What to Expect
It appears that users somehow adapt to a particular device even though it may not be natural or intuitive. Take the once popular RAZR. The five-way key made users crazy trying to remember what each one did at any particular time. Users seemed to like it when it first came out because it was so thin and had a lot of market momentum. But, just a couple of years later, the entire handset world moved on to much more intuitive, graphically pleasing and powerful interfaces like that of the iPhone. Going forward, we expect to see more work done on making handheld systems even easier to use than they are today. We'll see more service integration so that one application will seamlessly integrate with another. Setting up appointments in your calendar while you're in e-mail is still difficult (so far, Motorola Good Technology seems to have done this the best). And getting true, seamless synchronization between the important information on your desktop, the Web and your mobile handset is still very difficult to achieve-although folks such as those at Soonr are working on solving that problem.In 2025, people will look back at the handheld systems we used in 2008 and wonder how we ever put up with them. Voice recognition, integrated services and very intuitive interfaces will be the norm-not the special cases that they are today. Thus, ease of use is and will continue to be very important in the mobile field. Kudos to those who have made so many breakthroughs in this area over the last couple of years. But we look forward to seeing all major platforms become much easier to use in the next few years. J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., is vice president and chief analyst with the Frost & Sullivan North American Information & Communication Technologies practice. As a nationally recognized industry authority, he focuses on monitoring and analyzing emerging trends, technologies and market behavior in the mobile computing and wireless data communications industry in North America. Since joining Frost & Sullivan in 2006, Dr. Purdy has been specializing in mobile and wireless devices, wireless data communications and connection to the infrastructure that powers the data in the wireless handheld. He is author of Inside Mobile & Wireless, which provides industry insights and reaches over 100,000 readers per month. For more than 16 years, Dr. Purdy has been consulting, speaking, researching, networking, writing and developing state-of-the-art concepts that challenge people's mind-sets, and developing new ways of thinking and forecasting in the mobile computing and wireless data arenas. Often quoted, his ideas and opinions are followed closely by thought leaders in the mobile & wireless industry. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University. J. Gerry Purdy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Disclosure Statement: From time to time, I may have a direct or indirect equity position in a company that is mentioned in this column. If that situation happens, then I'll disclose it at that time.