At our latest Mobile Monday Amsterdam event Bruce Sterling from Wired and The Well and highly acclaimed speaker gave a special talk on the Internet of Things and mobile devices. A great update from his thinking in Shaping Things and his previous LIFT Conference talk on SPIMES. The religious setting makes it complete. We from the Mobile Monday crew and our audience were uplifted. Thank you Bruce!
A great new app for mobile social networking, LBS and recommendations in this post on Technology Review (MIT). I love Magitti even more than Whrrl as it is a more integrated and holistic way to give more relevant recommendations using social network analysis more elaborately.
Furthermore, the below quotes touch upon the importance of lifelogging using mobile phones as a way to authenticity, self awareness and filtering. In my view clearly the way forward, followed up by tight integration of key life goals and aspirations in the long run.
"The idea of community-generated reviews is, of course, not new. The
popular recommendation service Yelp, for example, is already integrated
into Google Maps. And the concept of locating friends using a mobile
phone has also been around for years; Loopt, a service that runs on
Sprint and Boost Mobile phones, is one of the most common examples.
Whrrl, which can also be downloaded onto BlackBerry Pearl, Curve, and
Nokia N95 smart phones, is commonly compared to both types of service.
But it differs from either in that it combines aspects of both. In
addition, Vengroff explains, Whrrl has collected details on
establishments in 17 cities, which allows the service to provide
fine-tuned local search, letting the user narrow down the hunt for,
say, a café to one that has outdoor seating and vegetarian options and
is recommended by at least one friend.
In the future, she suspects, location-based services will include more predictive features.
For instance, instead of explicitly requiring you to write a review,
the software might recognize how often you visit a restaurant and infer
that it is a favorite. "Eventually, I think that a whole lot of
exciting technology will emerge that figures out how to reduce the
burden on the user," Choudhury says. "There will always be the case
where user input will be important, but when we find the sweet spot,
that's when I think it will take off."
I have posted on Augmented Reality as a key trend since February 2005 when I started blogging. It still one of the topics I really enjoy. Below you can watch a short demonstration video on how our mobile phones (already using an old Nokia N95 !) will be the most important (and seventh) mass medium around from now on.
In my view Augmented Reality is the logical evolutionary endpoint of normal barcodes, shot codes, QR codes, RFID and SkuAir latest (branded) barcode. Mobile Augmented Reality seems to be the most intuitive technology. However, all mentioned technologies will co-exist. Mobile Augmented Reality is in my view relevant for more classic, static, long term, social, historical and nonprofit information on large object/subjects from large distances, the different (bar)code technologies are relevant for commercial, ecological, short-distance, timely, dynamic and ad hoc purposes while RFID has a very broad range of possible applications (medical, logistical, short range).
Some questions I have are:
- What will be the impact on the classic (mobile) search engines in terms of reach, usage and relevancy when Mobile Augmented Reality really starts taking off ? Search engines are indirect, take a few clicks and centralized. In my view, the decentralized, direct search capabilities of Mobile Augmented Reality apps are more consumer centric and will lower the impact of search engines over time. How will Google respond to Nokia in this respect ? Interestingly, yesterday Google announced a a new precision image search technology based on content analysis of the image at hand (a PageRank technology for images !)
- When we consider the four segmentation levels of our digital and physical world (me, my social network, my peers and the market/the public as a whole), how will Mobile Augmented Reality apps and information be structured and presented to the end user while he is coping with information overload, physical targets, spam, irrelevancy and shorter time spans/concentration bursts ? In my view the augmented digital information layer will be primarily be fed with tags/information/alerts from my own past (personal) usage (me -> emomapping for example based on GPS data combined with the AR layer) and my social network (e.g., TripIt, Dopplr, Twitter, Hyves LBS, Jaiku, Facebook etc.). In some cases a digital AR layer with tags, comments, ratings and recommendeded flags from my peer group or even the market as whole will still be useful but its impact will be lower relative to the current situation. Its emotional distance is larger relative to me and my social network with all its lifestreams/lifelogging boosting the notion of living parallel lives. This is an intensified way to explore the physical world.
