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Where Mobile’s Going in 2013

Today's post comes from Scott Snyder, Ph.D., who is President, Chief Strategy Officer & Co-founder, of Mobiquity, a professional services firm working with the Global 2000 to create innovative mobile solutions and apps that drive business value. He is also author of “The New World of Wireless: How to Compete in the 4G Revolution.”

As a mobile solutions company, we have the good fortune of being on the bleeding edge of market trends, of understanding what our clients need to create business value and how mobile is so integrally tied to both of these. With that in mind, below are my mobile predictions for 2013.

1) mPayments, Loyalty and Rewards Converge – Consumers are getting comfortable paying for goods with various forms of mPayments solutions, from barcode-based (LevelUp and Starbucks) to NFC-based (Google Wallet and Isis) to person-to-person (Dwolla and Venmo). As a result, mobile transactions are expected to hit $1.3T by 2017. In 2013, retailers will further the mPayment momentum by integrating deals and reward points to loyalty systems. Intermediaries like Passbook, for example, may allow you to pay for a soda at a vending machine using your BJs or Stop & Shop points and perform the credit-currency translation in the background. This disintermediation could be very disruptive to retailers and brands with strong loyalty programs, as well as credit card companies and other traditional payment providers as consumers steer towards payment types that optimize their reward benefits for each transaction.

2) Sensors go mainstream – There will be nearly 10 billion things connected by the end of 2012 and only about half of them will be phones. Yet until now the hundreds of millions of connected objects – truck fleets, environmental sensors, smart meters, etc. – were considered part of the closed “Machine-to-Machine” or M2M world, virtually inaccessible from standard consumer devices. This is changing. Fueled by the integration of technologies such as WiFi, Bluetooth, QR Codes and NFC into mobile devices, we are lowering the barrier for people to interact with objects and open up a new category of innovations we call P2M or “People to Machines.”

In 2013 we will start to see more interaction between people and objects. With a few touches on your smartphone or tablet, you can check for an open parking spot from a meter, text your oven to preheat before you get home, turn the air conditioner on or off, get a tweet from your pet’s collar when they eat, or view the ingredients of a product when you scan it.

3) Mobile drives real behavior change – The convergence of smartphones, social media, sensors, analytics, and big data are enabling a new level of precision around user interactions, more than ever before. This precision can be leveraged to drive value-added interventions for mobile users to modify and sustain behavior change in a variety of industries like health and wellness, energy, financial services, and retail. Almost $25B will be spent on technology-enabled behavior change solutions by 2014, yet to date, most solutions have failed by treating every user the same with a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Mobile makes it possible to make interventions more personalized and context-based to maximize the chance the user will follow it. This has the chance to drive lasting change in everything from raising patient adherence when taking medicine to improving teen driving habits.

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