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November 24 2014

August 05 2014

July 15 2014

May 10 2014

May 05 2014

February 27 2014

February 24 2014

January 28 2014

Smartphones: the almost perfect sleep disruptors

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“Sure, we know that screen time right before bed is bad for sleep. And turns out, using your smartphone late at night also makes you feel depleted in the morning, thereby making you less focused and engaged at work, according to a small new study.”

Read the full article the Huffington Post

June 23 2013

TXTBKS – SIMPLE. LOW-TECH. TRANSFORMATIONAL.

Some say our world is now connected. Connected maybe, but we’re far from global access that’s for sure.
Today I came across a singular project: TXTBKS, simple, low tech but certainly transformational.

It seems that Philippine’s school aged kids might carry as much as 22 books on a daily basis (not a far fetch reality back in old Europe too, but I believe today’s reality is much better since my “long forgotten” school time). Technology might be the only solution when school reforms are far or too slow, so Smart, the Philippines’ largest telecom, took their mission to “make text light and easy” further than ever. So they turned to the only widely available technology: feature analog mobile phones.

Smart SMS TextBooks

Over six months, textbook authors and publishers refined official school texts into 160-character text messages, which were then programmed into the inboxes of thousands of inactive surplus sim cards – giving birth to the TXTBKS – full books stored into a SIM card, capable of turning even the oldest phones into a new kind of e-reader.

SIMPLE. LOW-TECH. TRANSFORMATIONAL INDEED!

Sometimes it’s just a matter of looking towards what we already have a devise new uses.

March 20 2013

The Mobile Consumer (2013)

Nielsen just released their Mobile Consumer Report, it has some interesting facts on how much have changed lately. The most important note seems to be the reach of critical mass for mobile device ownership in many countries, although in many countries (like Russia) people even rely on more than one device to stay connected:

How many of us use a mobile phone?

 

Although there are big differences in the kind of devices used across developed and non-developed markets. Feature phones still beat smartphones in emerging markets like India, proving the need and market for cheaper, entry level smartphones for those markets:

Smart/Multimedia or Feature Phones?

Mobility means for most use cases the use of social networks and games and mobile shopping still means a lot of product evaluation and price comparison rather than actual mobile shopping:

What do we do with our smartphones?

When we look at the actual applications usage, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and eBay consistently rank in the top 10 sites among mobile web users around the world proving that our mobiles are indeed responsible for a big part of our attention deficit if you ask me ;)

Which Apps do We use?

Unfortunately access is far from universal and the amount people pay for “being connected” still varies a lot, and in many cases and countries have even a direct correlation with usage with most users where data plan prices are higher (like India and Russia)opting for more flexible, less expensive options, such as “pay-as-you-go” data pricing, or taking advantage of WiFi connectivity:

How much does mobile service cost? How much does mobile service cost?

 

As conclusion, there’s still much to go before we can talk about a true universal mobile access, and while we becoming more and more connected through our smartphones we’re still far from extracting their true power. The full report is extensive and also covers mobile video and mobile advertising which weren’t key to me, but which I actually recommend reading if you’re interested in those topics.

March 06 2013

March 05 2013

March 04 2013

The mobile economy in 2013

The full report presented an interesting view on the current mobile market trends, although very positive it’s impossible not to see the slowdown of previous years growth. Revenues will increase, subscribers as well, but things aren’t going to be as great as they have been before..

It’s a forecast, but I’m not really impressed by these numbers, but it could be a wrong reading not sure, so here are my comments:

GSMA Mobile Economy 2013

Considering that we are roughly 7 Billion persons today (but we won’t be much more in 2017 – 2020 seems to be the year we might pass the 8bn threshold) the growth from 3.2 to 3.9 Bn mobile subscribers by 2017 doesn’t leave me impressed. It clearly means we still have much to do on the front of universal access, as according to this numbers we’ll still have only roughly 50% of the world population connected. The number of connections seems impressive, but then again this will be mostly due to the internet of things and all the new connected machines it will bring.

LTE seems it will only be a reality for a fifth of the connected ones, ok, this is a global number, meaning that more evolved markets will see a much better picture and others will not, fair enough, but not impressive either, specially considering that some of the less developed markets could leapfrog directly to LTE when it’s time to evolve or deploy their new networks.

GSMA Mobile Economy 2013

Globally voice will still grow, but clearly not as much as messaging and data, although a big part of the voice will probably also be data, right?

GSMA Mobile Economy 2013

It’s good to see Joyn (the project I worked on for Vodafone) get a special highlight here on the future communications page on the report, although I personally believe it’s a critically and much needed technology upgrade to increase the overall quality of mobile user experience (fixing seriously broken experiences like video or file sharing, but also general terms of interoperability), I have to say that at the current market launch plans and delays, I’m not certain where it will be in 2017, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed and eyes open for developments there.

But then again, I’m still going through the report, have a read yourself, the full report is here, enjoy ;)

February 13 2013

August 28 2012

OwnFone

little personalised phone that connects you directly to the most important people in your life

August 24 2012

The rise of connected TV experience

This has been cooking for quite a while, but it seems that we’re finally getting to meaningful numbers to make us believe that futuristic visions of a connected TV experience are indeed becoming true.

As it is, and according to the latest Pew Research Center report “The Rise of the Connected Viewerhalf of all adults which have a smartphone incorporate it into their daily TV viewing experiences!

  • 38% of cell owners used their phone to keep themselves occupied during commercials or breaks in something they were watching
  • 23% used their phone to exchange text messages with someone else who was watching the same program in a different location
  • 22% used their phone to check whether something they heard on television was true
  • 20% used their phone to visit a website that was mentioned on television
  • 11% used their phone to see what other people were saying online about a program they were watching, and 11% posted their own comments online about a program they were watching using their mobile phone
  • 6% used their phone to vote for a reality show contestant

All summed up, it means that 52% of all smartphone users are already “connected viewers”, i.e., meaning they use their phones for some related purpose while watching television.

I find this values absolutely inspiring and I can’t help avoid remembering the words of Steven Johnson on his book “Everything Bad Is Good for You” on how today’s popular culture was actually making us smarter, well it’s not just smarter it’s also seriously more demanding! :)

TV is probably the best example and the business rules and the complexity of it’s products which had already been changing dramatically seem to be on a verge of another big change. TV requires an *integrated experience* across channels, again nothing that series like LOST haven’t thought the better your offline content interacts with the online/realtime TV experience the more likely you are of getting more users engaged.

TV is an immersive experience by nature, we’re there watching our mind is normally wandering into the characters, the plot, doing a whole lot of work on our back to gasp all that it’s delivered through its screen. But the idea that we’re all dumb consumers has indeed shifted, and interaction is the new business rule for any hit wanna be TV producer, you can no longer think of a closed model, you can’t just think you need to have a nice website to match the great plot story. Clearly users are requiring more, users are requiring interactivity, to be part of the experience, to learn more through that experience, to be connected even when you’re program isn’t on.

Mr. Johnson I think it’s time to update your book to add one extra level of complexity to the TV section: TV consumers don’t just expect more complex story lines, they have evolved to require a realtime, continuum interactive and social TV experience and the smartphones are the tools that are helping them shape that reality already today.

June 14 2012

May 04 2012

April 23 2012

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