Tag Archives: MobileMonday

#mwc09 part 2

Ok, part two of our round-up from last week’s Mobile World Congress. First off, I thought “The Social Phone” had a good show. By this I mean there was quite a bit of activity around new phone models that support or enhance social networking, about mobile social networking, and general continued buzz on that “space” as the analysts like to say.

In the run-up to the show, we had some great stats emerge, like the fact that Facebook has 25 million mobile users per month now, up from 5 million at the start of 2008. MySpace is at 20 million a month. And Bebo? Well – it’s hard to tell as numbers seem to be thin on the ground. Given the growth rates however, it’s small wonder then that there’s buzz around trying to create a “joined up” experience for people accessing their favourite social sites from the phones. Motorola has openly declared that their new Android phones will have quite an emphasis on “social”, and witness also the success of apps like the Facebook app on the iPhone. While the iPhone as such, hasn’t gone hell for leather for social features built-in, look at the rang of apps that populate the store.

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You get the idea – phones are of course a brilliant tool with which to update and review your social network activity, because of their characteristics: they’re with you when you’re out and about, being social, they let you capture audio, video, text “at the point of inspiration” – when you have an idea, a thought, a feeling or just see, hear or notice something that you want to share with your mates. Increasingly, apart from vertical social networks, the idea of one without a strong mobile component, or even a mobile “centre of gravity” will seem odd.

Anyway – in to this fray steps the INQ1, winner of the Phone of the Show award at MWC09.

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I have to say I think this was a well-deserved award. INQ1 have tried very hard to really stitch social networking, and especially Facebook, right in to the DNA of the INQ1. They’ve tried to help figure out things like connecting your address book (on the phone) to your contacts (in your social networks). And they’ve made a great start. It’s not perfect, but then few things are in this very-quickly changing area, and they are to be congratulated for what they’ve got right. Such as? Such as:

  • Yes – you can pull your contacts in to the address book – right from Facebook
  • Your address book as a result “comes alive”. So first, you don’t have to set photos for your contacts (duh, as Martin Geddes pointed out a long time ago) – those photos are pulled from profile pics on Facebook. Nice. In addition, you can see latest status updates from your contacts right in the address book, one of the places that it’s really useful (“um, better not call John, seems he’s in Oz and it’s 3am there….”)
  • Push updates on Facebook activity. Tricky to strike the balance here between “shut that goddamn phone up” and “why does no one update” – but I think they’ve done a nice job. It beeps with “stuff” you might want to know about every so often.

And there’s more – you get the idea. Suffice to say though, I think the devil is in the detail. There’s lots of small things about the way the INQ1 does its business that takes a while to appreciate. They team show that they “get it” and may have actually used a social network site in anger at some point, as opposed to some implementations we can think of. Award well deserved imho. And yes, I plan to try and do a full, detailed review of the INQ1 in a future post.

Back to the show. We were exhibiting on the Enteprise Ireland Stand at the show. They threw a party on-stand on Tuesday evening – and it was MOBBED!!!

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Seriously. Hundreds turned up to sup Guinness and mingle and munch canapes. And then we headed to the Irish Bar where the real trouble began 🙂 A very well-organised event, and kudos yet again to Enterprise Ireland, who consistently outclass other Country Pavilions at these events and punch way above their weight.

Speaking of countries – there’s been some good chatter on the MoMo London newsgroup after MWC with a good debate about whether MWC09 was good (or indeed, whether it’s ever good!). It was kicked off by this blog post. And then the group has dived in either echoing these comments or in defense. Mostly in defence so far it has to be said. My favourite bits:

It doesn’t matter how good your new handset is; the CBoss dancing girls in Hall1 are still the most photographed feature of MWC.

And

A dry ham baguette is not lunch.

Ouch! More to follow….

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#mwc09 part 1

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Just back home in Dublin from Mobile World Congress Barcelona, and have the usual mix of post-tradeshow excitement-cum-fatigue. It was a really excellent show. Attendance was down, which made the aisles easier to walk, the queues (lines) shorter or non-existent, hotels easier to book, and the whole conference just slightly less manic than in prior years. The reduced attendance meant anyone there was there to do business. As a result it seemed to me, and to most people I asked, that “quality” (meaning potential to move business deals forward) was up. That is indeed a good thing.

