Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Issues such as the further blending of personal vs. work time and physical vs. virtual reality are something that the Mobile Consumer Lab will continue to focus upon over the coming years.
Although this report is fairly long (100+ pages), it's completely free and well worth the time spent reading it.
Friday, November 7, 2008
I've been talking a great deal about the future of mobile and wireless devices these last few weeks in classes here at IUJ and at presentations in and around Tokyo. The heart of these discussions has been the concept of a Simple Front End merged with a Complex backend - or Simplexity, a term my friends Marco and Ludovico have also been endorsing. And in perfect alignment with these conversations, Priya Ganapati from Wired just blogged about this exact same concept today.
The idea of more elegant and user-friendly interfaces are vital to the future success and development of mobile content and services. And while these ideas may not ultimately work, the concept that is driving them, Simplexity, is sure to be a major force going forward.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
But company executives must not take this as an open mandate to simply port their existing Internet content to the mobile platform. That would be an enormous and costly mistake.
Instead, business leaders must look at the Mobile platform as an entirely new channel, with distinct differences from the fixed PC (or even portable, laptop PC with a wireless connection). Consumer behavior on the mobile platform mandates a different approach that leverages the power of the mobile platform.
For example, Amazon.co.jp here in Japan did not replicate it's PC site experience on the mobile platform, but instead significantly modified it to match with the mobile consumer experience. One of the most important innovations (one that I believe suggests a complete paradigm shift in marketing competition) is their development of Scan Search. Through the use of a simple bar-code reader, they have turned the mobile phone into a huge competitive advantage. With a consumer shopping in a competitors store, using Scan Search, that consumer can get an immediate price comparison, read peer reviews, and explore recommendations for similar books all at Amazon.
While such a model may not be possible to replicate in other sectors or industries, this is a clear lesson than the mobile phone and its enormous set of capabilities has the opportunity to truly re-shape how we develop and implement our "eMarketing" initiatives.
This IBM study offers a very important glimpse of what will come, and look forward to continuing our own studies in this area.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
But the PC Internet is not built to be viewed via the mobile phone. And while mobile browser companies such as Access , Opera and others do amazing things in bridging the gap between these two platforms, the onus is clearly on site owners and content developers to re-think their approach to content and service delivery, creating sites specifically designed for the mobile phone and not the PC.
Such developments are already underway. And what is most exciting about all of this, is that the future of the mobile industry is clearly aligned with developing economies. And as we continue to study the impact of mobile services and solutions on consumer behavior here at the Mobile Consumer Lab, we are regularly applying these lessons to student business ideas in developing economies within this region and around the world.
If you'd like to get involved in our efforts this year, please feel free to let me know!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The second thesis was written by Kazunori Otsu, who looked at the diffusion of mobile full browsers in the Japanese mobile market. Specifically, he applied Diffusion of Innovation Theory to understand why mobile full browsers have not reached wide levels of usage and adoption. He conducted both in-person and online surveys in order to gather data for his analysis.
We will be adding more thesis papers when they are finalized. Stay tuned for our reports on mBanking, mPayments and more!
Friday, June 27, 2008
While each of the major operators here have rolled out phones, and service plans geared specifically towards children, this paper suggests that children actually should not be given a fully-equipped mobile phone until they are at least 16 years old. Additionally, this paper concludes that mobile businesses must take a more vigilant role in their efforts to profit from the "youth" market, as the negative consequences that mobile phone usage has upon children seems to far outweigh the benefits.
If this latest news from Spain (thanks to Brandon for the update on this!) isn't enough to convince you of the seriousness of this issue, please read through Brandon's entire thesis for a long list of other instances in which mobile phones have led to serious threats to children.
If you agree with the conclusions of this paper then, I believe that it's time for everyone within the wireless ecosystem to begin to carefully reconsider how we are approaching the issue of children and mobile phones.
