The past year has been a busy one for the mobile technology market, as organizations continue to ramp up their bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs and roll out smartphones, tablets and other products to their more mobile employees. Here are five top developments and trends that we covered in 2014.
1. Wearable Technology: A study released early in the year by global research consultancy TNS showed that awareness levels of wearable products such as watches, wristbands and eyeglasses was high, yet user adoption was not following suit. Of the 1,000 U.S. individuals surveyed, only 1% were actually using the wearable technology.
There are a number of reasons why consumers are reluctant to adapt to wearing the devices, said Brian Cooper, senior vice president of TNS. The technology is still quite expensive for mass adoption, he said, but in addition the technology forces a change in behavior, and change is often slow.
2. Mobile Apps: Gartner Inc. in a report predicted that by 2017, mobile applications will be one of the most popular computing tools for users worldwide and mobile users will provide personalized data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day.
Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers, said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. The firm said brands and businesses were already using mobile apps as a primary component of their user engagement strategies, and as the use of mobile devices expands into other areas of consumer and business activities, mobile apps will become even more significant.
3. Hardware Security for Mobile Devices: It's quickly becoming a priority market as maturing applications for mobile finance or government-level use increasingly demand security at the core, research firm ABI Research reported.
Without this security assurance, applications for mobile commerce will have difficulty getting off the ground and finding adoption by the big card payment providers, ABI said. The firm predicted that the mobile hardware security market would reach $1 billion by the end of 2014.
4. Enterprise Priorities: Mobility is the most important digital technology priority for large enterprises, according to a global study by consulting and outsourcing firm Accenture. Some 43% of about 1,500 C-level executives surveyed in 14 countries ranked mobility as a top one or two priority, with 77% placing it in the top five.
5. Mobile Convergence: More than one third of enterprises (35%) expected the convergence of mobile, social media, analytics, cloud and connected products to increase their sales in existing markets, according to the research.
The combination of mobile and social technologies is proving to be an effective way for companies to reach potential customers, Forrester Research reported. Forty-five percent of 37,000 U.S. online adults surveyed access social networking sites weekly or more from a smartphone, while 64% do so from a desktop or a laptop and 25% do so from a tablet, according to the Forrester study.
The report shows that online consumers who access social networking sites from a smartphone are more likely to read, comment, like or share content posted by a company than their PC counterparts.
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