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Gartner highlights 8 mobile technologies to watch
(31/08/2010 11:27:42)

What according to you will affect the sale of mobile phones? Which technologies do you think will determine the market value of handsets? Here is the answer. Analyst firm Gartner has published a report highlighting eight technologies, which it forecasts will have a huge impact on the mobile industry over the next two years. These range from new types of display, new wireless standards, and new user interfaces.

The eight technologies Gartner has identified are Bluetooth 3.0, mobile user interfaces, new displays, 802.11n, the mobile web, mobile broadband, near-field communication (NFC) and location sensing. It's important to identify technologies that are likely to evolve quickly, as these will have an impact on the success of any mobile strategies now being planned, said Gartner vice president Nick Jones in a statement.

Bluetooth 3.0, set to be approved later this year, will enable the Bluetooth stack to use additional wireless interfaces such as Wi-Fi and Ultra-Wideband whenever speed is required to transfer large volumes of data. User interfaces will be an area of acute competition in the near future according to Gartner, as phone vendors vie to differentiate their handsets. New display technologies, such as active pixel, passive and pico projectors, are expected to hit the market during 2009 and 2010.

In the interim, the 802.11n version of Wi-Fi will offer better coverage and higher speeds, providing a performance comparable to 100Mbit/s Ethernet for the first time. Gartner warned, however, that this involves a "rip and replace" upgrade that is complex to configure, requires new access points, new client wireless interfaces, new backbone networks and a new Power over Ethernet standard. Mobile broadband is already with us, the analyst said, with High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) providing up to 2Mb of bandwidth over a 3G connection.

Gartner also predicts that NFC may become significant, but mostly in emerging markets before territories such as Western Europe and the US. NFC allows for applications such as mobile payments or exchanging information by touching devices. Lastly, Gartner predicted that location awareness will become a key feature of mobile phones, in applications such as mobile presence and social networking, but the company warned that exploiting this may create new privacy and security challenges.

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