Monday, December 15, 2008

Pew: Most Will Access Internet Via Mobile By 2020

Our cell phones have become our mobile computers. Sure, we can still make calls with them, but they are our lifeline to content - information and entertainment. Feel lost when our cell phone has lost power, or worse still, we left it behind. Today, our cellphone takes pictures, plays our songs, locates where we are going, and gets us scores, stock prices, Facebook updates, and tons of other information. The more we use it, the more valuable it becomes.

And so the Pew Research does not surprise many. "Wireless devices will be the primary means of connecting to the Internet for most people worldwide in 2020, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project." In fact, it is more likely to occur far sooner.

What is next for the cell phone is easy to predict: convergence. "Others believe the limitations of the mobile screen will remain a barrier to wider types of use. According to Hal Varian, chief economist at Google: 'The big problem with the cell phone is the UI (user interface), particularly on the data side. We are waiting for a breakthrough.'"

Apple's iPhone has already brought a better UI to the masses and more innovation should be on its way. What I expect is that the cell phone must more easily "talk" to the PC and TV. Watch an ad on TV or PC or mobile screen and interact with it through your phone. Capture a coupon to virtually bring to your supermarket. Get the closest car dealership to your GPS location. Play games between your mobile screen and the PC or TV. Vote, collect a recipe, share a show with a friend.

Advertising is moving toward more interactive capability. Add to that the mobility of the cell phone and let these devices interact with one another. Who needs a TV remote when your cell phone is by your side. Yes, we want to use the phone to access the internet, but we also want the phone to interact with the other devices in our lives!