The Mobile Consumer Lab will be taking this on as one of our initiatives in the Fall 2008 semester, and are hoping that these efforts will lead to more effective rules and guidelines for how all of us approach the issue of children's usage of mobile phones.
On Tuesday, things have become even more interesting. Nokia has just purchased the remaining shares of Symbian, created the Symbian Foundation and will make the entire Symbian "platform" available for free for all Foundation members. Symbian will therefore be open source.
While media reports appear to be extremely positive about this move, some questions we'll be discussing in the lab next semester will be:
1) How such a move truly influences the "ecosystem" that exists for content and service developers?
2) Will end-users truly benefit from this move, or is this just a competitive move to thwart Android and the OHA?
3) Can Android truly compete now that Symbian is Open Source?
We will continue to watch how this story unfolds, irrespective of how things evolve, it is clear that Open Source holds one of the keys to the future of the Wireless Ecosystem.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Japan is a market that accounts for less than 3% of the world's total mobile subscribers, but generates 19% of the world's total data revenues, and stripping data communications revenues (like SMS and mobile messaging) out of this equation, 36% of global mobile internet revenues. All of this without the iPhone.
So the prospects that the iPhone will spark further usage of mobile internet content and services in Japan seems to be a little far-fetched. But where the iPhone is likely to make it's greatest impact is bringing the Japanese market more closely in line with other markets around the world.
As Japan has spent nearly a decade separated from the rest of the world in terms of mobile internet usage and adoption, the iPhone may turn into the great equalizer. Exactly the right platform to begin to help the most successful content, services and applications gain the global attention that they deserve. And at the same time, create a platform for future innovations that may help the world catch up to Japan's levels of mobile internet usage.
So while the overall impact in terms of total sales may not impress the analysts, something more subtle, but potentially more important to the future of the mobile internet may be underway. Although I believe that Google's Android is a more blatant attempt to make Japan's overall ecosystem model relevant around the world, the iPhone may also go a very long way in bringing an entirely new level of collaborative innovation between Japan and the rest of the world.
Monday, June 2, 2008
The work of our mPayments team in the lab this year has actually identified some more fundamental issues that are outlined in this video however. While this video briefly outlines mobile banking in South Africa, actually our research team has concluded that the linkage between mobile finance and mobile payments is of fundamental importance to the future of mobile-based payment solutions.
We will be following up with a full report from our mPayments team later this month, and we are also hoping to conduct an mPayments workshop in Tokyo in July. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The article is here:
Monday, May 12, 2008 by dolapo
Mobile web browsers have come a long way since we first introduced an XHTML version of Reader back in 2006. For example, iPhone and iPod Touch owners know how powerful having a full-featured browser is. We on the Reader team are heavy mobile Safari users. Sometimes we use it to kill time, other times for answering important questions that come up during brunch: What is Tyrol's first name? How is maple butter made? How do you sweeten rhubarb for sangria? What is John Gruber saying now? For questions like the last one, we of course use Reader to keep up with our subscriptions.
To make our (and your) Reader iPhone experience better, we wanted to really take advantage of the iPhone's capabilities. Today we're releasing a new beta version of Reader designed for the iPhone and other mobile phones with advanced browsers. You can use it by visiting http://www.google.com/reader/i/ on your phone.
This new version is designed to offer many of the same features as the desktop, while making it quick and easy to act on items. If you've used list view, then it should be familiar to you. Scan the titles for an item that interests you, tap and it expands in place. Starring, sharing, and keeping unread are done in place, so you never have to leave the list view or refresh the page. We think it's a very fast way to power through your reading list.
Since it's still in beta, we're not going to automatically send you to it, so bookmark the site so that you don't forget the address (http://www.google.com/reader/i/). We love getting feedback from users, so let us know what you think in our discussion group or the other channels.
Friday, May 9, 2008
He also said that Google is not competing with Microsoft or Yahoo! or anyone else for that matter, as they were moving forward towards realizing this "Cloud Computing" future.
