Archive for the ‘Global Connectivity’ Category
Just when Twittering seems to be all the rage, a new player hits the stage. It’s called Jott.com and its one of the coolest innovations I’ve seen in a while. Here is the basic idea:
You call Jott on your mobile phone. You speak the name of the person or group you want to send a message to. You speak for 30 seconds. Those sentences get transcribed and e-mailed. It could be a “note to self”, or a client, or an employee, or your team, or your spouse who never seems to have either of their two cell phones turned on (that’s another story).
Instant speech to text conversion with messaging. Kinda like a 30 second Twitter version of a podcast.
I often judge the coolness of something by using my 13-year old daughter as a barometer. She thinks Twitter is “totally geeky”, but when I showed Jott to her, she was instantly hooked. She immediately started playing with it; not for anything productive mind you, just wanted to see how much abuse it could take (singing, laughing, nonsensical jibberish). She also told her friends about it and they started Jotting each other. The hyper-connected youth have yet another way to communicate.
I have to agree with Drew McLellan who predicts that Jott “is going to be the breakout of 2007”. Drew suggests several ways he is going to use it:
- Dictate notes from meetings and send them to myself for a record. Jott it.
- I’m pulling out of a client’s parking lot and send a note to our Project Manager about opening a new job. Jott him.
- Forget milk? Never again. Jott me.
- Have a breakthrough idea while waiting to board a plane — jott my entire staff before I forget said idea. Jott the team.
- Want to remind my daughter to do XYZ but she’s going to get home before I do. Jott her.
- See someone across the way at Panera and want to remember to call them in a week or so. Jott me.
- Have forgotten to grab a book from the office 3 times. Jott me.
- All the stuff that I try to write down before I forget it. Jott me. Jott me. Jott me.
The other reason this may be big is that it is potentially disruptive to the wireless carriers. Think about it. Text Messaging is hot. Over 80 Million US subscribers sent over 100 Billion text messages last year (Pew Research). Teenagers have made it a routine way to communicate. Most individual subscriber plans charge $.02 per message sent and received. With Jott, you never have to pay to send a message, so you can send more messages under you current plan, or reduce your monthly costs by switching to a plan that allows fewer messages.
Now if someone will just build a simple interface to allow me to Jott to my Twitter account, I’ll be in lifelogging heaven.
I haven’t written much about Wi-Life (“wireless living”) in a while, but seeing how the gang over at PSFK have identified it as a 2007 Trend, I thought I would share my thoughts (and theirs).
Bluetooth & WiFi technologies have been serving the professional world for a few years, allowing us to stay chained to our desks, even when we are not at the office. OK, more optimistly, they are freeing having to be in fixed locations to accomplish tasks. This has made us more mobile and has definately changed our behavior.
Many homes now have wireless routers and high-speed internet (although its still way overpriced in the US compared to other parts of the world). I started this post in the kitchen, but am finishing it at 12:13 am lying in bed. Back in the summer, I often wrote posts outside on the patio. The home office is no longer a dedicated room. You can take that spare bedroom back now and turn it into something else. Ours is a scrapbooking room.
PSFK points out that Wi-Life is much more than being able to connect to the web wherever you want and the implications for how we will spend our leisure time in the near-future are really big:
Wireless internet and Bluetooth drives web-telephony as people can make calls from where they want when they want – and the laptop on the sofa offers an alternative to the TV or music center. WiLife means streaming your entertainment however you want. With wireless distribution systems like the Apple iTV, people will be able to use their computers as a kind of entertainment mission control from where they can send video, audio and more through the air to their TVs, Huffs and even your picture frames. (what’s a huff??)
Look at your laptop in your home as your new cable box and your additional hard-drive as your Tivo. Download your entertainment media from the web, save to your drive and play to any Wife enabled electronic. In fact, the distribution of media from the home computer to dumb terminals like the TV is a critical factor in the rise of the HearMeSeeMe web.
Of course, WiLife is not just for the home. Ford and Avis have announced a system that will let drivers download directions as they drive and give passengers to download shows and swap files tirelessly in-car. One day the cars will tell you where in the city your WiFi enabled friends are too.
And WiLife continues when you leave your car. Once we’ve recharged our gadgets with electro-magnetic wireless chargers, we’ll walk around with our phones and pods and these will us wireless technology to download entertainment and information from a media hub in the sky (Ryan talks about how he’ll use the phone in his video here). We’ll take both our record and DD collection around with us once it’s digitized and uploaded to our virtual slate on the web. And where will we play our tunes? At the beaches, parks and streets that cities are busy covering with wireless networks.
The impact of this always-on life is going to be pretty huge. Many of us have already seen our professional life become all-but always-on, now our leisure and social life will undergo a similar revolution.
Samsung Electronics presented their new three-way foldable combination of phone, personal computer and music player tailored for an emerging wireless broadband technology the company is pushing as a global standard.
