Gartner Predicts Future of Mobile Apps, Cognizant Computing

In a few years’ time, apps will become one of the most popular tools among consumers around the world for computing. Research group Gartner predicts that by 2017, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times and that each individual user will provide data to more than 100 apps daily. This usage is estimated to generate about $77 billion in global revenue. And by 2015, cognizant computing will be key to enabling smart home functions.

According to Gartner’s research director Sandy Shen, cognizant computing can “predict user needs and complete tasks without users initiating the action or interfering with the service.” It takes intelligent actions based on users’ data and preferences without being prompted, streamlining even the simplest tasks around the house — like turning on the water heater at a certain time.

The blog post from Gartner says that large service providers like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple are “likely to have a head start” when it comes to cognizant computing because of their preexisting relationships with consumers. As a result, they have a large repository of already available data that they can analyze, which Gartner notes is a “key aspect” in cognizant computing.

“Mobile apps are often a vehicle for cognizant computing, in which the data gathered through the use of the apps and the analytics around it are becoming more important in both volume and value,” the blog post says. It adds that it can be so sophisticated that consumer brands know a lot about individual consumers, like their demographics, location, preferences and habits.

“Mobile apps have become the official channel to drive content and services to consumers,” said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. “This connection to consumer services means users are constantly funneling data through mobile apps. As users continue to adopt and interact with apps, it is their data — what they say, what they do, where they go — that is transforming the app interaction paradigm.”