This is in line with the latest article in Wired Magazine about Amazon.com and their Cloud Computing efforts.
Now here's a question. If PCs will become thin clients that link into this "cloud," won't mobile devices take this same path? Instead of rushing to develop or create the next best application for individual devices, it seems like the better bet is to design for the cloud.
Friday, April 18, 2008
The engine behind this search tool is a company out of the U.S. called Evolution Robotics and its ViPR object recognition software. A demo of this software running on the iPhone shows how you can take photos of different things and get search results returned via email.
Earlier this week, our friends over at Wireless Watch Japan clued us into a new Google Android GPS Application that allows users to have a computer-mediated mapping and navigation services available through Android-enabled mobile phones.
These, and the many other related solutions that I haven't mentioned are truly amazing, and suggest that in the near future we will see a number of attempts to use the mobile phone as a bridge between the "real world" and digital information related to it.
But beyond the hype, I'm very interested in seeing how these new technologies can and will be used by mobile consumers. Are these recent announcements true harbingers of the future, or will they lead to consumer apathy and confusion?
Today's announcement from KDDI, Bandai and Evolution Robotics suggests that it will only be a matter of a little more time before we get some initial answers to these questions. But in order to succeed, the user interface must be extremely elegant, the database overly robust, and the value of such services versus competing technologies must be clearly communicated.
Will this be the future? Let me know what you think!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
The full press release went like this:
HELSINKI, April 11 (Reuters) - Nokia (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Friday its push to promote mobile television broadcasting has not succeeded as the world's top cellphone maker had hoped. Nokia has been for years promoting television broadcasts to cellphones and its digital video broadcasting handheld (DVB-H) technology won EU support earlier this year, but only a few operators in Europe have opened any TV broadcasting services.
"It's a bit in a turmoil," Niklas Savander, head of Nokia's Internet services, told a conference in Helsinki.
Most people who watch TV programmes on their cellphones use third-generation (3G) mobile networks, bringing in long-awaited data transmission fees to operators, but these limit picture quality and user numbers.
"We have seen that there are multiple segments who are not interested in the broadcasting, but rather in downloads. Roll out is slower than also we anticipated a couple of years ago," Savander said.
(Reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by Erica Billingham)
Although it's been four years since my original article, I believe that the points raised remain the same. The intersection of Mobile TV and the mobile phone mandates that TV broadcasting must change, or as this press release from Nokia explains, consumers will simply move to using the mobile phone as a time-shifting, or record and playback device.
Here's to the future of Mobile TV!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
The second, although far more bizarre, is the announcement by NTT DoCoMo of its "breakthrough" smell-phone , equipped with a fragrance emitting plug-in. Aside from the obvious questions about the consumer adoption of such technologies, Marshall McLuhan must be smiling about this one. These two announcements clearly take the mobile phone to the heights of being both a "hot" and "cool" media.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
This gives the other side of RFID that has been received with mixed feelings in the western world due to the first models of its deployment not being in tandem with the citizen's need for privacy.
AeroScout this also released a temperature monitoring solution for the health care industry, which can alert hospital staff of threatening temperature fluctuations on tagged health care items and products.
This is where ingenuity is taking us in the RFID field.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Reviews of his keynote speech can be found at Wired and The Stateseman .
With global penetration of Televisions standing at approximately 2 Billion, and as of this month, total mobile phone penetration standing at approximately 3 Billion, I believe that Paul is being very cautious in his predictions.
Whether Menlow, and the Mobile Internet Device is the future of mobility (which I personally do not believe) or the mobile phone platform (which I do), the exciting thing to come out of this year's CES is the clear realization in the U.S. that the mobile platform is fundamental to the future evolution of consumer electronics industry, as well as all of the others that use Consumer Electronic devices to promote their products and services (entertainment, telecommunications, financial services, etc.).
2008 appears to be the year of the mobile internet. We hope that the Mobile Consumer Lab @ IUJ can be a part of the festivities this year!