February 2, 2015 2:24:41 pm
While the focus shifts from mobile first to mobile only, Internet will soon change accordingly. Technology itself will get impacted by the way people behave around, respond to and consume it. Sunil Kamath, VP for South Asia, Opera Software shares six ways in which the entire landscape will pan out in 2015.
1. Localization of content gains focus
For a long time, language has been a constraint for India to come online, but that’s gradually being resolved. Companies ranging from app makers to software developers and handset manufacturers are working on democratizing technology, by making it available in a variety of languages. Take the latest HTC One on Android, for example; it comes bundled with local language support so that users will not have to download any external application to access their smartphones in Hindi. The government is also readying the e-Bhasha platform, as part of its Digital India campaign, which will develop and disseminate digital language content to India’s largely non-English speaking population.
2. Mobile wallets provide financial inclusion
With the proliferation of mobile devices and transactions via the web and apps, mobile wallets are likely to become a more popular form of making payments. The government is already thinking of reviving a plan wherein they will distribute 25 million smartphones over the next five years. The digitization of utility services, like paying electricity bills online, a phone recharge or an IRCTC payment, will also get a boost.
Companies like PayTM, Free charge and MobiKwik are luring users by offering attractive incentives. Affiliates to these companies are also helping to popularize this payment mechanism. Meru Cabs is currently offering a 30% discount on payments via its Cab-wallet.
In addition to the convenience mobile wallets offer, they have the potential to reach people in the remotest of towns (since they now have mobile phones with them) and help in expanding the financial inclusion we’ve been trying to achieve as a country.
3. Rise in video content viewership
The demand for viewing videos on the go is significantly on the rise. According to a recent Ericsson study, video consumption on mobile devices is rising in India, with 40% of respondents saying they use mobile devices to watch videos late at night in bed, 25% while commuting, 23% while having dinner and 20% while shopping.
With the onset of 4G in India, increased usage of video streaming and improvements in the mobile video experience, video content viewership in India is surely going to rise. At Opera, in anticipation of this growing consumer trend, we too have added a video optimization feature to our products such as the Opera Mini web browser and the data-savings app, Opera Max. High definition videos will be optimized so that mobile users can view them with minimum or zero buffering.
4. Rise of wearable devices
From Google Glass to the Pebble and Samsung Galaxy Gear S, wearables have become a reality, and they’re well within the reach of the average consumer. The internet of things and the possibility of interconnected devices has wearables at its core; hence, its prospects are bright for the next year. As people discover the value of these wearable devices, the demand and supply will catch up with each other; health and fitness has been the first use case promoted by these wearable devices, but other usage areas will catch up soon.
5. Intuitiveness gains priority
Whether it’s embracing artificial intelligence or augmented intelligence, device intuitiveness is going up, and it’s going to surround us in the next year. Google Now is one example. Another is the recent launch of Opera Coast, a revolutionary browser for iOS from Opera Software that showcases built-in intuitiveness , by making the functionality gesture friendly and native to the navigation of iOS devices.
6. Mobile advertising goes native
With mobile becoming core to the web experience, all eyes are going to turn to mobile advertising. According to a recent State of Mobile Advertising report from Opera Mediaworks, India is the single-most powerful driver of the Asia-Pacific market, with mobile-ad impression volume growing by 260% since July 2013. And, this is with only approximately 20% of India’s population having access to the web. With smartphone population density yet to explode, the potential to attract even more attention to mobile ads is huge.
What is also bound to happen is mobile ads going native. This is already happening in some areas, but it will go mainstream in 2015. The potential of having interactive, rich-media ads on the mobile screen will provide an immersive experience and provide greater engagement with the viewing public.
– Sunil Kamath, VP for South Asia, Opera Software
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