Mobile technologies seem to develop at an advanced pace. A little over a year ago, we were introduced to the iPad and, since then, it’s been non-stop mobile innovation. What will the next wave of mobile technology bring, and are there elements that could bring mobile innovation to a full stop? Let’s have a look.
Thanks to Apple and Google, two of the most popular mobile developers, privacy issues have been headlining recent mobile news. Mobile security has always been an issue for the enterprise, but now it’s personal. Personal data, that is. And it’s making the general consumer a little nervous about how much information is being shared about them. But are they so nervous or concerned that mobile consumption will suffer?
While it seems unlikely that users will stop using mobile smartphones out of fear alone, it is likely that they will start demanding to know exactly what information is being shared and will want more options about how to protect it. While such awareness may stifle mobile innovation for those who trivialize identity management, for others it will provide another layer upon which to improve and build the next generation of mobile technologies.
It’s not just venture capitalists who have found emerging mobile technologies alluring. The city of New York also has a vested interest. The sleepless city’s official economic development unit, New York City Economic Development Corporation, has been leveraging the city’s resources to drive economic growth, create jobs and improve the quality of life by launching a series of incubators throughout the city to help startups get founded and collaborate with the community.
Mobile startups, in particular, have benefitted the most, as the city has released more than 350 data sets across 40 city agencies and organizations to which developers have access to build innovative apps. For NYC, what’s good for mobile is also good for its residents and employers.
Countries also struggle with mobile infrastructures. Recently, Canada ranked last in a survey of five comparable countries when it came to the open sharing of information, according to the Stratford Report 2011 (PDF). The results, which were shared during Canada 3.0, the country's annual digital forum, put pressure on Canada’s Privacy Commissioner to strike a balance between unregulated access to consumer information by marketers and traditional privacy policies, without disrupting the potential of great innovation that could benefit the way people work, live and communicate.
Countries, like cities, companies and individuals alike are learning that the future of mobile technology may not require stricter rules, but more transparency and support.