MIR: Future of Mobile 2007

Here’s the Whatleydude’s overview of the Future of Mobile conference held yesterday in London.

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Morning. Whatley here reporting live, or semi live, after the event. I was fortunate enough to attend Carsonified’sFuture of Mobile‘ – which was held at the simply huge BFI IMAX Cinema at Waterloo yesterday.

During the event I kept my notes on Jaiku – this was awesome because not only was I able to quickly capture soundbites and thoughts on the fly but my colleagues, peers and Jaiku buddies were also able to comment (the whole thread can be found here).

I’ve been trying to regurgitate most of the content into some kind of context to make it easier to consume.. but the more I try the more I struggle! So.. I’m just gonna crack on and do my best.

Right then – the schedule (along with more detail re: the speakers) for the day can be found here. And I believe that the slides from the days presentations can be found not far from there too.

2014431447_07bbf863f4_b.jpgMoving on.

First Speaker: Tony Fish – Cool.
I thought of Ewan especially when I heard him say something along the lines of ‘The assumption of what is available on the web is what is wanted on the mobile web.. ..is utter bollocks – Brilliant. Here’s a slide from Tony’s presentation—- >

See?! MASSIVE SLIDES!

The next thing he said that rang true with me is something I truly believe in – which is ‘The mobile web is NOT an extension of the Internet’ More on this later.

There was a kind of Mobile Web ‘Content Sandwich’ that made up the first part of the day.

So first, the meat of the sandwich: This came in the form of Luca Passani of Admob and Andrea Trasatti of dotMobi talking about how the Mobile Web should be and how they think it should be done’ from an industry perspective.

And then – either side of these guys – (the sandwich bread – as it were) – Tony Fish and the Content Panel (Prashant of Mippin standing out in particular) talking about how the Mobile Web IS and how it’s being used from a USER perspective. This sandwich method demonstrated – to me at least – how the there are so many different ways of trying to get to the same destination.

Luca Passani of Admob had his rant at Vodafone – Big Wow. NEXT!

Dan Appelquist of Vodafone told us about ‘one web’ (something which I’m still not convinced about – my opinion being that the mobile web and the moving interweb are two completely different creatures and should be treated thusly).

Andreas Trasatti of dotMobi discussed about ‘Best Practices’. I’ve had various conversations about dotMobi and have made no secret of my feelings about (what I see as) the futility of this domain but –  and this is a HUGE but – after having seen this presentation I understand now that it isn’t JUST about having a .mobi address. (I’m a firm believer in the m. solution) It’s more about putting in rules and regulations to help make the mobile web a friendlier place for the user in the long term.

As Dan Appelquist explained to me recently, “It’s not the URL destination, it’s what it looks like when you get there.”

Charles McCathieNevile of Opera talked about web browsing and without a doubt, wins the Best Comment of the Day prize with his one liner about widgets “Yeah, because I need another clock, right?”

Brian Fling of Blue Flavour – ‘The iPhone is the first Mobile 2.0 device’. Discuss!

Dave Burke of Google showed us some Android stuff – but I’m not a developer so, alas it made limited sense to me!

One thing that really stood out for me all day was that the conference was very focused on what was happening in mobile today. Whilst that’s useful to many, I, and I think a large majority of the delegates attended to find out more about the future. We were, I think, hoping for some insightful future-gazing viewpoints that didn’t quite materialise.

Tony Fish laid it out in his parting thoughts when he commented:

“Don’t forget voice when thinking about mobile”.

A valid reminder when 99.9% of all mobile users use their phones primarily for VOICE. So let’s take Voice and see what we can do with it  *cough* – SpinVox is Awesome – *cough* ;)

Unfortunately the conference was simply far too much about the Mobile Web. In fact, a recurring theme of conversation throughout the ‘networking breaks’ during the day was the fact that the event should’ve been more accurately labelled ‘An Introduction to the mobile web‘ not ‘The Future of Mobile‘.

This takes nothing away from the efforts of the FOM speakers and/or organisers.. it’s just a comment on something that promised so much but didn’t actually deliver. But hey.. the post-conference party was good!

Please leave any questions in the comments field below and I’ll reply accordingly’

Cheers!

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