Gartner picks eight mobile technologies to watch

Research firm makes predictions for mobile world

Mobile user interfaces and a new version of Bluetooth top Gartner's list of mobile technologies to watch in 2009 and 2010.

Gartner puts Bluetooth 3.0 at the top of the list because it is likely to feature an ultra-low power option that will enable it to perform new applications, such as heart monitoring. Bluetooth 3.0 specs are due to be released this year, and Gartner projects that Bluetooth 3.0 devices will start hitting the shelves sometime in 2010.

Gartner ranks Mobile User Interfaces as the second-most important technology to watch, predicting that mobile device manufacturers will face intense market pressure to create the most user-friendly interface. The result, says Gartner, is that companies will have to adapt their business-to-employee and business-to-customer applications to keep up with a rapidly-evolving standard for mobile user interface.

Rounding out the list of mobile technologies to watch are:

--  Location-sensing technologies that can provide up-to-date information on users' locations to enhance mobile social networking applications.

--  802.11n, the wi-fi standard that Gartner says is "the first wi-fi technology to offer performance on par with 100Mbit/s Ethernet."

--  New display technologies such as active pixel displays and pico projectors.

--  The mobile web, which Gartner touts as "a low-cost way to deliver simple mobile applications" to several different devices

--  Cellular broadband, which is expected to gain more attention with the advent of Long-Term Evolution over the next two years.

--  Near field communication technology that will allow users to securely send data to each others' handsets by placing them within a centimetre or two of each other.

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