10 Mobile Technologies Going into 2011: Gartner

A new Gartner report highlights 10 mobile technologies that enterprises should expect to feel the effects of, and invest in, through 2011. Among them are Bluetooth 4, the mobile Web, app stores and enhanced location awareness.

Bluetooth 3 and 4, app stores, mobile widgets, and touch screens are among 10 mobile technologies that savvy organizations should expect to feel the impacts of through 2011, according to a March report from Gartner Research.
Released in advance of the Gartner Wireless, Networking & Communications Summit, beginning in San Diego April 19, the report highlights technologies that, as enterprises emerge from the recession and begin spending money again, will "evolve in ways that affect corporate strategies, significant numbers of customers or employees will adopt or expect them, or will address particular mobile challenges that organizations will face," states the report.
Completing the top 10 are the mobile Web, platform-independent mobile application development tools, enhanced location awareness, cellular broadband, M2M technology and device-independent security.
"In consumer terms, one technology that people will notice most will be Bluetooth 4, which brings a low-energy mode," Gartner analyst Nick Jones told eWEEK. "It will also enable a lot of peripherals to the mobile phone and have a battery life of potentially years."
Such peripherals, Jones said, could include "intelligent, simple jewelry" with unique functionality and health care solutions, such as a device that measures a person's blood pressure or heart rate on a jog.
We've also only seen the beginning of the app store revolution, Jones said.
"I think app stores are, if you like, the second of three phases of mobility," Jones said. "The first was a device-centric world. The iPhone marks the next era: the device plus application. And the third phase that we're starting to see emerging is device plus cloud, or plus services. It's not just about the apps on the device anymore, but that they give you access to things in the cloud."
Noting that Apple is the current app store king and Nokia the dominant OS provider, Jones expects Android to take the No. 2 OS spot in the future.
"I think we'll see some shifting in where the developers are focusing," Jones told eWEEK. "There are many hundreds of million of Nokia users in the world, and developers may start thinking, -Even though they're not big downloaders, we could make money just by virtue of their numbers.'"
Also notable in the report is that, by 2011, 85 percent of the handsets shipping globally are expected to include some form of browser, however primitive, which Gartner says is important because it will allow organizations to deliver simple applications to large numbers of handsets at low costs.
"In mature markets, the mobile Web and associated Web adaptation tools will be a leading technology for B2C [business-to-consumer] mobile applications through 2012, and should be part of every organization's B2C technology portfolio," states the report.
By 2011, we should also expect to see GPS shipping on 75 percent of devices headed to "mature markets," such as Western Europe and Japan, and electronic compasses on 30 percent of smartphones. Combining location and direction, says the report, "enables applications such as augmented reality viewers, which have started to emerge for tasks such as location-aware search and social networking."
Going forward, we can also expect to see still more location-aware applications geared toward both consumers and enterprise workers, as well as enterprises using services such as Twitter, which supports location tagging and awareness-which consumers should, of course, have the option of opting into.
"There may be a bit of a generation gap here," said Gartner's Jones. "Many young people are much happier to make the details of their life known. Some people will worry about privacy, though, and they can just turn certain things off."