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Horizon Report – mobile computing

February 4, 2010

[This is part of a series on the Horizon Report, identifying technologies likely to impact teaching, learning, or creative inquiry. Notre Dame hosts a Horizon Report event on February 11.]

Mobile computing refers to being on-line while on-the-go — smart phones, netbooks, laptops, or PDAs connecting to the Internet through phone service or wi-fi. This technology is expected to make its mark within the next year or so.

This category has appeared repeatedly on Horizon Report lists, and there is little doubt that mobiles are going to be a big part of the technology landscape for the foreseeable future. But no one can tell you what kind of mobile devices will be the most popular. Will they run the Apple iPhone OS, Windows Mobile, Google Android or some other mobile operating system? What features will become standard – GPS, camera, accelerometer, light sensor, radio, compass, coffeemaker…?

Add powerful applications to extensive hardware capabilities and the potential of these devices becomes staggering – field data entry, image recognition, augmented reality, document retrieval are just scratching the surface. At Notre Dame, students have begun to learn how to write applications for smart phones, a mobile website for the university is in the beta test stage, mobile-accessible blogs are beginning to pop up, and cell phones are being used in lieu of clickers in some classes.

Further reading

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