News Scan: QR codes dominate mobile ticketing; Keep track of your dates with Datebook; more

Tools

>> QR codes to dominate mobile ticketing for next 5 years

Quick response (QR) codes are forecast to make up 48 percent of the 34 billion mobile tickets delivered over the next five years, with near-field communications (NFC) providing an additional 30 percent and short messaging service and others making up the remaining 22 percent over the same time period, according to the latest forecast by ABI Research. NFC use for mobile ticketing is forecast to increase at a 100 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years, while QR codes will continue to dominate mobile ticketing, says ABI. Read more on ABI's mobile ticketing forecast.

[More on mobile ticketing: Contactless tickets take a ride | Fandango, Samsung team on mobile movie ticketing]

>> eHarmony adds Datebook app so users can keep track of dates

Online dating site eHarmony is looking to put relationships on a fast track by offering an iPhone app called Datebook that enables users to keep track of who they are dating and where they are going, reports Mobile Marketer. The dating site has close to 45 percent of its users registered via mobile devices. "As our mobile base continues to grow, we wanted to give those users an easy way to plan dates right from their phone," says Vanessa Petrosky, mobile product manager for eHarmony. Read more about Datebook.

[More on eHarmony: Tapjoy rolls out mobile video advertising platform | Fast Flirting]

>> Ericsson, Kodiak expand cloud-based PTT service to Europe

Ericsson and Kodiak Networks are expanding their cloud-based push-to-talk (PTT) service for enterprise customers in Europe. The platform offers users real-time presence, a web-based admin tool and voice and signaling encryption. The PTT service works over LTE, 3G and Wi-Fi networks. "In particular, organizations with mobile workforces--in sectors such as construction, hospitality, security, oil & gas, utilities, manufacturing, field services, education and transportation--can benefit from the speed, cost-effectiveness and convenience of this PTT service," Ericsson explains in a release.  Read more on the Ericsson-Kodiak cloud-based PTT service.

[More on PTT: Voxer speaks out on the rebirth of push-to-talk apps | AT&T rolls out push-to-talk app for Apple's iPhone]

>> M2M connections to reach 250M this year, says GSMA

There will be 250 million machine-to-machine connections this year, up from 195 million in 2013, according to mobile trade association GSMA. M2M accounted for 2.8 percent of global mobile connections at the end of 2013. Around 40 percent of mobile operators currently offer M2M services. "Operators surveyed in the report are now undertaking real commercial M2M deployments, indicating that the market has moved from an early-stage to mass-market delivery phase," says GSMA. Read more on GSMA's M2M forecast.

[More on M2M: M2M growth sector specific | Competitive advantage is top driver for enterprises to adopt M2M, survey finds]

>> Android captures close to two-thirds of smartwatch shipments in 2013

Smartwatches running the Android operating system made up 61 percent of the 1.9 million smartwatches shipped last year, according to the latest stats from Strategy Analytics. The research firm estimates that less than 1 percent of smartphones shipped last year were bundled with smartwatches. "Android currently has several challengers in the smartwatch space, like Firefox and Pebble OS, but none of them are a major threat at this stage because of their relatively limited ecosystems and modest retail presence," explains the firm. Read more on Strategy Analytics' smartwatch analysis.

[More on smartwatches: Rumor mill: Apple beefs up iWatch staff, develops 'healthbook' app | Riding the mobile wave]