- Will the usage of mobile augmented reality apps boost serendipity on the local, physical level or will it boost planned behaviour in advance with people optimizing/maximizing their lives (e.g., planning all highlights of best rated objects on my peer- and market/public at large-levels while consuming the bottom-up my social network and personal information on objects while physically near). I believe it will be the former scenario: more ad hoc, bottom up, exploratory search behavior using mobile AR. Go with the flow, spontaneity, Power of Now flocking and exploration. Smart Mobs realized.
Below a video from Google TechTalk. Some highly innovative applications are highlighted related to mobile LBS visualization apps, OCR software with automated integration into Google Docs and Spreadsheet, edgy video/movie editing software, a HTML PC doc to Flash Mobile doc conversion tool and a push-delivery system for real-time web content with scheduling features.
Just finished my favorite week of this year encompassing two key events : Mobile Monday Amsterdam (MoMoAMS) and PICNIC / PICNIC07 (also known as Cross Media Week Amsterdam). In one word: inspiring ! Both were in the second edition. Below some recommendations and sharing from my side...
Mobile Monday Amsterdam : Mobile Communities As one of the founders and organisers I found it very thrilling to see around 230 internet, mobile and marketing professionals in one room. Among them many of the leading twitterazi, thinkers and innovators in the Netherlands. The presentation by Tomi T Ahonen - author of Digital Korea and Communities Dominate Brands and leading mobile thinker (Mobile as the 7th Mass Medium) - was impressive. You can find in presentation and video format on our blog : presentation and video by Tomi T Ahonen on Mobile Communities. Some take-away case studies: Kart Writer, Flirtomatic, CyWorld, Any Question Answered (AQA), mobile idle screen tickers and OCR recognition/translation software for mobile phones. The presentation above contains more mobile community examples than the video. It also includes the best mobile internet sources around as recommended by leading thinker Tomi T Ahonen. PICNIC / PICNIC07
Presentation of Jyri Engestrom from Jaiku the next stage for social objects/networks/graphs and FaceRank instead of PageRank. FaceRank is based on social proximity (same connections), physical proximity (offline closeness), shared social objects and shared taste/values. Jyri was our first keynote spreaker at Mobile Monday Amsterdam. I was enthrilled by his deepening of his vision in just a few months. Definitely, one of the leading thinkers on social networks in my view.
PhotoSynth with a incredible zoom-in and zoom-out function with breathtaking beauty and precision. Good to combine with Pixsta and Etsy.com
Pablos Holman with a terrific and funny talk on different practical hacking stories and cases
Stefan Sagmeister with an outstanding and highly creative overview of his work, just stunning !
Alex Steffen with heartfelt stories on the environment and practical and positive case studies helping our world to be a better place. This video from TED by Steffen shows us the way
Jack Meyers on branding and marketing in virtual worlds. En passant he gave a terrific overview of digital marketing trends worldwide, even on behavioral targeting !
David Burden with a sublime presentation on the Metaverse Roadmap, Second Life, Augmented Reality, Mirror Worlds/Google Earth and Lifelogging. And how they interact and converge. One second favorite speech of this great week. Thrilling ! Soon you can download his presentation in this link from Platform Virtuele Werelden (PVW) and Jack Meyers prezzie is already here. Staggering to see a live presentation of real-time flight information fed into Second Life from Google Earth, opens up huge possibilities. Also, communicating with your 2L avatar using RSS. David will speak later this year on the Metaverse Summit where I can see him again :-)
Portable Social Networks: a great workshop with Jyri Engestrom, Marc Canter, Dick Hardt, Biz Stone, Yme Bosma and many other leading thinkers. This was highly content driven (moving/synching/federating social networks, Identity 2.0, microformats, openID, lock-in, business models) and inspiring. I felt like witnessing the leading edge worldwide in social networking brainstorming for yet unknown solutions to complex, urgent and important problems and issues. No final answers as yet while I left the room but it was very special. I really hope these kind of sessions will become more commonplace going forward.
