Real estate agents strongly believe it’s all about your location. All the relevant things around you, school district, weather, cul-de-sac, crime rates, taxes, transportation — they all play a contextual role in determining value and worth of your property. In the mobility, your mobile context is equally significant. One of the core pieces and significant advantages for mobile content and services is location.
Mobile context has the following attributes:
These five attributes are critical for delivering content and services relevant to the subscriber. While operators are slowly implementing infrastructure to support mobile context such as LBS, LDAP, and CRM will certainly play a role in making mobile context possible.
Why is this important? For a couple reasons. Unlike the PC, television, print, and radio media, finally marketeers can target individuals with personalized campaigns. The mobile phone has become an extremely person device, more so that PCs (see my previous post: 06.11.05). Second, having the mobility for mobile context can provide much more accurate, refined and relevant information, advertising, marketing to the subscriber. Lastly, all the services subscribed to, can be customized based on mobile context. This allows content and services to be pushed to the subscriber using M2M (machine-to-machine) processes instead of constant user-initiated requests. Thus, we will get to a point where intriguing adverts for content and services will be popping on your phone with a significantly higher chance of you responding (of course opt-in/opt-out will be a mandatory mechanism, just like the web).
|The marriage of Palm and Microsoft Windows Mobile present an interesting chapter in mobile wireless. This symbiosis between the two companies presents a strong stake in the landscape of smartphones for years to come. While clearly both are not the dominant player when considering the entire handset market, within the growing niche of smartphones, this is quite an attractive offering. Both Palm and Microsoft have been seen as lacking behind their rivals, but it would seem that these two *do* need each other for survival. In a way, this is a strong admission from Microsoft that they are unable to create their own handsets, thus divide and conquer by pushing their Mobile platform to as many vendors as possible (Dell, HP, HTC and others). Palm on the other hand, having gone through a roller coaster relationship with itself, then spinning out to PalmSource, now allows more options, ultimately for the subscriber. Much like the announcement earlier this year about Apple and Intel, these rather unconventional parings are causing that are slowly changing the status quo within the fabric of the broad technology sector. It certainly keeps the mind pondering who the next dynamism will emerge!|
A lot of people have been asking me lately about the amount of mobile content out there. There are hundreds of ringtone and game companies out there, with musicians, movie stars, sports stars, even supermodels getting into the act. Venture Capitalists seem to have more than their healthy appetite in investing in these companies. Large traditional offline and digital companies, everyone from Walt Disney to Electronic Arts, even Milton Bradley and Hasbro have gotten into mobile content.
The Adult Entertainment Industry has developed compelling content with these roadsigns:
- Analysts are predicting it to be a $2.34bn worldwide market by 2010
- Virgin Mobile (UK) has an Executive position as Head of Adult Services
- Playboy Enterprises has firmly committed to developing mobile content
- A major Conference and Tradeshow about Mobile Adult Content taking place in October, 2005
It was not long ago where toys, board games, entertainment companies, even the large beverage companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi made the move from print to online. Some of the results were terrible and completely useless. Let’s hope that this doesn’t happen in the mobile space. On the positive side, since the limited computing power, limited screen size, with rather limited network connectivity, the evolution will be rather organic and entertaining, instead of trying to over engineer the experience beyond the capabilities of the device and network today. This is particularly important, since leaving an unpleasant experience to a subscribers is such a big turn off.
So why did I title this Content Enthalpy? Borrowing this concept from physics, it is the amount of energy in a system capable of doing work. In this case, it’s the total ability of the entire digital content market to be compelling enough to cause the masses of subscribers to make this form of commerce pervasive. I seem to think that if the more and more brands flock to the mobile space and claim their “me too” attitude, it won’t make any difference. There needs to be a fundamental shift in the way people use their mobile phone for this to occur. Even today, I still talk to a fair amount of techies, and they still claim that they used it to make phone calls and occasionally text. They don’t care much for camera phones, MMS, downloading ringers or games.
What is going to make all this change? We need developers, entrepreneurs and marketeers to make the market explode with services and content ranging from all types and cause a ground swell to make this happen. While this seems to conflict with the statement in the previous paragraph, but what I am talking about is getting all sorts of things primed for moble, beyond just the big brands getting into the act. I would argue that the Internet was not as pervasive as it is now because of one or two killer applications. It was the entire ecosystem and people’s interests of putting more and more things on the net, file swapping, photo sharing, auctions, just to name a few.
While there are quite a few obstacles in the way, people are making not afraid to plunge in. And these can eventually lead to big wins in mobile.
I have been asked by Silicon Valley Chinese Wireless to give a Mobile Wireless Data 101 Workshop. Here are the details:
Date: Saturday, October 1st, 2005 Time: 8:30am to 12:30pm Venue: Carnegie Mellon West Moffett Field, Building 23 Map & Directions
08:30am to 09:30am Registration, Breakfast, and Networking 09:30am to 10:20am Understanding wireless technologies 10:30am to 11:20am Business Models, Commerce and Advertising 11:30am to 12:20pm Wireless Data Convergence *After each section, there will be a 10 minute break.
Regular member: $20, $30 at the door Carnegie Mellon Community: $40 RSVP, $50 at the door Associate member: $50 RSVP, $60 at the door Non-member: $50 RSVP, $60 at the door
So it finally happened. Apple launched their stake into mobile wireless with long-time partner Moto. Apple iTunes being offered on a mobile phone *is* a good thing, but unlike past product introductions, I think this one is a bit pre-mature. Here is my reasoning. For a long time, Apple has stood on its perch, watching technology consumer markets waiting for great timing. Their timing to introduce new products has always been fantastic. The panache, polish, it’s every company’s dream to get that kind of buzz. What’s so great about it all? In my opinion: EXECUTION + FLAIR. A more scientific process of investigation would be the chart below, from Crossing The Chasm, by Geoffery A. Moore.
The second failure is the lack of iTunes access over cellular networks (GPRS, 3G). I’m sure there are developers cooking up apps to put on the phone or potentially have some WAP interface. Unfortunately, Apple has realized that dealing with a mobile operator, even with Apple’s brand and clout, cannot make miracles happen. Not a strong server software company as well as not adept to sell to carriers, Apple missed a pretty big step by not allowing iTunes over cellular. Still have to connect to a computer to sync your iTunes via Bluetooth with super slow transfer rates (30 sec to transfer 4MB files). Just when I was getting used to Firewire and USB they pull this crap! There is the ability to transfer via a Flash memory card, but seems like it requires you to take apart the phone (ie. removing the battery) and find the cable and adapter to plug in and sync with your computer.
But it can’t be all that bad; even though it’s a half-baked product launch, it does show off a couple things. 1. People want further integration with camera, bluetooth, flash memory, media player onto a single device. 2. maturity and totality of all these devices have yet to reach a peak (even though some features have significantly reached levels and plateaus). 3. The quest to find the device that can do all features in a convenient package has yet to satisify gadget-freaks into a state of nirvana.