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OCAD issues report on the future of mobile in Ontario

The presence and capacity of mobile devices have outstripped the services available on them, according to a new report from OCAD University, but dealing with this problem could provide ample opportunity for Ontario, including job creation. 

The Taking Ontario Mobile report examines, "how to engage mobility in order to better realize the full potential of all of Ontario's residents, bring significant increases in productivity, create and retain jobs in the knowledge industries, allow inclusion and engagement, and build on Ontario's extant leadership in the broadcast of mobile industries."

The goal is to lay out some courses Ontario should be charting in order to become more productive, create more jobs, and and increase engagement with the development of new mobile strategies.

In general terms, the report argues that "public services can be delivered in a more cost-effective and efficient manner" with the help of mobile technology -- important at a time where deficit-fighting is the government's prevailing concern. More specifically, the report considers mobile opportunities in five key sectors (some governmental and some commercial).

1) Education, including applications in primary and secondary classrooms, at the post-secondary level, and in retraining to create a more flexible workforce. 

2) Health, for instance providing more efficient care to seniors with remote monitoring.

3) Government services, where a large range of efficiencies may be found by managing data more effectively and making it available more quickly, and where mobile may be an invaluable tool for offering necessary services to rural and remote populations.

4) Cultural industries, where we already have a strong talent pool, can be made even stronger by using mobile to create larger audiences for the work we produce.

5) Commerce, especially significant given that Ontario is home to most of Canada's banks and financial institutions. "The face of m-commerce is still undeveloped," the report finds, "and the area is ripe for design, creating opportunities for the traditional finance sector and for new players."

"Failing to act now," the report warns, "will disadvantage Ontario in numerous ways."

The full text of the report is available online [PDF].

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: "Taking Ontario Mobile" (OCAD)
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