It’s almost time to drop the “mobile” from “mobile app”

(originally published May 24, 2012)

Yesterday I had the opportunity to join in the work to create competency profiles for Digital Media at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC).  Through their research across hundreds of Canadian employers, the ICTC team identified several key subsectors of interest in the Digital Media space.  One of those subsectors was that of Mobile Application Development.  Certainly Canadian companies are having a big impact in the mobile space making the competition for top talent fiercer than ever.  As we explored the HR requirements for today and into the future we started investigating the potential platforms for Digital Media.

When we think about mobile today, we often jump to a mental image of a smart phone or perhaps a slate or tablet.  Certainly application developers today need to give thought to what form factor, what platform and, sometimes, what specific device they are targeting for their application.  If we take a quick look into the near future we can see quite a different environment.  If you’ve been following the Building Windows 8 Blog, you’ve noticed how Windows is being designed to make it easier to work across multiple screen sizes and a variety of hardware.  This coupled with cloud connectivity across devices really starts to make the word “mobile” redundant on these traditional devices.

We’re also in an era of the Internet of Things with an increasing number of specialized devices cropping up every day.  Connected vehicles, Medical Devices ,  Refrigerators,  Pop machines and more are enabled by Digital Media.  While you can’t easily put many of these devices in your pocket, they all run apps that have similar considerations to those in the “mobile” world.  It really starts to become clear that it doesn’t make sense to identify the specific device or environment when talking about this new era of computing.

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