The new device was unveiled at a Samsung-sponsored industry conference on Mobile Wi-Max – a new technology delivering faster remote broadband connections.
Its called MITs, which stands for Mobile Intelligent Terminal by Samsung. It weights about a pound and contains a fold out keyboard, 5-inch screen, 30GB hard drive, and Windows software.
It is scheduled to be released in South Korea in early 2007 with Intel, Sprint Nextel and Motorola all looking to commercialize it in the States soon thereafter.
“Technology-related products and services will increasingly be shaped by 12 underlying principles, or “technology values.” These values —- such as simplicity, efficiency, and personalization —- represent the characteristics that consumers will look for in products, services, and technologies over the next 10 to 15 years.”
So says Social Technologies, a Washington, DC-based research and consulting firm in a newly released study entitled The 12 Consumer Values to Drive Technology-related Product and Service Innovations. The study makes its conclusions based on today’s trends and change drivers and by looking at emerging technologies were going to help fulfill these needs and desires in the future.
I think this is some really insightful stuff. Businesses that embrace these values early are the ones who will succeed the customer-driven economy. How many of these values are you building into your latest initiatives? The full list follows. It’s worth the read!!!
Graphic courtesy of David Armano – Logic+Emotion (also worth the read!)
Top Technology Values—Highlights
Consumers increasingly want to create, augment, or influence design and content, and share these creations with their peers. Supporting user creativity will be increasingly important to consumer technology, and will become more mainstream in coming decades.
Consumers will increasingly look for products and services that align with their specific personal needs and preferences—whether in the aesthetics of a product or in its functional design. More goods will be created to match individuals’ unique specifications.
Simplicity will have growing value for consumers confronted with information overload, time stress, and technological complexity. Simplicity’s influence is already evident in new, stripped-down devices that offer just a few functions, as well as in minimalist interfaces that conceal breathtaking complexity. The common denominator of all these efforts is that they are human-centered—and thus easy to learn and integrate into busy lives.
As consumers are bombarded with more tasks, choices, and information, and as demographic changes such as aging reshape consumer markets, they are looking to assistive technologies for help. Consumers will seek to bolster and extend their natural abilities—with technologies ranging from pharmaceuticals that enhance mental performance to robot aides for the elderly.
Products and services will need to embrace the principle of appropriateness to ensure that they are suitably designed for users with varying physical needs, resources, cultural characteristics, literacy levels, etc. Appropriateness will aid in the spread of technology products and services to new markets and to diverse user segments.
Already well-established in mature markets, demand for convenience will rise as a technology value for consumers all over the world. Consumers will look for technological products and services that give them what they want and need on demand and that reduce effort and relieve time pressure.
Connectedness gives consumers what they want, when they want it, and will grow exponentially with the expanding global information infrastructure. Consumers will look for products and services that seamlessly integrate with this global network.
Efficiency is the ratio of output to input—or, put simply, the ability to do more with less. It will become more important to technology as consumers search for products and services that let them manage emerging resource uncertainties, rising costs, and other pressures.
Intelligence will be enabled by innovations that increasingly shift information and decision-making burdens from the user to the device or service. The demand for greater intelligence will come in response to factors including complexity, aging, and the desire for personalized experiences.
Protection will be sought by consumers in a world that feels increasingly insecure. Consumers will look for technology-enabled products and services that strengthen their sense of personal security and protect their families, homes, wealth, and privacy.
Consumers will look to technological products and services to maintain and, increasingly, improve their health and wellness. The search for health-enabling solutions will extend beyond traditional health and medical products and services to include more of the things consumers use in their everyday lives, whether at home, work, or play.
Consumers will increasingly look for products and services that embrace sustainability—reducing the “human footprint” on the environment while maintaining quality of life. A variety of technologies offer ways to minimize resource use, waste, and pollution while improving human welfare.
If you haven’t heard of a Triple Play yet — you know, where some service provider tries to shove TV, internet and phone service onto one pretty little contract for supposed cost savings and convenience to you — then we applaud you for your apparent skill at avoiding the incessant advertising of such services from the major media companies. Unfortunately, it seems the US Patent Office possesses just such a skill, since they’ve granted a patent to Cisco Technology for the concept of “providing integrated voice, video, and data content in an integrated service.” Now, Cisco did apply for this patent way back in 2000, before the idea had quite gotten so pervasive, but we’re still a bit miffed that something this common-sensical can be patented at all. No word yet on what Cisco plans to do with the patent, but there are a whole lot of “infringing” services out there that they could potentially go after if the mood strikes. Luckily, Cisco has some pretty neat ideas of their own for a Triple Play network offering listed in the patent, so we’ll remain cautiously optimistic — safe underground, of course, in our tin-foil shielded bunker.
In what seems like a weekly occurence, another brand has popped up in Second Life. This time it’s Telus, Canada’s second largest telco, who opened a virtual store last week. Telus is both the first major Canadian corporation, and the first major telecommunications company to enter SL. Unlike Aloft Hotel and American Apparel‘s store, which are both located on privately owned islands, Telus set up shop in a downtown area on SL’s mainland (visit location).
