One of the most influential and clairvoyant books on mobile trends is Howard Rheingold’s 2002 Smart Mobs.Howard accurately predicted many of the trends we now see as common such as:
The growth of smartphones
The intersection between mobile and social media
The use of mobile devices to mobilize protests (thus the term Smart Mobs). This last point came into clear focus with the Middle East Arab Spring and the recent riots in London triggering the British government’s threat to shut down social networks.
For those that never read this groundbreaking book, I encourage you to do so as many of the concepts are still emerging. As an airline recently told me during an interview,”We must have a mobile presence as our passengers by definition are mobile”. The industry can no longer can think of mobile as just as another customer touchpoint, as many are beginning to recognize mobile’s potential as a new platform. I firmly believe that mobile devices represent the single most important technological change permanently altering the travel industry and creating a new environment for true personalized CRM and marketing. Combine that with the explosion of tablets (especially with low end tablets coming from Amazon and B & N) and we are in the midst of a sea change as dramatic as the explosion of the Web in the late 1990s.