As part of IBM’s 10th anniversary celebration of its India Research Lab, the company announced a new mobile Web initiative. The new research program will focus on bringing simple, easy-to-use mobile Web services to users whose main Web browsing device is the mobile phone, not the PC.
“The world is entering the ‘Era of the Mobile Web.’ In many countries, the mobile phone has become an electronic wallet, the window to the World Wide Web, an education device and more, and globally, mobile devices outnumber PCs, credit cards and TVs,” said Dr. Daniel Dias, director of IBM’s India Research lab, in a statement. “Today, we are launching projects that will make a mobile device even easier to use than the PC, allowing you to do everything you can with a PC and much more.”
The Indian research lab will lead the mobile Web projects, but work also will be done in eight other IBM labs in six countries.
Specific projects include: voice-enabled mobile commerce, instant translation applications, mobile computing applications, mobile social networking and mobile health care information-sharing applications.
In a statement about the project, IBM said that its Indian research facility will serve as the company’s hub “for delivering new mobile Web solutions to emerging markets around the world.”
“The rise of globalization is shifting the way business works,” said John Kelly, senior vice president of IBM Research, in the statement. “Business leaders need to anticipate how these changes will affect their ways of operating and look to new technological innovations to help them succeed in this new landscape.”
IBM’s Institute for Business Value predicts the number of mobile Web users will grow by 191% from 2006 to 2011, reaching 1 billion.