In 4 Years Your Phone Will Be Smarter Than You (and the rise of cognizant computing)

JetsonsYour smartphone will be smarter than you by the year 2017. That is from an analysis from market research firm Gartner. It won't have much to do with hardware. It will come from the data and computational ability in the cloud. Phones will appear smarter than you - if you equate smarts with being able to recall information and make inferences. It was a part of a discussion of smart devices at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2013, November 10-14 in Barcelona.

What made mobile phones smartphones was new tech and and apps, Cameras, enabling locations and sensors, and tying them into apps and social interactions via apps has been the biggest trend the past 5 years. The easier things are already in place - scheduling, sending out reminders, letting you know what friends are doing or where they are, alerting you to things in your vicinity.

A newer trend is having phones that predict your next action based on personal data already gathered. This is called cognizant computing and many people see it as the next step in personal cloud computing.

Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, says “If there is heavy traffic, it will wake you up early for a meeting with your boss, or simply send an apology if it is a meeting with your colleague. The smartphone will gather contextual information from its calendar, its sensors, the user’s location and personal data.”

Of course, allowing your phone to do these things is part of the equation. And not everyone is okay with granting permissions to apps, opening up their data and feeling confident in allowing apps and services to take control of aspects of their lives.

This idea of cognizant computing is said to occur in 4 phases. Those phases (according to Gartner) are sync me, see me, know me and be me.



4 phases



Sync me is familiar to users and probably appreciated: store copies of digital assets and sync them across devices. So, my iPhone knows what my iPad knows and my cloud documents are on all my devices, including several laptops.

See me is here in its early stages and means devices can track history and context. The phone knows where I am now and where I have been.

Using the data from those two phases (which many of us have granted permissions for), phones can move to phases 3 and 4. That's when things get a bit scary for some people. When my phone "knows me" it act act proactively. Do I want to purchase something now based on my earlier spending habits?

And, taking it a step further, how much do I want my device to "Be Me" and act on my behalf? It will pay my bills. It will send selected friends and relatives birthday greeting and pick out a gift. (After all, I have tied my wife's purchases to my account and it knows where she likes to shop and what she likes to buy.)

Scary? Or are you happy to let that little package of power make your life "easier"?

I still haven't gotten my jetpack or flying car, but I might get some cousin of The Jetsons' Rosie that can slip into my pocket - and into my life - quite easily.



 


Include Mobile When Blending Courses

blender

Blended learning is not a new course design concept. It refers to a mixing of different learning environments. Usually, that means blending traditional face-to-face (F2F) classroom methods and class time with online and computer-mediated activities.

There is not one definition of blended learning. In fact, I hear the terms "blended," "hybrid," and "mixed-mode" used interchangeably.

In blended learning, technology always plays a bigger role than in the traditional classroom. As schools "allow" and actually encourage the use of smartphones and tablets, these devices allow the F2F experience to overlap with the experiences outside the classroom.
diagram Students bringing their own devices to campus (known as BYOD) changes things. It changes technology policies and it lowers the cost of technology for blended-learning. Statistics are always changing but at least 75 percent of teens now own cellphones, according to a Pew Research Center report. Is there a socio-economic, racial "gap" with mobile technology as there was in the early days of personal computers and Internet access? Another Pew study reported that African Americans and English-speaking Hispanics are slightly more likely than whites to own a cell phone.

Remember 1:1 computing? Mobile devices, particularly smartphones, bring us much closer to that as a reality. And that also makes blended learning more viable.

The real blending may occur when students don't see a big difference between the experience in a classroom and the experience outside.

Mobile doesn't eliminate all the issues with blended courses - and many of those issues have been around since the earliest days of online learning. Some things are harder to do - maybe impossible - to do online. Assessments on mobile devices require considerations of academic integrity.

But anyone considering designing or teaching in a blended setting needs to be be making mobile part of the design.


Free Apps Dominate Downloads

apps


If you look across all mobile platforms, nearly 90% all app store downloads this year will be free apps.

Add to that information from a report from Gartner that says that 90 percent of the apps that users pay for will cost less than $3. The report, "Market Trends: Mobile App Stores, Worldwide, 2012."

App downloads in 2011 were at the 24.94 billion mark from Google Play/Android Market, the Apple App Store, and others. Of those, 88.4 percent (about 22 billion) were for free apps, while about 2.9 billion were for paid apps.

This year? The forecast is for 83% growth with annual growth projected at 50 to 79 percent each year through 2016.

What does this mean for educators? As mobile continues to move into classrooms, sometimes only because students bring it there, we will find ourselves using more and more free and cheap apps rather than traditional, expensive software.

That makes money available from school budgets and from students' budgets that could be used in other ways. It also open the door to using more mobile technology without considering software cost as a critical factor.

Read more: Free Apps To Make Up 89 Percent of Mobile Downloads This Year