I’ll do a few short posts to cover our week at MWC. As usual – it’s sometimes hard to get around to see things, as we were either on our stand or in meetings. This tends to cramp your style, even if (as we did) you have a team of three present all week. However, you do tend to pick up “the buzz” from the meetings, the traffic, the show conversations, and so on. Plus of course we were at several events during the week, at which the great and the good were present, so you get to hear their take on things.

So just for fun, here’s a starter insight to MWC : the price of Internet Access if you use the Fira-supplied offers in the building.

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Yes, that’s right. 75 Euro for 24 hours access!!! Unbelievable. I know, I know. Most people at the show use some other method, either supplied by their stand (wired or wireless access), or have made their own arrangements. I just can’t help find it ironic that these prices are approaching the highest I’ve ever seen. Surely, surely, surely, with an agenda to promote “wireless access” – especially to data – the GSMA could sort out something innovative, showcase and world-class for future years?

Now for other matters. Well first things first. Dial2Do was nominated by the MobileMonday Dublin chapter for the MobileMonday Peer Awards at MWC. As I mentioned before, it was an honour to be nominated, and we went filled with gusto, vim and vigour to put our best foot forward to win the prize. Our ceo, Ivan MacDonald did the pitch, which included a first public presentation about our new partnership with SouthWing for their new SouthWingAssistant service.

Well, we didn’t win. 😦 However, the event was great, the quality across the board was very strong, and we had some fantastic feedback, before, during and after the event.

The winner was very-deserved babajob – a job-finder service with a strong mobile component based in India. They swept the boards with both community awards and jury awards. Congratulations and kudos to everyone at babajob.

We then attended the MoMo Peer Awards party, and great gathering organised at Citrus. Seemed that everyone was there – top marks to the m-trends team for making it happen.

Back at the stand, we had a great reaction to the SouthWing announcement. There’s nothing like having the real hardware available on the stand to show people to help them get the idea. And the new SouthWing stuff looks very, very slick.

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We did a lot of demos at the show to give people a real feel for how the SouthWing Assistant will work in practise (push the button, get connected!). As SouthWing happen to be a Barcelona-based company, many of the SouthWing staff were able to stop by over the course of the conference. It was great to put faces to some of the names we’ve spent time with on conference calls over the last few months! 🙂

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Our Stand-Of-The-Show award goes to SpinVox, who, as last year, had the most original design and most astonishing marketing at the show. Man – dem boys have some serious marketing moolah. Incredible!

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On Monday Dial2Do was also were included in a new report by Infonetics on IMS and RCS. We’ve written here before about RCS, and were privileged to be included in Diane Myers’ new report, released on the first day of the conference. As Diane wrote:

One measure of success for RCS will be the ability to layer-on enhanced services and capabilities beyond the core components. There are a number of compelling voice and data applications that offer converged mobile/fixed-line capabilities that operate perfectly well in stand-alone IP networks. To date there has been little compelling value to move to IMS from an application perspective. RCS changes all that as the example of Dial2Do illustrates.

Diane covers an rich communication example we’re working on in Dial2Do, whereby we can add value to a “call” service – offering rich status information regarding the called party (latest IM status, twitter status, and so on) within the call flow, and offer the caller some options as to how best to connect. The report is available from Infonetics.

Ok, this post is getting too long. Back later with more on Android, Social Phone and tidbits from the show.

Dial2Do and SouthWing announce revolutionary hands-free devices for drivers

Dial2Do and Global Bluetooth headset manufacturer SouthWing will announce the new SouthWing Voice Assistant service at the ShowStoppers Event at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona on Sunday evening.

Together with SouthWing’s patented Push4™ button, the SouthWing Assistant ushers in a new era of convenience, safety and productivity for drivers. Drivers just push a button on their headset or carkit and speak to send text messages, send and listen to emails, record reminders and more. Powered by Dial2Do’s Voice Platform, the service is a boost for anyone who wants to make best use of their time in the car, but stay safe and legal behind the wheel.


