Gaming Expands Even Further
Gaming exploded in 2009 – especially with fantastic shooters such as Alive-4ever on the iPhone, with gameplay and graphics that look like something you’d see on Xbox 360 (granted, as a casual game). Yet, these games also point to a trend where mobile gaming gets much more graphical (like the jump from PS2 to PS3) and gamers will be able to connect with each other for multiplayer shootouts, albeit with not just one or two players, but rather a roomful of 32 gamers all at once.
Moreover, with faster processors and faster carrier service (not to mention faster Wi-Fi), gamers will be able to connect for an experience that is more like the recently released Uncharted 2: Among Thieves where a multiplayer match involves high-resolution graphics, co-operative play with two players on screen at the same time, incredibly fluid gameplay mechanics, and much more realistic console-like sound. At the heart of this new technology: Faster networks and ubiquitous connections for anytime gaming with anyone.
“The chips running the device will be highly efficient,” says Jackson. “Like today, your phone will have sufficient memory to store oodles of information, but it will also be connected to the Internet in an ambient way through whatever network makes the most sense (WiFi, cellular… even peer-to-peer possibly).”
Social Networking and Connections
The Palm Pre and Motorola Droid showed how to aggregate social networking – you can add accounts and view contact info and e-mails in one thread. This multi-service aggregation is just the first step in the smartphone’s coming evolution, however. In 2015, there will be no need to use Facebook on a computer anymore, because your connections will occur in real-time when you meet people in person, swapping contact info, photos, and even personal details (like who you are dating or what you plan to do later that night) in an instant.
This kind of socially-aware service will work like the Poken (www.poken.com) in that it won’t require a lot of user interaction – just enter into an area where someone is actively sharing their Facebook profile or Twitter status and the phones (using a newly emerged networking standard) will swap data even between devices from different manufacturers and on different carriers.
Consumer analyst Michael Gartenberg says this social integration will spawn entirely new services and features on smartphones in 2015. For example, once everyone is easily connected through a smartphone portal, you can walk into a room and search for people who like soccer or Peter Jackson films. New marketing paradigms will emerge as well as companies sell their wares to a target audience. This Minority Report-style marketing will explode, offering services and deals to customers as they walk into Starbucks based on a specific purchase history.
And what is the ultimate conclusion? Once these faster, more location-aware, service oriented phones emerge, the PC will quickly become secondary. As such, the smartphone of 2015 and beyond won’t just be an essential traveling companion – it may be your one-stop connection to the computing world at large.