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Smartphones will soon be able to predict a consumer's next move, their next purchase or interpret actions based on what it knows, according to information technology research and advisory company Gartner Inc. This insight will be performed based on an individual's data gathered using cognisant computing, the next step in personal cloud computing.
"Smartphones are becoming smarter, and will be smarter than you by 2017. 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," Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner, said in a release.
"Mobile phones have turned into smartphones thanks to two things -technology and apps. Technology has added features such as cameras, locations and sensors, while apps have connected those to an array of functions that, for the most part, add and improve our day to day life from a social, knowledge, entertainment and productivity point of view," she said.
According to Milanesi, what smartphones can do through apps has improved and broadened thanks to the personal cloud. "We assume that apps will acquire knowledge over time and get better with improved predictions of what users need and want, with data collection and response happening in real-time," she added.
The first services that will be performed automatically will generally help with menial tasks, and significantly time-consuming or time-wasting tasks such as time-bound events (calendaring) such as booking a car for its yearly service, creating a weekly to-do list, sending birthday greetings, or responding to mundane email messages.
Gradually, as confidence in the outsourcing of more menial tasks to the smartphone increases, consumers are expected to become accustomed to allowing a greater array of apps and services to take control of other aspects of their lives. This will be the era of cognisant computing, Gartner said.
It said that by 2017, mobile phones will be smarter than people not because of an intrinsic intelligence, but because the cloud and the data stored in the cloud would provide them with the computational ability to make sense of the information they have so they appear smart.
"Phones will become our secret digital agent, but only if we are willing to provide the information they require," Milanesi said,adding regulatory and privacy issues, as well as the level of comfort users will have in sharing this information, will differ considerably across age groups as well as geographies.
To reach a complete personal cloud experience, cognisant computing consists of four stages: Sync Me; See Me; Know Me; Be Me. Sync Me and See Me are currently happening, while Know Me and Be Me are still to occur.
Stating that cognisant computing will become one the strongest market forces affecting the entire ecosystems and value chains across IT over the next two to five years Gartner said monetisation will flow from the increased knowledge of the consumer and the fine-tuning of offers that can now be achieved, and are increasingly perceived as personal and highly relevant, which should lead to an increase in spend. The mobile commerce opportunities are vast as the smartphone is empowered to make purchases via the consumer's mobile wallet or credit card, all via their mobile phone.
"It is about having the right rules and permissions in place set by the user so that only actions that are pre-approved will happen, rather than the smartphone making 'rogue' purchasing decisions," Milanesi said.