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Applications, augmented reality... Niches in mobile, as mobile becomes mass

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Applications, augmented reality... Niches in mobile, as mobile becomes mass

There was a time when mobile was a niche medium, or a part of the larger digital medium. Today, mobile has grown enough for many mediums to emerge and flourish. Some of these mediums discussed at MipTV 2010 included applications, augmented reality, mobile social networking, touch web and enhanced location awareness or location data.

Jason DaPonte, Managing Editor, BBC Mobile, UK, chaired a session, where the panel discussed this medium in detail.

Rudy de Waele, Chief Networking Officer, DotOpen, Spain, laid the foundation of the discussion as he spoke of some of the forthcoming trends in the mobile medium. First on his list was “Apps, apps, apps”. He said, “It is a big industry. In 2009 alone, there were 7 billion downloads from app stores. The iPhone alone is generating a billion dollars in revenues every year, and then there are the likes of Android and Nokia that are making more money.”

The next on his list was mobile social networking, where he pointed out that those connected on any social network through a mobile platform were more connected and more active. Augmented Reality was another trend, followed by the touch web that was manifested in forms like the iPad. With 35 billion devices connected worldwide, mobile Internet and enhanced location awareness were some of the other trends that de Waele spoke about. He also spoke on sensor networks, proximity, Bluetooth and recommendation technology. Micro payments was another trend that was discussed.

Claire Boonstra, Co-Founder, Layar, The Netherlands, spoke on the augmented reality platform in more detail. She explained, “In an open augmented reality platform, like we have at Layar, every data base with location information can become a layer. Augmented reality can be amazingly engaging and you can be the researcher yourself, figuring out where you are and where you are going. The platform has grown enough today, where people are even inviting flash mobs on augmented reality, taking inspiration from TV content. It is not the future anymore, it is really here.”

Boonstra explained that augmented reality allowed focussed experiences, which were set to become mass. She said, “We just closed a global pre-installation deal with Samsung. So now, Samsung handsets would come with built-in Layar buttons. The users don’t even have to download it anymore.”

Michael Schneider, CEO, Mobile Roadie, reiterated the importance of the medium and said, “There are 5 billion mobile users in the world, and that means that 80 per cent of the world has at least one mobile user. Applications are the new way of communication. Apps is a focus on your brands, it is to tunnel vision on your brand as opposed to being on the web, which is a lot broader. Steve Jobs had said that more people are searching in apps than ever before. That brings a new opportunity by itself. Now, advertising, too, is possible on these kinds of initiatives, and that opens a whole new revenue stream.”

Kurt Sillién, VP, Head of Customer Business, Development, Ericsson, Sweden, shared some more data stating that people were now moving from broadcast TV and downloading to streaming and Live TV. The points working in its favour was that it was easier to use, was trusted and legal. Internet, laptop and home computers were now connected to the television, creating a whole new user experience.


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