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“This is a world first” says Bart Huisken, SouthWing Founder, “We’ve focused on making it totally simple for drivers to get things done and drive safely. With the SouthWing Assistant, you press a button and just talk to send emails, reminders and more. The combination of our patented Push4 button with Dial2Do’s voice platform makes it a “joined up” experience for the user, an industry first. The combination of a single button to press and a single price to pay for everything gives users simplicity and convenience in both service and pricing.”


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Dial2Do will be demonstrating the service at the Mobile Monday Peer Awards Barcelona, where they have been shortlisted in the Early Stage Startup category. The MobileMonday Mobile Peer Awards Barcelona are among the most influential events in the mobile industry and, with over 1000 attendants, the point of reference in startup innovation during the Mobile World Congress. Dial2Do was nominated by peers in the Dublin Chapter of Mobile Monday.

Dial2Do will be in action all week at Mobile World Congress, and are exhibiting on the Enterprise Ireland Pavilion in Hall 1, Stand 1F17. Dial2Do will also be taking part in the Mobile Jam for Wireless Developers, now called WipJam on Thursday at MWC, and are helping chair the session on Making Money.

Official Press Release is attached below. 

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Dial2Do at Mobile World Congress

The Dial2Do Team will be out in force at MWC 09. We’ll be on our stand on the Enterprise Ireland Pavilion all week (map below). Here’s a quick summary of what we’re up to:

  • Sunday : ShowStoppers Product Showcase Event for Journalists and PR People
  • Monday : Stand and MobleMonday Peer Awards
  • Tuesday : Stand and Enterprise Ireland reception – 5pm – 7pm (email us for invites)
  • Wednesday : Stand
  • Thursday : Stand and WipJam (Mobile Jam Event)

We’ll have some exciting partnership announcements at the show, so please stop by and say hello. We’re also available for party-duty if you need willing volunteers 🙂

See you there!

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Dial2Do is a nominee for MobileMonday Peer Awards

MobileMonday Peer Awards

MobileMonday Peer Awards

Dial2Do has made the initial nominee list for the MobileMonday Peer Awards! We’re honoured to have been selected by the Dublin Chapter of MobileMonday – it’s a privilege – especially as we are pretty familiar with the local compeition 🙂 Thanks to all and we hope to do you proud and make it to the next stage.

Along with 42 other companies, an expert panel will now whittle us to down 20 companies to go to Mobile World Congress Barcelona.

TechCrunch UK article here.

MobileMonday Dublin, November 08

I went along to MobileMonday Dublin last night. The organisers have done a solid job in keeping the Dublin MobileMonday well-run and well-attended, and have kept the quality high in terms of both venues and more importantly content. I’d guess there were maybe 40-50 people there last night, a mix from across various software companies both large and small, operators, and various people “just interested in mobile”. 

Four companies presented :

Locle kicked things off and demo’d their application, which you can use via the web, or via a wap/mobile site at http://m.locle.com.

You register with them, and then you can invite friends to use the service. You “check in” with your position, and I reckon, depending on the model of phone you have, locle will aim to auto-identify where you are, based on their cell-tower information and a few other tricks up their sleeves. Nicely implemented, the real payoff, as with any social network, is when your friends are in there too. However, even despite that, I like the concept of “locle Yokels” – people you *don’t* know, but who are nearby (and have explicitly shared that information). Lets you get a feel for the service right off, without having to import your whole address book etc. You can also set a “proximity filter” using two attributes – time and distance, allowing you to “zoom in” (or out) on people in both time (here now, versus here a while ago) and space. 

I think Locle is a well implemented, and their deal with Eircom puts them in a great position for winning the key early stage traffic that helps you tune and grow a service like this. Worth watching. I’d reckon the competition is from BrightKite, NrMe, maybe even Twinkle and a few others where location+friends is the “centre of gravity” of their offering. 

JustRoutes was next up. This is an application I’ve used before, and one I think solves a real problem. At the best of times, figuring out your way around Dublin on the bus system is a “buzz wrecker”. And I say this as someone who uses the bus regularly. JustRoutes have gone to the trouble of collating all the available bus information (routes, timetables providers), and seem to have geo-coded the lot, enabling you to just enter a start and end address, and have JustRoutes offer the available routes to you, including walking times between transfers etc. Nice. 

