Kicking off this afternoon’s Mobile SuperForum, BIA/Kelsey analyst Mike Boland walked through a number of key trends he sees affecting the development of mobile local search. These include rapid hardware improvement, the increasing local focus of mobile, the growing appreciate of mobile as its own form factor, and not just a mini-extension of the Web, and growing options for mobile products.
The SuperForum’s keynote speaker, Surojit Chatterjee, product manager, Google, talked about how Google views the mobile opportunity. He sees three overarching trends — computing, connectivity and the cloud.
Computing. The power of high-end mobile devices today is staggering. “My mobile device is more thoughtful than the PC I bought 10 years ago.”
Because mobile devices are highly personal and personalized, it’s a medium with the greatest opportunity to target at an individual level.
Connectivity. “Fifteen years ago, if I said that one day every device would be connected to the Internet, you’d laugh. It is a reality today.”
He noted the 5X usage growth of mobile search usage growth over the past two years. What is driving this growth? The proliferation of cheap data plans and the proliferation of full browsers on mobile devices.
The Cloud. The cloud concept means that all the user’s data is “stored in the cloud” and their experience from one device to the next is seamless — from the desktop to the mobile device and so on.
“Devices connected to the cloud augment your senses.” He compared today’s smartphones to a living organism with human senses — hearing (voice search), sight (digital camera and Google visual search), and skin (touch-screen interface). And this fundamentally changes how consumers interact with the technical and physical worlds.
Chatterjee said for businesses this process is seamless as well, at least from PCs to “high-end” mobile devices. Google has made it possible to design online campaigns and essentially with the click of a box, extend that campaign to smartphones.