Dennis Crowley on social networks, tagging the real world with cases like Sharkrunner and Plundr. His prezzie resonated strongly with the one from David Burden integrating real time, real data within games, virtual world and alternate reality games.
Adam Greenfield on Urban Landscapes, Gaming and Computing. Mobile Devices + Shared Visualisations+Tagging = Social Object = Jyri's presentation :) Extending the insights of Jyri Engestrom on social objects on location as a social object. More later in my blog and presentations
eLens from MIT as an insightful example of city guides with personal and social overlays
The Urban Garden: self organised bus stop with user generated content/tagging, craigslist data, narrowcasting and feeds from ubiquitous computing
Emotion Maps and Biosensing
Ben Cerveny on serious gaming, game culture, simulations, multidimensional and visual representations of pervasive and ubiquitous computing combined with augmented reality and GeoWeb. This was my ultimate highlight of this week. Shivers all over ! Complexity Science applied to games and real life. An extension of David Weinbergers' presentation on Everything is Miscallenous integrating different external data sources and categorizations on real life and serious gaming case studies. Here your can see his video from the LIFT Conference this year. His talk on PICNIC07 was different however, in my view even much better.
And of course all the dinners, talks and networking before, in-between en afterwards. Thanks to all who contributed, helped and organized ! See you soon at another inspiring web 2.0/3.0 or mobile event. I am planning to go to the next Mobile Monday Amsterdam (november), LeWeb3 (december) and Metaverse Summit 2007 (december; as a speaker, my first international speech on an inspiring event on lifelogging, augmented reality, web 3.0 and virtual worlds together with a.o. Jamais Cascio and David Burden).
Here is my presentation on different trends, digital media, web 2.0, web 3.0, marketing, digital marketing and communication/branding. Dutch only as yet, English one will follow soon. Focus is on different technological, environmental, economic and political views (macro perspective) as well as psychological, social and cultural views (micro perspective) and how they intersect, converge and reinforce in many different ways on different levels of analysis.
Key take away: Identity (knowing your intrinsic motivation, purpose and talents), Authenticity (being) and Creativity (doing) as reinforcing themes and values in the emerging and increasingly open space of the next web(s), biotech and ubiquitous computing where the all-encompassing and increasing availability of more granular and personal data of all sorts make the invisible visible and explicit to the benefit of ourselves, our social network, our peers and the market/global brain/humanity as a whole. The essential used to be invisible to the eye....until now and it will bring about massive transformations for the benefit of us all.
Peter Norvig - Director of Google Research - is interviewed in this post on Technology Review focusing on some key future features of the Google search engine. Machine translation and voice recognition seem to be pivotal according to Norvig. Below we can see some business rationale behind the Google-YouTube deal. For marketers these developments seem to be important as multimedia content on the (mobile) web will be indexed more accurately over time.
"TR: And speech recognition can also be important for video search, isn't it? Blinkx and Everyzing are two examples of startups that are using the technology to search inside video. Is Google working on something similar?
PN: Right now, people aren't searching for video
much. If they are, they have a very specific thing in mind like "Coke"
and "Mentos." People don't search for things like "Show me the speech
where so-and-so talks about this aspect of Middle East history." But
all of that information is there, and with speech recognition, we can
access it. We wanted speech technology that could serve as an interface for
phones and also index audio text.
Currently, we are up to state-of-the-art with what we built on
our own, and we have the computational infrastructure to improve
further. As we get more data from more interaction with users and from
uploaded videos, our systems will improve because the data trains the
algorithms over time."
I like the idea of personalizing ads with ad variants, this clearly is one of the ways digital marketing will move forward as this will boost online ad ROI. As I wrote on my analysis of the Google-Doubleclick merger, I believe we will soon witness automated integration of clickstream data of users in different digital marketing tools like banners and e-mails.
