Keeping the pulse on the Mobile space
One of the privileges of living in Okay, here are some of my notes on the companies who presented this month:
A friend of mine sent me a link to this website: www.mobilemonday.com so I decided to check it out. This week it was hosted at AOL a few blocks from where I work. Cool!
Everyone at this event loves gadgets and owns the latest/coolest cell phone on the market and uses it for voice/data/games and much more… I looked like a boring beginner with my lame Treo 600 exclusively used for voice and email.
Okay, here are some of my notes on the companies who presented this month:
- Rodney Aiglstorfer with mFoundry showed two applications built with their tools. They have a server side platform (mWorks), Eclipse-based plug-ins and an onset module that runs Moblets on the phone. Their claim to fame is that they were able to produce mobile versions of complicated Web sites in two weeks using their know-how and their toolset. I am going to check out their technologies, it sounds intriguing to me. In addition to some proprietary aspects (Moblets, MIL, etc.) of their offering, they seem to support a limited number of devices, which means they've got a long way to go to cover the masses.
- Next up we got a demo of Airena's Airset. These guys think that the email for mobile phones/PDAs is a crowded space, however, they see an opportunity for a centralized management of your calendars and your address books and have that delivered to you wherever/whenever. It's an SMS-based access to multiple groups from your phone. They also have a web-based app that allows you to enter your profiles and set up your groups. It is true that sometimes I get frustrated with some limitations in Yahoo Calendar and Yahoo Addresses but I am not sure it is painful enough for me to look for other solutions. The demo was pretty cool, not sure I will use it.
- Next up was Mike Li from 6th Sense Communications. I really liked this presentation because I had this idea a couple of years ago and started thinking about ways to solve the same problem but it's not one of those things you can do on the side. In a way they are after the same market as Dodgeball (a two people start up recently acquired by Google). In fact they are using the same look and feel but not the same technologies. Dodgeball doesn't need Bluetooth whereas 6th Sense relies on Bluetooth to find people around you. So what's cool about these two companies? You set up your profiles (professional profile, dating profile, etc.) and as you walk around town or go to events or to a bar, your phone tells you that the VC you were looking for is just a few feet away or the hot brunette of your dreams with the same interests you have is in the same bar, etc. It can also be used for advertisement, if you walk by a Starbucks everyday they can send you a 50% discount on your favorite drink as you walk by the store, wouldn't that make you want to buy a latte? IMHO 6th Sense should consider integrating ASAP with Friendster, LinkedIn and Myspace. Peopla hate typing their profiles over and over again. I could go on and on, I think it's pretty cool!
- Next was a boring (sorry) presentation by the not-so-motivated BuddyBuzz guys. They have implemented a pre-alpha software for your phone/PDA that allows you to read fast using the RSVP technique out of Stanford.
- Then we had a demo of fotochatter, an SMS-based service to send your favorite freshly taken photo to a group of friends and get their comments back… Not sure if these guys are trying to make a business out of this (I hope not) but the demo was cool. They have a Java version (with a better handling of the image size based on your specific device) as well a WAP version. They also offer a Web-based interface to create your profile, your groups and read all the messages/comments you get back from your buddies.
- Dale Larson from ipsh! Presented their solution for marketing campaigns (delivering wallpapers, promotions or ring tones) using an SMS-based technology. They seem to be doing pretty well and they can do mass or targeted marketing with a claimed 20% to 60% response rate which (if true) is a terrific rate.
- Natasha Minenko Flaherty with Immersion Corporation presented the VibeTonz System includes two products: VibeTonz Studio SDK, a complete software development kit for creating touch effects, and VibeTonz Mobile Player, an effect player which is embedded in the mobile handset. They essentially allow developers to precisely control the vibration motor on your device to add as much realism to your phone experience as possible. I am not going to use any of those products anytime soon, primarily because I am not a gamer and it adds more value to games than anything else (MHO). This said one of the benefits or her demo is that I realized how far behind we are (in
- Last we saw a couple of demos from Dhana Pawar with TeleCommunication Systems. The first demo was built for Rand McNally Traffic, it provides real-time traffic updates on the phone. This includes speed and accident info in a map, list and SMS format. This app was a finalist in the Best Info category at the BREW conference in
All in all I thought it was time very well spent. I learned a ton about the technologies used to build applications targeted at our phones and PDAs. I also got a an idea of what startups in this space are trying to build here in
If you would like to check out some