The library of the future is in your pocket, and over the next few years accessing information over mobile phones and other mobile devices is going to transform access to online services and the internet. This is the beginning – we’ve collected valuable data on which mobile devices are being used to access Communications content. This article examines the technological advances we have made, whilst recognising the limitations we currently face. It looks to our future path in both the short term and long term.
Smartphones offer users immediate access to both published information and also to enterprise systems such as intranets. The global availability of broadband mobile networks and the power of software-enabled applications are likely to transform the delivery of information to the business, legal and research communities. Despite the technical advances that smartphones have made, there are still user-interface limitations that need to be addressed. Apple, Google, Microsoft and Nokia are just a few of the companies targeting a global market for location-independent access. In the near term publishers and users are going to have to support multiple software platforms and a range of business models, and work out how best to capitalize on the capability to provide location-specific information.