Yes this has been a prediction every year and nothing substantial has happened till Square and Google Wallet got introduced. Its expected that the new Android devices will bring NFC devices to millions of users in 2012. Businesses will start pushing offers, coupons and recommendations electronically on mobile phones over the air using internet, NFC tags and QR code. Payments will be the next obvious thing they will do with their phones after redeeming the offer at the Point of Sale. Mass transit companies will also use NFC for ticket purchase, storage and validation. Mobile Payments will be enabled and driven by
- Google: Google checkout is now Google Wallet. All of google's payment services will be focussed on mobile now. Already deployed at their partner stores across US. They are working with Credit card companies and Public transit companies for partnerships; NJ transit to start with.
- Square: Biggest adoption seen till now. Mastercard's strategic investment. Their technology doesn't have dependencies other than internet connection. Most definitely Apple will acquire them
- Paypal: Already started out trials in Home Depot stores for mobile and Paypal credit card payments
The mobile device enabling you to encounter things as a pleasant surprise. Almost all the contenders are right now in the data collection stage to find out people's likes and dislikes and what all they do. Location based services will drive this as they go on a recommendation mode making way for mobile phones to be the best companion.
- Square: The Card case app has an explore feature recommending places. It alerts store keeper about your presence who in turn will call you by name, get your regular drink fixed, pushes rewards, offers etc.
- Foursquare: Gradually going away from the checkin model to a recommendation service as they have already collected enough information from the checkins. Radar on phones and the new Redesiged explore feature on web is a start.
- Google Places: Currently in data collection mode using Google plus checkins, Location history, Schemer and Google map maker. They are trying to acquire Pinterest (At the time of writing this).
- Facebook: Knows about you quite a bit. Bought Gowalla who was on the path of becoming a travel companion.
- Kevin Rose's Oink: You rate things and not places. Has good potential for Google acquisition.
Phones will get bigger screens. More Phablets will come to the market. Single hand operations will become more difficult, but no one is likely to complain. Mobile phone application navigation patterns will change to anchor more towards the bottom of the screen. OS providers will be forced to get their voice action capabilities right as typing and tapping becomes a two hands activity. Trousers will get bigger pockets. An entire ecosystem will be introduced to handle the user problems the bigger screens create.
Voice will find more adoption on mobile but not as a virtual assistant. The curiosity Siri created will make users want more of voice interaction with their phones. This will be rekindled coz of the bigger device screens. More and more devices, mobile and non mobile, will start supporting voice. Google will come with a better version of their voice actions and will integrate to all their devices including tv. Siri will come out of beta. Nuance, who powers Siri has already announced Dragon TV a voice control platform for all TV makers. Kinect as a platform will be used in more use cases like retail. Cars will get integrated voice Actions to control media. Voice will be primarily used in relaxed use cases like to control media/games which will improve adoption which will pave for more adoption in the future.