Ericsson pushes for smartphones to become the heart of Digital Cities

In a new Ericsson ConsumerLab report, smartphone users in São Paolo, Beijing, New York, London and Tokyo were asked about their interest in 18 new services relating to important aspects of city life. They were asked to evaluate new service concepts related to the areas of city life they are most satisfied with - the availability of shopping, restaurants, and leisure facilities.

Ericsson took three aspects of life that city dwellers were most satisfied with, plus the three they were least satisfied with, then presented three service concepts for each of the categories – making 18 in total. The areas that residents are most satisfied with are shopping, restaurants/cafes, and leisure facilities. The three that attracted most dissatisfaction were childcare/elderly care, communication from city authorities, and traffic. Some examples of new services included: social restaurant guides, a digital real-time trainer, situational shopping recommenders, mobile menus and table reservations, and same-day goods delivery. Download the report to see them all.

“Mass demand for new ICT services can change city life, beyond what we recognize, in just three years,” said Michael Björn, Head of Research at Ericsson ConsumerLab. “Smartphone services related to shopping, eating out and finding entertainment can drastically improve people's satisfaction with life in cities. Smartphone services can also alleviate dissatisfaction, and expectations are high on the market to make these services available.”

The research found that smartphone owners expect that market availability of the 18 tested services will treble in just one year. In three years they expect availability will be five times what it is today, turning these concepts into mass market services.

Traffic is the number one source of dissatisfaction in cities, and 47 per cent of smartphone owners in the survey expressed interest in a personal navigator that provides the best travel information for all modes of indoor and outdoor transport, from walking to driving. Almost half of smartphone owners predict that mobile operators will be key in providing this particular service.

“The results of this study show that consumers welcome innovation in many areas of their everyday experiences in the city,” concluded Björn. The study was conducted online and gathered responses from 7,500 smartphone users.

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