Last Monday there was the first Mobile Monday Amsterdam event (Dutch text only). There is an amazing presentation from Jyri Engestrom (co-founder of the co-presence company called Jaiku) in this event post. He explains why co-presence is one of the logical next steps for blogs and social networks. Highly recommended presentation.
I am actively involved in the Mobile Monday monthly mobile internet event as co-founder and am responsible for sponsoring. To me, the team spirit of the organizing group is inspiring ! I am very pleased with the fact that this event was a huge success. Quite a few people asked me lately about the reasons for the success of this mobile internet event. For example, the whole idea started somewhere mid April, 2007 and now we have more than 340 members within 6 weeks. The complete Mobile Monday member list can be viewed in the link. Hopefully you will join our member list as well.
So why are we at a tipping/inflection/bifurcation point for mobile internet ? (inflection points are a part of complexity theory/science). Here are my musings:
Normally, a bandwidth upgrade within the mobile internet space follows a particular evolution. There is the sequence of upgraded mobile networks, handsets, applications and content. Each upgrade follows the former with a one year delay.
- Handsets: most importantly, some very high impact devices have entered the market or will be on the market real soon: the Apple iPhone, the Nokia N95 and the Helio Ocean. All these high-end and revolutionary devices attract many users, create immense PR and buzz and bring the mobile internet device (MID) a reality in between laptops and more traditional smart phones. Combine this with the rise of extended battery time, more intuitive UIs, more user-friendly wizards and operator services for setting up advanced mobile services, more flexible and rollable mobile displays like PolymerVision as well as tangible interfaces. Perhaps Google, Microsoft and Yahoo will launch state of the art mobile internet devices themselves in 2008 ?
- Infrastructure: HSDPA -> Long Term Evolution/LTE/HSDPA++ -> WiMax -> 4G. With bandwidth of 100 Mbps downlinks we are entering a phase where fixed DSL and cable internet providers will increasingly be substituted by broadband mobile internet offerings. Additionally, all applications from the PC will be feasible on our mobiles within 5 years. On top of that, we will see the rise of P2P mesh networking, NFC and UWB.
- Applications: parallel apps using IMS, convergence, LBS, co-presence/microblogging, search, social networking, GPS, VoIP, RFID/barcodes/shotcodes/QR codes, speech recognition, universal language translators, mobile RSS remixers for integrating and manipulating different mobile web feeds, augmented reality, biometrics, 3D mobile web, wallets, bio-sensing and especially combinations of the apps mentioned
- Content: all user generated content (UBroadcast, Kyte, blogs etc.), music, photos, TV, video, VOD/Joost and games (including Alternate Reality Gaming and Serious Gaming)
- Open Mobile Web: walled garden approaches by MNOs will be eliminated this year opening up the web to the mobile user
- Pricing: now we have for the first time flat fee mobile internet access for all leading MNOs in the Netherlands -> this will be huge adoption and usage driver for the mobile internet
In short, different parts of the mobile internet ecosystem converge and reinforce each other going forward. They make a comparable experience like the one on the PC and thus spur substitution and adoption over time. Furthermore, for the first time in history the mobile networks, handsets, applications and content are all ready for mobile broadband usage (UMTS/HSDPA and beyond).
These are very exciting times....Mobile : The 7th Mass Medium !
What do you think ? Is the mobile internet indeed at a tipping point ? Why (not) ?