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28 December 2009

Wired’s top 7 mobile disruptions of 2009

Filed under: change, disruption, futurist — David Wood @ 9:00 pm

Wired.com today provide their list of the “top 7 disruptions” for mobile in 2009:

  1. Google Stack
  2. Mobile App Stores
  3. HTML5
  4. A New FCC
  5. Streaming Music
  6. The Real-Time Web
  7. Augmented Reality

You can read the details on Wired.com.  It’s a pretty good list: all the items included are important.

To nitpick, it’s not clear that they all count as “disruptive” rather than “evolutionary”.  And it seems at least some of the items are on the list because of what they’ll accomplish in 2010 rather than in 2009.   Never mind.

Wired asks: “What did we miss?”

With the same two provisos as before, I offer four additional candidates for inclusion:

1.) Mobile maps

Mobile maps seem to be getting better and better, and to be used more and more widely.  With 3D as well as 2D, with improved routing, and with plug-in integration from numerous third party apps and services, this trend is likely to continue.

2.) Mobile payments

From the perspective of the so-called developed world, use of mobile phones in payment transactions still seems relatively unexciting.  But from the perspective of the developing world – in countries where bank accounts and credit cards are comparatively scarce – mobile payments are already making a decisive difference.

3.) User Experience

For a while, technologists could tell themselves that good user experience (UX) was an optional extra, necessary for some mobile products but not for all.  This view is fading fast.  It’s now clear that users have become aware that good UX is possible on mobile – even for complex services – and they have an increasingly dim view of any mobile product that score weakly on UX.

4.) Open Source

It’s still early days for people to see the benefits of applying open source methods to creating mobile tools, applications, services, middleware, and (last but far from least) to improve the underlying platform.  But the transformational potential is enormous  – both in the improvements that end users will notice, and in the skillsets best suited to take advantage of the new innovation engine.  For further discussion of these points, see my recent presentation “Open ecosystems: a good thing?” (PDF) to the Cambridge Wireless network.

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