you a taste of what Idea Couture’s future mobile experience prototyping playbook looks like. I wish I could share more.


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Idris MooteeIdris Mootee is the CEO of idea couture, a strategic innovation and experience design firm. He is the author of four books, tens of published articles, and a frequent speaker at business conferences and executive retreats.

No comments

  1. Hi there,
    Thinking in the very near future, I think multitouch screens provides great user experience in all graphics-related interactions, like web, pics, and so… But, a physical keyboard is killer in all text apps: sms, IM, filling forms, email…
    I think the next wave of winner devices will be those that combine both experiences simply and efficiently in an easy and confortable to use device. The solution: just FLIP IT. iPhone one side, Blackberry 9700 the other. It can’t be easier.
    This idea had already been posted weeks ago in my blog.
    Nice post 🙂

  2. For the next few year we know what the mobile phone of preference looks like and that it will have more bloat-ware on it.

    I agree there are lots of possibilities, but I think they are already being overlooked at the expense of marketing. It has to fit in the pocket. It will have faster processors. Screen improvements, maybe. Improved sound quality, not likely. Speedier network, yes. Still will be the cell phone we all recognize now.

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