Life, future in your hand
(Flare (Pakistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Emerging mobile tech promises to completely change the way we experience life. Voice or phone call, which was the main function of a mobile phone, is now taking a back seat as data is taking over
The chief executive officer of a top mobile technology company was up for a rude shock at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, when an engineer joined him on stage, shook hands with him and claimed that his mobile phone had picked up the CEO’s credit card number during the momentary body touch.
As a puzzled audience watched agape, the engineer clicked a photograph on his mobile phone and used the CEO's body to transfer the image on a television screen to demonstrate what he called the human wire.
While technology that can pick up credit card information through a handshake can seriously interrupt human relationships and behaviour, at the same time the potential of using the human body as a wire for data transfer can be mind-boggling. It’s not hard to imagine a time when your mobile phone will tell your blood pressure and heart beat rate the moment you pick it up after getting out of bed! Earlier, the US carmaker Ford unveiled its small family car B-MAX at the World Auto Expo, Geneva. While the car made news because the company said it aimed to target the small car segment in emerging markets such as Pakistan, what escaped attention was the fact that it will be one of the most technologically-advanced cars to have come in recent times, that too in the small car segment.
The vehicle will have a mobile connectivity that can power a few lifestyle features such as emergency assistance that automatically responds to a crash by using the customer's connected mobile phone to call an emergency service directly in the local language with the location of the accident.
Welcome to the advanced information age, where the future is in your hand, literally. The mobile phone that you used only to make calls a decade ago, is already an organiser, a texting device, an MP3 player and a camera, to name just a few. It promises to soon become much more than that it will become a remote control for your life by transforming itself into an entertainment device, a payment device, a security centre, just to name a few.
Voice or phone call, which was the main function of a mobile phone, is now taking a back seat as data is taking over. Technology mavens will tell you in just about five years; data flow will be the mainstay of mobile communication worldwide with voice, apps and video occupying less than half of total usage. You must have heard about the mobile wallet that allows people to swipe the mobile phone like a credit card to make a payment. In Pakistan, mobile banking is now available, but in a limited way. In fact, in spite of a strong push by telecom operators, banking on mobile phone has not taken off, primarily because of reluctance of our banks to shift to the new technology and also because of security concerns among users.
In Pakistan, Telenor’s mobile money service Easypaisa is seeing double-digit growth month after month. Last year, more than 30 million transactions took place on the Easypaisa platform, involving a transaction volume of $700 million.
Even in an under-developed country such as Nigeria, 40 percent of all remittances from all over the world come through the mobile phone. Western Union is launching its own branded handset that will be distributed for free in Uganda and will have an embedded money transfer service to facilitate easier remittance. Very soon mobile phones will act as a proof of identity, a store of money and enable payment and money transfers. In a country like Pakistan where over 50 percent of the country's population is unbanked, mobile banking is the only answer to achieve financial inclusion.
Mobile operator Etisalat’s Mobile Baby programme, offered across its African foot-print, is focused on reducing mother and child mortality and supporting birth attendants and midwives. It is aimed at ensuring safer pregnancies and deliveries by enabling carers to quickly and accurately identify, communicate and act on obstetric emergencies.
Mobile technology has brought about an enormous upheaval in both retail and payment activities. Mobile commerce was born in 1997 when the first mobile phone-enabled Coca Cola vending machines were installed in Helsinki, Finland. The machines accepted payment via text messages. The mobile phone has already become an entertainment centre when you are away from home. Soon, it will automatically work with your home entertainment system to find programmes that will interest you and download them as a podcast to watch them on the go.
Another area that mobile technologies have transformed completely is media, which has instantly got a social dimension, and has become a two-way process already. As we go ahead, publishing too, is going to see a significant transformation, with a lot of content coming your way much faster on the mobile platform.
The future is in your hand, literally. The mobile phone that you used only to make calls a decade ago is already an organiser, a texting device, an MP3 player and a camera, to name just a few. It promises to soon become much more than that it will become a remote control for your life by transforming itself into an entertainment device, a payment device, a security centre etc.
[ Back To TMCnet.com's Homepage ]