Well we have news for IBM. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) , the number of mobile users passed the four billion mark at the end of 2008, meaning that 61 percent of the world's population owns a mobile phone.
IBM says the three focus areas for its research investment are: mobile enterprise enablement, emerging market mobility and enterprise end-user mobile experiences, and that its research effort will concentrate on analytics, security, privacy and user interface, and navigation will be concentrated on across the Research effort.
IBM has piloted some applications indicative of where it sees its research going. One such which used an IBM technology named 'BlueStar' to develop automated mobile devices and application management services for insurance claims processing.
According to IBM, it enabled the insurance enterprise to significantly reduce the amount of time required to process claims by leveraging mobile technology to locate and dispatch the most appropriate and available claims adjusters for each case. The right agents were identified through a combination of GPS location technology, presence awareness capabilities and an analysis of all candidate agents' calendar availability.
Once agents were selected, the state of their mobile phone's configuration and security status was acquired by BlueStar, and updated, if necessary. BlueStar then assisted with preparing and formatting necessary claims case information for the specific mobile device configuration, and securely transmitted all data to the device.
According to IBM, "This policy-driven approach to configuring information for on-the-go staff simplified the maintenance of mobile service products. Rather than having information dispersed on hundreds or even thousands of handheld devices, information briefly provisioned by a central server can be better monitored, upgraded and secured."
IBM Research has also established a pilot program in southern India that allows farmers, repairmen, small business owners, and consumers to post, retrieve or exchange timely information via voice on cellphones.
Content such as weather and ocean conditions, grain prices, advertisements, bus schedules, news, class schedules, product catalogues, health information and available services appointments is created and updated by entrepreneurs and municipalities.
According to IBM, "Inputting and accessing information, as well as processing transactions, such as reservations or payments, is as easy as speaking into a mobile device. In nine months of operation so far, the pilot has won rave reviews from users."
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