The next killer app for mobiles?

You know what? Mobile software is not about bits, coding and all that. It’s about understanding trends and what our motivations, problems and limitations are. I don’t really know can you say that there’s been a killer app since short messaging (SMS)… That’s one thing that got adopted by a huge majority of mobile users. It’s pretty obvious, just take a walk in a city, enter the traffic terminals, shops – keep your eyes wide open; observe. It’s real fun! You can sense what people are looking for, at least you get some tips about it.

Where I see possibilities for new software & services is:
– logistics. Very easy to use, intelligent routing of people point-to-point
– exploration: satisfying our curiosity for getting more information; when you’re at certain place, you can download text and images of that place
– meeting people. Dynamic matching, getting to know casually. Business partnering, dating; all done with the help of a mobile. Currently we have basically listings of people and pictures, but there’s no geographical info. And no dynamism: the systems do not yet keep you updated about what really going around you, right now!

Logistics applications will be a major hit. Why? Because they are extremely useful. They really bind the code into real world, and make a big difference to the way we live. These applications can really suggest optimizations to our daily patterns. And there’s even more interesting genre of logistics apps: the ones that utilize our movement, and that of others; matching people with the same mission (“Do you want to suggest to Dave you share the car to work? You both have the same route.”).

The success of a system is of course the sum of all parts: the device, the network, applications software, and the operating system the phone runs. When all click into place, voila! Oh yeah, and add one more ingredient: the users! Without, you can bath in your private shampagne, but the skeleton needs some live meat to make it tick.

What we currently have, is a machines, more machines!! -phase. We get all these new mobile models, probably several each month. It’s good, this is a necessary thing for mobile evolution, but it’s not the hardware itself that should evolve.

The mobile world is an interesting one. I’m looking forward to getting some of those apps. I know there are legions of coders at work on the subject. So it will be anytime soon that someone blows the bank.

I haven’t tried yet, but would certainly want to get my hands on iPhone. Saw couple of those here in Helsinki / Finland. They’re not very popular yet. But all the things I saw convinced me that it’s going to be a pop machine. I really liked the large screen real estate. I think it is something that transforms the use possibilities in a major way. Instead of having a Web page rendering on a tiny backyard, you can now have it basically without modifications.

Have a good weekend! 🙂

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