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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New Mobile Innovation

On one hot afternoon, I was having nasilemak with my friends for lunch. My friend complained about how horribly hot the weather was and wondered loudly why isn’t there a mobile app that allowed a phone user to use the phone as a fan.

Mobile phones had improved so much over the past ten years. Once upon a time, we were happy to own a bulky, heavy mobile phone that allowed us to call and SMS. As mobile phones got smaller and lighter, we expected it to take pictures, play music, allow us to surf the internet and visit sites with mobile web design and many more.

Now, mobile app development is so advanced that we expect our phones to be capable of doing anything and everything for us, instead of just helping us identify unknown incoming numbers through internet search and to provide us with community report within seconds (Whoscall), or to use the phone’s camera to translate Chinese characters into English (Waygo).

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Information Week asked several futurists and industry experts to describe some life-changing mobile technologies and their impact on our lives that are either already in existence or would exist within the next two years.

Pay By Phone

Instead of pulling out one’s wallet to pay with cash, debit card or credit card, one can now use mobile phone as a mobile wallet merely by waving the phone at a point-of-sale reader to make purchases.

This started in Japan where NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest cellular carrier, launched its mobile wallet program in 2004. It uses a wireless technology called Near Field Communications (NFC), a short ranged technology designed to be embedded in mobile phone to enable its user to swipe the phone within a few centimeters of point-of-sale terminals to make payments.

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DoCoMo handles payment in two ways. The first is DoCoMo’s Osaifu-Keitai service, which enables the user to download credits worth 10,000 yen per month to the phone. The amount of purchase is deducted from the amount of credit carried on the phone when the user waves the phone in front of the terminal.

The second method has the phone functioning as a credit card, where the credit card company will send the bill to the user separately.

Commanding Presence

Many WhatsApp users have been complaining about the new double blue tick, which allowed fellow users to know if the messages they sent to their friends had been read or not, thus pressuring mobile phone users to reply to messages even when they don’t want to do so.

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Soon, these users will have more things to complain about, as supercharged “presence” capabilities will tell a user where a person is, what time zone they are in, when will they arrive, what is the best way to get in touch with them and many more.

Of course, it is not all bad news. According to Chris Isaac, a partner in the Price Water House Coopers Advisory, one will be able to program presence capabilities to enable the phone to only rings when a specific person calls, whereas other calls will be automatically routed to voice mail.

Isn’t it a marvelous time to go mobile?

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