Friday, February 15, 2008

Trends for mobile phones in 2008

Had a browse through a forbes article on eight trends for mobile phones for 2008 which I found via the mobile – weblog blog I follow via bloglines. Of interest to mlearning applications are the mobile net becoming useful, 2008 will be year of the bad touch screen as various mobile phone manufacturers play catch up with the iPhone (my Treo 700wx has a good touch screen but does not allow zoom in etc) and the dawn of the casual computer.
For the mobile net to really take off, wifi via phones needs to be standard, otherwise its too expensive to access the web on a phone. However, most phones (including the iPhone) are still attached to telecom providers who are not keen to give up their revenue streams from uses using the ‘higher end’ capabilities of their phones.
Touch screens make handling multimedia easier. For our project on compiling portfolios using mobile phones, we are mainly using the mobile phone as a evidence capturing devise. We have not been able to use the phone to actually complete the compilation of the eportfolio due to the technical limitations of a small screen, difficulty in manoeuvring around desk top based software using mobile phone keys and memory capacity of an average phone.
The dawn of the casual computer provides a degree of optimism. Ubiquitous computer access has been around for a while but lugging a laptop around & hauling it out every time you needed to check up on things is not really cool. However being able to access information by bringing out your phone is seen to be standard practice. So doing short bits of learning on your mobile phone, whether it is just surfing the web to find answers to a question or looking for a restaurant to go to becomes second nature.
I followed up the above with a look around the web to see if there was anything else interesting on trends for 2008. The usual collection of 2008 trend predictions for the year includes 2008 trends from trendwatching with a summary from marketing web, reuters had one and there was also one from a retail marketing blog. All mentioned mobile phones in some form or other plus social networking (of the internet type). The convergence of both mobility and internet based social networks are two areas that mlearning should keep exploring.

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