If you didn’t make it to Barcelona, Spain this year to attend Mobile World Congress, don’t worry; Connected World editors have you covered. While the announcements were too numerous to count, a couple of themes stood out, including mobile commerce/NFC (near-field communication) solutions and new device services.
This year’s Mobile World Congress seemed to prove what we already suspected about mobile commerce—it has huge potential. For example, eBay, www.ebayinc.com, has partnered with Three.co.uk, www.three.co.uk, to deliver Android smartphones preloaded with eBay mobile apps, including PayPal. The companies hope to bring the mobile shopping experience directly to consumers.
Visa, www.corporate.visa.com, and Intel Corp., www.intel.com, will also pursue mobile-commerce solutions for smartphones and tablets thanks to a new multi-device, multi-year agreement. The goal of the collaboration is to provide a consistent, secure mobile-commerce experience across all Intel Atom-based mobile devices.
Meanwhile, MasterCard, www.mastercard.com, has unveiled Wanda, a joint venture with Telefónica, www.telefonica.com, which will provide mobile-payment solutions to customers in Latin America. MasterCard also announced other partnerships to enhance consumers’ shopping experience.
According to research firm In-Stat, www.instat.com, the number of mobile-payment transactions will increase to 45 billion per year by 2015. NFC technology is set to enable this growth, and the number of NFC-related announcements out of Mobile World Congress seems to support In-Stat’s forecast.
For instance, Gemalto, www.gemalto.com, and Sony Corp., www.sony.net, say they will develop globally compliant solutions for the growing NFC market, specifically using FeliCa contactless technology. By incorporating FeliCa into its product lineup, Gemalto hopes to provide a comprehensive range of mobile NFC services globally.
An interesting NFC solution from NXP Semiconductors, www.nxp.com, and OpenWays, www.openways.com, will allow hotel guests to bypass check in completely and use their mobile phones as room keys.
A second trend among Mobile World Congress announcement relates to device services. As one example, TomTom, www.tomtom.com, and NDrive, www.ndrive.com, entered into a three-year agreement in which TomTom will supply maps and other content to power NDrive’s location-based applicatioa>.
Also, Panasonic, www.panasonic.net, announced it will use Red Bend Software’s, www.redbend.com, vLogix Mobile solution to make Android smartphones more secure. In the event a smartphone is lost, the solution will help prevent unauthorized access to pictures, videos, document, and emails stored on the device.
While this represents just a sampling of the important and interesting announcements coming out of this week’s event, it’s clear the industry is charged up for innovation and growth in 2012.
Looking forward to the 2012 Connected World Conference, an annual event dedicated to the M2M and connected-devices space, the question will become: what value do these solutions offer? Find out how the data generated from these devices and systems can be used to drive smarter decisions in a connected world.