No one would disagree that the cell phone is quickly evolving into a personal mobile computing device. Thinking of a cell phone in terms of a mobile sensor platform helps solidify the true nature of the evolution of mobile technology we are witnessing around us. What makes a mobile device a sensor platform? With A-GPS becoming standard, the ability for mobile devices to sense location is obvious, but the device could sense other things as well such as temperature, motion, barometric pressure to just name a few. In addition the ubiquitous nature of broadband wireless connectivity which is on the near horizon (e.g. WiMAX, city wide Wi-Fi coverage) promises to turn the mobile phone into the ultimate thin computing device connecting to the network for information download or upload. Here are some thoughts
- Imagine taking a picture on your cell phone camera and having it automatically uploaded to your Flickr home page.
- How about providing real-time Trip Advisor reviews when you enter your hotel room based on your immediate impressions.
- Barometric and temperature sensing could provide more realistic weather updates
- Motion sensors can track your movements and provide an opportunity to share your "walking tours" with other leisure travelers
- Restaurant reviews could be accessed from an online database triggered by your location
- Applying social networking techniques to idenfity other travelers with similiar interest is another likely way mobile technology could improve the travel experience.
The number of potential applications for the travel industry is only limited by our imagination. The computer in your hand will allow travelers to interact with online content combining feedback, information and advice all based on your location. This vision is rapdily becoming a reality.
It is my pleasure to be the lead analyst for PhoCusWright on a new special report: "The Future of Mobile Travel" Sponsorship is still available. Please contact Bruce Rosard (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this timely special report.