I wonder how Publicis can integratie advertisers' consumer data in their solution
If you have the pull (not push) data from consumers, you are in the driver seat in the evolving digital marketing space. Clickstream data on search engines - my take-away from the outstanding book The Search by John Battelle - (albeit PC-based, mobile, iTV, Augmented Reality apps, 3D Web or gaming) are key in this respect in my view. So the question looms how Publicis will compete on this level with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. In my view, Google clearly is in the lead on most fields at this point in time
Publicis assumes there will be a separation between online media and online ad agencies. In my view Google, Yahoo and Microsoft see this differently. Search engines are a key connector of consumer purchase intentions and online media, connecting content and commerce.
Unfortunately, the vision of Publicis doesn't seem to take the impact of social networks and social networking on the digital marketing space into account (this is pull advertising as well like buzz marketing and open source marketing). Same applies for user generated online ads (and its variants). Their vision doesn't resonate enough in my view with the Wikinomics principles: openness, peering and sharing. They do dig the Global Operations part though
What is the impact of open source ad networks and what is the role of Publicis in this respect ?
Looking forward to seeing your views on this topic. Thanks.
"Digitas uses data from companies like Google and Yahoo and customer
data from each advertiser to develop proprietary models about which ads
should be shown the first time someone sees an ad, the second time,
after a purchase is made, and so on. The ads vary, depending on a
customer’s age, location and past exposure to the ads.
Digitas executives say that consumers end up with a better
experience — even a service — if the ads they are shown are relevant
and new. “We now know how many times they’ve seen this ad, so stop annoying
them,” said Mark Beeching, executive vice president and worldwide chief
creative officer of Digitas. “The more you can standardize and automate
in terms of making different versions, hallelujah. That money should be
spent creating more content.” Along with automation, low-cost workers abroad will help create more versions of ads."
Some readers e-mailed me asking me why I have a tag combining Augmented Reality, UbiComp (Ubiquitous Computing) and GeoWeb. You can see the answer for yourself in this impressive and very important article from Technology Review/MIT about Second Earth.
There is a current media backlash on Second Life. In my view this is shortsighted as can be seen in this article. Just like the Apple Newton failed as the first smart phone and UMTS failed at first as an entry for mobile Internet, Second Life will return in full effect. Innovation comes in cycles, the timing at first might seem 'wrong' but it is about the fundamental drivers below. Same applies to 3D Web, especially combined with Augmented Reality and real-time data integration.
"For people who haven't spent much time in a 3-D world, of course, it's hard to imagine feeling comfortable in either. But such environments may soon be as unavoidable as the Web itself: according to technology research firm Gartner, current trends suggest that 80 percent of active Internet users and Fortune 500 companies will participate in Second Life or some competing virtual world by the end of 2011. And if you take a few months to explore Second Life, as I have done recently, you may begin to understand why many people have begun to think of it as a true second home--and why 3-D worlds are a better medium for many types of communication than the old 2-D Internet.
I asked David Gelernter why we'd need the Metaverse or even mirror
worlds, with all the added complications of navigating in three
dimensions, when the time-tested format of the flat page has brought us
so far on the Web. "That's exactly like asking why we need Web browsers
when we already have Gopher, or why we need Fortran when assembly language works perfectly well," he replied.
The current Web might be capable of presenting all the real-time
spatial data expected to flow into the Metaverse, Gelernter elaborates,
but it wouldn't be pretty. And it would keep us locked into a painfully
mixed and inaccurate metaphor for our information environment--with
"pages" that we "mark up" and collect into "sites" that we "go to" by
means of a "locator" (the L in URL)--when a much more natural
one is available. "The perception of the Web as geography is
meaningless--it's a random graph," Gelernter says. "But I know my
physical surroundings. I have a general feel for the world. This is
what humans are built for, and this is the way they will want to deal
with their computers."
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) ?