Conference Notes

Mandi Buswell, "What Does Web 2.0 Mean for Mobility?", Mar 19

The final presentation of the day was presented by Mandi Buswell, a Solutions Architect at Openwave Systems talking on What Does Web 2.0 Mean for Mobility?. Mandi didn’t use a Mac, but does have one.

The Mobile Web Promise
Let’s surf the web from our phones! Mmm, most people were disappointed … the screen size is too small, the photo tries to download all of the pictures, and most phones are tied into carrier’s closed gardens. Is the Mobile Web 2.0 going to be any better?
– Walt Mossberg, “mobile is a big thing, but we don’t really know what it’s going to be yet”
– Daniel Appelquist, Senior Technology Strategist from the Vodafone Group … “effectively knitting together Web 2.0 with the mobile platform to create something new”

Mobile 2.0
Mobile 2.0 is more than:
– just the internet on your phone
– personalization that is more than setting a screen saver or ringtones
– more than just one technology or device (hey, she even quoted Oliver Starr!)
– more than just the carrier and handset manufacturer

Version 2 of the Mobile experience where the mobile is the plaform upon which applications, fired by the backbone of the Internet, enable a dynamic, intelligent, and unified platform of enhanced communication, adaptive discovery, personalized consumption, and supportive to our lifestyle.

It has the potential to be bigger and better than Web 2.0. Why? One billion new phones were shipped/sold in 2006 (greater reach). Eg, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google sees mobile phones as having much greater reach than PCs … there’s 3x the number, growth is faster than PCs, etc.

Mandi showed a video from the recent 3GSM conference that showed some of the applications that Openwave enables.

Key Technologies for Mobile 2.0
Infrastructure elements … fast networks, location services, data collection, advertising engines, interfaces
Device technology … the browser, embedded development environments, protocol stacks
Applications … third party developers, software vendors, carriers, handset manufacturers

Mobile AJAX … is just AJAX for mobile devices. Has the same issues as AJAX in the browser. But it’s very good for delivering an enhanced UI and reducing post-click wait times.

Who is going to pay for this? We are, but we might not know it. Eg, mobile advertising is key.

Applications for Mobile 2.0
We need to go through a transition: from individual to community, from uniform to personalized/contextualized, from carrier push to consumer pull, from siloed applications to total integrated experiences, from poor interfaces to graphically rich interfaces, and more. There’s a lot to happen.

Various application categories … flickr, mobile blogs, RSS feeds, Google and Google Maps, streaming TV and video, on device portals (eg, music portals, converged messaging, Yahoo!Go). Idle screen applications, eg, those that show on the default page of your mobile, will become a major fight for brand placement. Hardware manufacturers want their brand there, but also the carriers want their own brand there all the time.

Another issue is the converged experience across multiple interfaces, eg, phone and computer and TV.

In closing, Mandi showed the BIMActive (“bones in motion”) video demo:

Closing Comments
Mobile 2.0 may be the answer to life, the universe and everything mobile. But we’ll have to wait and see …

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