Predictions for Top Ten Mobile Technologies for 2010-2011

Gartner, Inc, one of the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, recently published a report in which it identified the technologies that will "evolve in ways that affect corporate strategies, significant numbers of customers or employees will adopt or expect them, or will address particular mobile challenges that organizations will face." To read the whole report you'd have to shovel out 95 bucks---so instead of paying the pretty penny, we are bringing you a brief overview. Here are Gartner's top ten predictions for 2010-2011: Bluetooth 3.0 and 4.0 -- While Bluetooth 3.0 is now available to tap WiFi for faster data transmission, in 2011 Bluetooth 4.0 will introduce a new low-energy (LE) mode that will enable communication with external peripherals and sensors, says Gartner. Bluetooth 4.0 and its LE technology "will enable a range of new sensor-based business models in industries such as fitness, healthcare, and environmental control and will be used by handset and PC peripherals to enable new functions, such as PCs that autolock when users move away from them," says the research group. Earlier this month, the Bluetooth SIG announced that Bluetooth 4.0 devices will start arriving in the fourth quarter of this year.

The mobile web -- By 2011, over 85 percent of handsets will offer web browsers, says Gartner. Meanwhile, the growth in smartphones with relatively large and high-resolution screens will expand mobile web usage, making it possible to deliver some B2C applications using conventional Web tools without adaptation, says the research group.

Mobile widgets -- Installable web applications that use technologies such as JavaScript and HTML provide a convenient way to deliver simple, connected applications, especially those involving real-time data updates, says Gartner. Widgets are said to be increasingly popular as a way to test demand for an app before undertaking expensive native development.

Platform-independent mobile AD tools -- Because of the increasing diversity of mobile platforms over the next few years (no consolidation in sight, suggests Gartner), cross-platform application development (AD) tools will continue to be in high demand as a way to reduce software development costs, says the research firm. We're not sure which particular tools Gartner has in mind, but Nokia's Qt comes to mind as one contender.

App stores -- According to Gartner, app stores will play several roles in organizations' B2C and B2E strategies: as a distribution channel for mobile applications, as a commercial channel to sell applications and content, and as a conduit for providing new options for application sourcing. Links to the cloud are also said to be a growing app store trend.

Enhanced location awareness -- By the end of 2011, Gartner projects that over 75 percent of devices shipped in mature markets will include a GPS, enabling a wide range of B2E and B2C location-aware applications. The report cautions that organizations should be sensitive to local privacy regulations, and to ensure that the applications are "opt in."

Cellular broadband -- The performance of multimegabit wireless broadband, presumably referring to 4G services such as LTE and WiMAX (now available in mobile devices such as Samsung's Mondi MID, pictured), will continue to increase. This trend will expand the range of applications that no longer require fixed networking, while making cellular broadband a more effective fallback, says Gartner. 4G is also said to be expanding the viability of e-book players and media players.

Touchscreens -- Touchscreens will be included in over 60 percent of mobile devices shipped in Western Europe and North America in 2011, says the research firm. Other touchscreen trends are said to include the use of multi-touch interfaces and haptics.

M2M -- The "very fragmented" M2M (machine-to-machine) market is nevertheless growing at over 30 percent per year, with low-cost M2M modules enabling a wide range of new networked devices and business models, says Gartner. Key applications are said to include smart grid, meter reading, security/surveillance, automotive systems, vending and point of sale, remote monitoring, and track and trace.

Device-Independent Security -- A variety of security technologies, application technologies, and sourcing options are enabling a new app security model that is less tightly tied to specific devices and platforms, "and that, in many cases, do not require security tools to be installed on the client," says Gartner. Such technologies are said to include thin-client architectures, applications as a service, platform-independent forms of network access control (NAC), portable personality, virtualization, and hosted security services, such as "in the cloud" virus scanning.

You can purchase the entire report here for 95 dollars.