The mobile device is becoming a sixth sense for users.

The mobile device is becoming a sixth sense for users, harnessing various data streams to enable an enhanced sense of the world, as we explain in our report “13 Mobile Trends for 2013 and Beyond.” “We are about to enter an era where a digital sixth sense will become a reality,” remarked a contributor in a Time column yesterday that looks at how wearable tech, Google Glass and augmented reality will help drive this development. Some smartphones already contain as many as 18 specialized sensors, such as a gyroscope, GPS and an accelerometer, providing data streams that allow the mobile device to understand the user’s context. As heads-up displays like Google Glass proliferate, the mobile sixth sense will be more seamlessly integrated into daily routines. Contextual, real-time information will potentially help to make consumers’ lives easier, while brands will benefit from rich data streams.