Right now they focus on Dublin. It would be fair in fact to say they’ve “gone deep” on solving this problem for Dublin and making the service work well for that city alone, initially. And work it does! They’ve a few nice elements in the service: you can use it from the web or mobile (mobile is at mob.justroutes.com). They autocomplete street names as you type (very handy); they’ll offer a selection of routes (most direct and others), will tap you straight in to the timetable if you want it, and also offer a youtube-style direct link for that route so you can email it, share it, save it and bring that route back to life with a single click (for example: bus route home for me is http://justroutes.com/14034)

They were asked a few questions about their business model and potential for partnering. For example, could they show real-time information on buses? (Answer: that’s not available from Dublin Bus, even though they have it). I thought that was an opportunity. Partner with Aircoach (who have real-time information), and whenever someone wants a route to the airport, offer an “see real time bus information?” option, which right-now, will *only* show Aircoach buses. I think Aircoach might like to pay for that. Or another option is to create offers related to routes (they know where you’re headed based on route request, which means they know if you have time on that route for a coffee, or a snack, or a newspaper, or whatever….). Lots of opportunities for relevant, CPA based ads in there. 

Finally, I think one of their more interesting insights is this: they’re not targeting cities with, let’s call it, Grade A public transport infrastructure. They’re after the brain-damaged, poorly serviced, haphazard public-transport places, like eh, Dublin.  I think that’s a genuine opportunity – they can solve a real problem for cities like that, and last time I checked, there are lots of them! The competition is likely to be (guess who) Google, or Dublin Bus (if they ever get their act together), but I think there’s room here to “go deep” on the problem they solve, as well as for the kind of cities they solve it for, and build a solid business in that space as a result. 

RateMyArea was next up. Their mantra is “What, Where?” – what are you looking for, roughly where? This is another service I tried out recently (just a few weeks ago) for the first time. Beautiful looking site (I’m a sucker for eye candy as well as functionality), the goal is to both let you find things you might like in relevant areas, and also contribute by rating and reviewing things relevant to you. For example, apparently car parks are one of the unexpected “social objects” that get rated quite a lot by the early users of RateMyArea 🙂 If you browse around the site – you get the idea – ratings and reviews for parks, visitor centers, shops, restaurants, car parks, whatever! 

RateMyArea was also asked about their business model, and responded that there are many angles to find money as you build a database of “what’s good” in a local area, as well as at the point of search. I like their soundbite – “A TripAdvisor” for the other 355 days of the year” as a way to neatly summarise what they’re trying to do. As usual – the competition is potentially fierce in this area (local search, for example, is *big*), and they were asked about Yelp (a service I love) as a competitor in the same space. Yup – plenty of competition there – I reckon the key will be to find local partners who can really drive traffic and content generation through the site. In addition, I think they need to steal some basic tricks from the other networks. For example, LinkedIn gradually, and gently, nagged me in to filling in more of my profile, by displaying that annoying progress bar that showed my profile being “30% complete”. I finally succumbed and did the stuff that made it “90% complete” – added background, interests, yada yada, thereby improving their content, search results and ability to match within the network. I think RateMyArea could do the same – lightweight, subtle but persistent “nagging” for me to “rate a bar near work”, “rate a restaurant near where you live” and so on. 

Wubud was last up. Ewan seemed to have an impossible task: give a talk about wubud while expressly and specifically saying absolutely nothing of any detail about wubud. Tricky that! 🙂 Anyway – that’s what he did. We know wubud is a mobile social network, and that the jump-off point for contacts is your phone’s address book (something you’ll know we agree with violently here if you’ve seen our earlier posts about the social phone book). So I’m guessing they’re in the zone of Zyb (mobile client), Aka-aki, Belysio in terms of their “coupling” to the phone’s address book. Hot space, and they would want to keep a close eye on the set of new social phones on the way or already out there. Hard to tell – as the stealth cloak is firmly over the details right now. However, they do have funding from Bebo, albeit a modest amount by all accounts, so perhaps they have an “in” there that could help them really ramp adoption out of the blocks. We’ll have to wait and see.

Wubud in Stealth for now

Wubud in Stealth for now

 

 

All in all – excellent event and well-organised. If you’re in Dublin and looking to network with the mobile and wireless community, this should definitely be on your radar. Next meeting in sometime in the New Year.  Watch the website or join the group for information.