According to analytics behemoth Gartner, by 2017 the app craze will break out from the smartphone-tablet domain to spread onto home appliances, cars, and more of those wearable devices that flooded this year's CES. Furthermore, cognizant computing, which the analysts consider a "key enabler in smart home solutions", will ensure that we become even more app-dependent in the long run. As Gartner's prediction spells, one could end up connected to more than 100 services and apps daily by 2017.
Whew! So, what is it about apps, wearable devices, and smart vacuums that will make us question how we ever got by without them? According to the analysts, the answer is cognizant computing - the algorithmic wonders that give devices like the Moto X, and services such as Google Now, their abilities to assess our daily routines, discover common patterns, and respond contextually with relevant actions and data. Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, says that cognizant computing will eventually evolve to predict user needs and complete tasks without us initiating anything. Appliances featuring the same embedded technology that powers our smartphones will automate our homes, reacting to our presence.
Or, in the case of wearables, if your smart wrist-band detects trouble with your heart rate, it will make your phone dial 911 while sending your coordinates to the medics. Gartner believes that cognizant computing can play a "meaningful role" at home, where the technology is mostly fixed in one place and doesn't change very often, while our behaviour is (usually) routine and predictable. Once smart home and device technology evolves to a stable, working state, a lot of people will want to embrace it.
Another driving factor in our app-powered future life will be the brands whose products we consume. As mobile applications are platforms both for interaction and cognizant computing, brands and services will increasingly rely on them not only for sales, but for retrieving valuable consumer data, too. Thus, they will give apps a significant push, which will inevitably make them even more popular. Gartner estimates that mobile applications will reach more than 268 billion downloads, making more than $77 billion by 2017.
With more and more apps serving our needs from all kinds of consumer devices, it's not out of proportion to predict that we'll become increasingly connected. Up to a point where, eventually, a hundred apps and services operating with one's data, collected by smart-devices on a daily basis, will not seem unreasonable. OK, perhaps just a little?