According to 3pointD, the telco’s foray into Second Life was initiated by a Telus advertising manager. Sparkle Dale, as she’s known in Second Life, has a personal passion for gaming and metaverses and saw an opportunity to extend her employer’s brand into a new realm.
The store was designed along the lines of flagship stores in Toronto and Montreal and features phones that are modelled and named after actual Samsung and Motorola models. While integration with Skype, other voice over IP systems and real life mobile phones would of course be an exciting way to merge virtual and real worlds, Telus’s SL phones currently only let users shoot off busy messages to other citizens. The phones are on sale for a few hundred Linden Dollars, which is the equivalent of a few US dollars.
Sprint Nextel Corp will use WiMax technology to build a broadband wireless network in the United States. Sprint will work with Motorola and Samsung according to the announcement (webcast and news release), as well as with chipmaker Intel. The network will be built from 2007 to 2009.
At Monday’s press conference, Sprint said it will invest $1 billion in 2007 and $1.5-$2 billion, in 2008 (not including investments by its partners). The Sprint Nextel 4G mobility network will use the company’s extensive 2.5GHz spectrum holdings, which cover 85 percent of the households in the top 100 U.S. markets.
Implementation of this network will introduce some significant competition markets that are currently dominated by Cable (ISP, Video). Look’s like cable’s free ride may be over.
Many more details on this story at dailywireless.org
CBSNews has several video segments on Second Life including an interview with Sibley Verbeck, founder of Electric Sheep Company (developing Starwood’s Aloft hotel). Sibley discusses the power of SL to empower small business and to enable globalization. He believes that, in the long run, many serious business applications are going to be developed in SL, but the real strength that is going to bring the first 20 Million users to virtual worlds is Entertainment…. “the music, events, television and the types of entertainment that aren’t things that people have now, but name brands, shopping experiences as well, but name brands that people are used to coming into the virtual world; that’s going to drive new audiences.”
The CBSNews page is here
Voice communication is coming to massive online worlds, and may bring big changes in how people use them. There a lot you can do in World of Warcraft or SecondLife, but talk is not one of them. To address this limitation, many users are turning to third-party solutions like Skype and TeamSpeak.
Now, a new company, Vivox, is readying an in-game voice service that may help draw players into games and keep them engaged, rather than serving as an open door to other worlds.
This opens up a whole new set of possible virtual applications. By this winter, Languagelab.com students will be able to attend an immersive language school in an online world.
Languagelab.com hopes students from all over the world will enjoy classes in interactive spaces like a holodeck-style area, where the virtual weather keeps changing to aid vocabulary practice.
Read the whole story at Wired.com
Laundry Time, an eight-week pilot program from the Internet Home Alliance, begins next week with three Atlanta families and the technology and services of Microsoft, HP, Panasonic, Proctor & Gamble and Whirlpool. The idea is to allow family members to receive alerts and control certain laundry functions from their PCs, cell phones and TV sets, presumably so they can spend more time with their PCs, cell phones and TV sets. (BTW, click the link to read the story over at NetworkWorld. It’s pretty funny!)
I am all for tech for the sake of tech, but I’m pretty sure this is one of the signs of the Apocalypse Nostradamus prognosticated.
Sony is trying to position their handheld games console as a traveler's tool. We mentioned the Talkman translator application device a while ago – a 'game' that can translate spoken sentences into Japanese, Italian, French or German – and now PSP plan to offer travel guides, VOIP and satellite navigation, the Sydney Morning Herald reports:
A new application, Planet PSP, will be launched later this year, with six editions covering some of Europe's most popular destinations: Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Paris, Prague and Rome.
Designed with young tourists in mind, the guides cover more than 250 city highlights such as restaurants, shops, clubs and tourist attractions. Videos, audio walks, photographs, maps and pre-planned itineraries make full use of the PSP's multimedia capabilities.
Sony is also developing satellite navigation and internet telephony capabilities for the handheld, both expected before Christmas. The GPS-enabled device will not only prevent your getting lost, but it will also have location-based games with content determined by the user's whereabouts.
Video and VoIP calls will be made possible by an EyeToy digital camera that plugs into a USB port and harnesses the console's wireless internet support.
Following up on the youth cellphone program introduced earlier this year by Disney, looks like T-Mobile is junping on the bandwagon.
To help parents keep their kids’ cellphone bills under control, T-Mobile has released the kidConnect service that’s now available for $19.99. The plan includes 50 minutes of anytime calls plus unlimited calling between parent and child and other T-Mobile subscribers. There’s a also unlimited weekend calling and SMS/MMS, which deducts from the 50 minutes of anytime talk minutes.
Plans like these are pretty neat for parents who don’t want their kids using the phone excessively, but still want to keep track and have their children be able to reach them at any time. We hear Michael Douglas gave one to CZJ. – Jason Chen