Object Recognition is mobile feature to watch in 2012

Object Recognition (OR) apps are penned as a mobile phone technology to watch in Gartner’s Top Ten Apps report.   

OR is currently found in high-end devices that have increased sensor and processing capabilities. It allows sophisticated applications to recognise the user’s surroundings including specific objects of interest.

The analyst company believes that by 2012 OR will be a hot trend and apps will enter the mobile phone market because it has an easy-to-use interface. It assesses that we’ll soon also rely on the camera, as well as other device sensors as a communication tool and when OR features are combined with more-traditional app functions they will give users advanced search options as well as a range of entertainment and productivity functions. Google has an eye on it already.

The report focused on high-end smartphones with an average selling price of more than $300. It found that the mobile apps that had “unique features that cater to the mobile environment rather than act as a mobile extension of their online peers,” would fare much better.

“Mobile applications will be a highly competitive marketplace that attracts the interest of many stakeholders,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner. “Increasingly, mobile applications will define the user experience on high-end devices and device vendors that proactively integrate innovative apps and technologies at the platform layer will have the competitive edge.”

It seems the mobile apps market is the place to be, with Gartner predicting that it will not only generate excellent revenues – $15.9 billion by 2012 –  but will also drive hardware sales, advertising spending and technology innovation.

As well as OR other categories that have been tipped as goers in 2012 include social networking, which Gartner says is the fastest-growing mobile app category of the 19 tracked – we say it’s a bit of a no brainer.

Mobile Search also gets into the top ten apps to watch category. This is because visual search is usually related with product search to enable price comparisons or to check product information.

Gartner says to bring mobile search to the next level, the app would allow users to take actions based on the result, such as making a call or reservation, buying a ticket or placing an order.

And then comes the wheeling and the dealing apps. Mobile Commerce came in as one to watch with Gartner predicting that these will evolve to allow us to “check in” to a store to alert a retailer that you are there, or give the ability to add items to a shopping bag simply by taking a photo of an item or bar code in the physical store.

Gartner warns that although near field communication (NFC) payment will be included in high-end phones from 2011, it will not become mainstream before 2015.

Gartner expects mobile e-mail apps to grow as users worldwide to increase from 354 million in 2009 to 713 million in 2014, and account for 10.6 percent of the global mobile user base.

And it goes from communicating to er, stalking with Location-based services also tipped to reach 1.4 billion users by 2014.