The new era of the internet is “profoundly” mobile. A new futures study by Zenith Optimedia and Performics, The Mobile of Everything: What does a Hyper-Connected World Mean for the Smartphone? predicts that the term ‘mobile’ will shift from referring specifically to handheld devices, to focus on the behaviour of people, the multitude of devices they have access to and to the myriad of connection points integrated into the world around them.
“There is no doubt that the smartphone will become more sophisticated and central to the lives of a greater proportion of the world’s population over the coming years,” says Fred Joseph, CEO of EMEA at Performics and global mobile Lead at ZenithOptimedia. “However, we believe that as technology develops, enabling a world of hyper-connectivity, fuelled by data and powered by sensors, mobile will transcend the smartphone. This new world will offer many exciting consumer engagement opportunities for brands that are prepared to invest in partnerships, technology solutions and importantly, ‘owned content’.”
In the report, ZenithOptimedia and Performics argue that the ‘Internet of Everything’, could be better termed as the ‘Mobile of Everything’. This, it says, is because focus will shift to the consumer who will be able to connect online wherever they are through objects and electronic hardware around them and through devices that are wearable, attached to clothing and even embedded under the skin.
The smartphone will reach the peak of its global adoption, due to five key developments that will drive its growth and as the world draws closer to hyper-connectivity.
- First, we now expect more and more from our smartphones as they become intuitive and are increasingly connecting with devices around us.
- Second, our smartphones are becoming ‘intelligent’ devices able to detect changes in our moods and behaviours though biometric technology.
- Third, the smartphone will continue to become the key device through which we control and organise our lives. Many new apps now enable the smartphone to be the single device that we use to manage digital functionality throughout the home.
- Fourth, we are increasingly using smartphones to facilitate our purchases and this is only set to increase.
- Fifth through advances in automotive technology, cars are becoming mobile devices in their own right, providing us with a range of mobile computing functionality as we drive.
“Once we reach hyper-connectivity, and come to enjoy a data-fuelled world, powered by millions of sensors and screens embedded into surfaces around, the smartphone as we know it, will evolve into a multitude of different devices,” the study says.
At this point, ZenithOptimedia and Performics believe “we will see a shift for smartphones to ‘smartcities’. Our cities of the future are set to embrace wireless sensor networks that will deliver data to everybody and enable us to control our lives in a way that is truly mobile”.
This means massive changed to media and marketing industries because in this mobile, consumer-centric world, these sectors “will inevitably move away from the concept of ‘media channels’”.