2016 Turing Lecture – The Internet Of Me, You and Us

schukai-237As now seems to be an annual ritual, last week I headed over to the School of Engineering at Cardiff University for the annual BCS / IET Turing Lecture. This year was the turn of Robert Schukai MBE, Head of Applied Innovation at Thomson Reuters.

The 2016 Turing Lecture was entitled “The Internet of Me: It’s All About My Screens.” It promised a look at how smartphones have revolutionised life, and the information challenge of constantly processing so much data.

Continue reading

Mobile’s new best friends – playing nicely?

MDA AnalystsWhile the title of the annual market analyst forum suggested a certain current harmony between the cloud, social media and analytics, a series of analyst viewpoints indicated that the developing multi-device landscape might be a little more complicated.

Continue reading

Early marriage for smartphone and desktop apps

Ubuntu - barking up the wrong tree?

Ubuntu – barking up the wrong tree?

New technologies constantly collide and drift apart again, some sticking together for longer than others. We crave golden solutions which cram everything into one swiss army knife of goodness and often come close to finding it, before realising it can’t quite do everything.

Continue reading

The text message: dead, dying, or thriving?

 

Those with mobile ears to the ground consistently receive mixed messages about the health of SMS.  General traffic numbers still look ok, mobile operators clearly still make some money from it – though that’s been dented, the number of applications and functions it can help facilitate is still impressive.  Yet still the naysayers remain.

Issues are muddied by context, of course – primarily the difference between person-to-person (or peer-to-peer or P2P) messaging, and aggregator-to-peer (or A2P) messaging.  The latter is commonly used for automated and system-integrated messaging, whereas the former is you texting your friends.

Continue reading

Not everybody’s social

frontline gaps can be costly

The following post amounts to little more than a customer service gripe.  Not much, but a little.

It’s well proven that social media is brilliantly effective at rescuing shaky customer experiences when the patience begins to fray, but should it have to?

Continue reading

All of your business – the squeeze of mobile market consolidation

News of Velti’s acquisition of Mobile Interactive Group caught many off guard, the market consolidation suggesting chill economic winds not only for its competitors, but also for the two organisations themselves.

The official statement read:

 

– Velti plc (NASDAQ: VELT), the leading mobile marketing and advertising technology provider for brands, advertising agencies, mobile operators and media, today announced the acquisition of Mobile Interactive Group (“MIG”), UK’s largest mobile marketing company. The acquisition expands Velti’s lead as the world’s largest mobile marketing company based on revenue, customers, consumer reach and technology holdings.

 

With more than $100 million in gross billings, more than $20 million in net revenues in 2010, and more than 160 employees MIG has established itself as a leading mobile marketing player. The company’s global partnership with Skype, its Facebook Preferred Developer Consultant status and the launch of its mobile / broadcast interactive platform have won MIG accolades as a pioneer in bridging social media, mobile marketing and commerce transactions. Earlier this year, Deloitte named MIG the fastest growing privately owned technology firm in Europe.

Continue reading

Technology end-games and when it all falls down

Hopes in the cloud?

Technology’s greatest strength, and arguably its biggest, weakness is that there is rarely an end-game, one perfect final solution.  Everything just keeps developing, for better or worse.

In an introductory video for The Guardian’s new iPad application, Editor In Chief Alan Rusbridger explicitly states: “there will be no final incarnation of The Guardian.”  It’s equally unlikely that there will be a final incarnation of much web-based technology we see around us today.  Will there be a final Facebook solution?  A final iPhone?

Continue reading

Further afield – NFC still missing?

Further afield

still looking further afield?

Rumours are circulating that the iPhone 5 will not now have NFC (Near Field Communication). It’s a big ‘Stand Down’ message for all those excited by the potential which stood to be unleashed by the new over-the-air medium which revolutionised quick payments on London Underground system. You can almost hear the disappointed groan, like children who’d been promised a rise of pocket money.

It would appear that standardising the medium was more problematic than first imagined. Apple is rumoured to be developing its own NFC standard that will link to iTunes and the 200 million-plus consumers who have registered their credit card information with Apple, but this would still be moot point for regulators.

And it stands to reason.

An O2 press release was issued on 28th November 2007 celebrating the first large scale UK pilot of NFC, in collaboration with Nokia, Transport for London, Visa Europe, Barclaycard, Transys and AEG. That’s a while ago now. And the mobile NFC progress in the UK since that pilot?  Um.. after you Apple, whenever you’re ready guys.

To deploy NFC solutions themselves might be a comparative no-brainer and RFID solutions are already enjoying successful use in field enterprise for tasks such as asset management. But to implement secure standards around them in the consumer market appears rather more complex. Not renowned for grasping technically complicated nettles with added regulatory implications (also see age verification), perhaps the networks have stood off and waited for manufacturers to approach them with something that fits better.

With the news that termination rates for voice calls are set to significantly drop, the attention to monetising data and increasing new revenue streams for mobile is increasingly urgent. That’s despite a theory that NFC has stronger value away from payments and transactions, but in virtual currency too. Surely though, revenue share agreements are still there to be had, the NFC wealth would be shared and ripple through the market.

This widely discussed stalling of NFC for the iPhone 5 could be welcomed by Apple’s rivals – particularly the inexorable Android.  Indeed, closely followed the iPhone 5 rumour was news of Google picking up the NFC baton.  But only in the form of yet another mobile payment pilot test, this one with VeriFone in New York and San Francisco.  Who knows how different this is from the O2, Nokia, TfL pilot of 2007/08?

Testing is all well and good, and perhaps this latest Google effort will lead to something, but more high-level tests aren’t what the industry is looking for.  It’s looking for wide-spread, secure implementation through an iPhone or an Android: a full rollout which will see NFC floodgates finally start to creak ajar.   This is what was hoped for in the iPhone 5, so the failure to deliver presents another disappointment for the wider ecosystem, the agency creatives and those ‘nearly’ men of NFC evangelism (pun intended, sorry).

We were excited in 2007 and we’re still excited now, in 2011. Surely there’s a limit to the false dawns and patience and ifs and buts.

Still, here we are. Sorry son, here’s a fiver and a Bluetooth app. Maybe next year.