Africa's 1 billion people are the world's fastest growing market for mobile phones.
Sales of mobile phones on the continent grew 22% year-on-year in 2009, and are projected to add another 280-million users by 2015. But Africans are not just users: they’re also pioneering ground-breaking new mobile services, leading the world in everything from mobile money to mobile health.
The speed of growth has, however, created so much sensational hype that it is difficult to tell the real opportunities from misleading exaggeration.
This panel will cut through the hype, to explore the real opportunities in Africa for mobile app developers: is it all low-tech, or are there markets for cutting edge apps? Where are the most sustainable markets, what kinds of apps / services are most likely to succeed, and which mobile platforms offer best scope for success?
The panel will also examine the successes and failures of developers who have already taken the plunge, and will evaluate which African mobile developers are best placed for partnerships or other collaborations.
And, because Africa is pioneering its own world-class mobile services in everything from augmented reality to geo-social and other location-based services, we will explore which of those mobile innovations are poised for global expansion.
80% of the world population has access to mobile vs. only 23% with access to the Internet! Social interaction has revolutionized (online) digital media as it has opened new demographics and provides for a more compelling and relevant experience for users in addition to opening new tangents for search, recommendations, etc.
The transformative power of social context was especially pronounced in gaming (cf. Zynga ["Farmville"] et al. who have grown into large businesses very quickly).
The mobile landscape is significantly more complex than the Internet (dozens of platforms, hundreds of distribution channels, hundreds of jurisdictions), and the medium has indeed very different underlying dynamics (screen size and general form factor, input methods, mobility, use cases, etc). It is therefore vital to gain deep understanding about the underlying dynamics of both the medium as well as the users' approach in using that medium.
It is essential to avoid a "Galapagos effect" where certain models only work on limited platforms (e.g. iPhone) or in specific territories (e.g. Japan). Only a fraction of the world's 5bn (!) mobile subscriptions are on iPhones or are in Japan, and one needs to look to tackle the fragmentation dilemma in order to unlock the enormous potential the largest medium in the world has to offer.
This session will show the rationales that need to be applied to understand the medium and will outline paths to successfully address it.
by Rich Devine
By 2012, 20 percent of all search queries will come from a mobile device. While there is growing focus on creating mobile site experiences and applications, not enough businesses focus on their mobile search experience. Just because you’ve optimized search for the desktop doesn’t mean it works on a mobile device. Mobile search is different than desktop search—and for many businesses, it’s a critical step toward customer success. Our discussion focuses on three core actions: how to identify unique business opportunities for mobile search, how to optimize for mobile search, and how to measure the performance and value of mobile search.
by Joe McCann
HTML5 is no question the "buzzword du jour" in tech nowadays, but looking past the vernacular cruft one will discover that the HTML5 technology STACK is actually an incredibly powerful & useful framework for apps well beyond the traditional web browser. Massive companies like Google and Hewlett Packard are placing huge bets on the future of "HTML5 App development". From HP/Palm's WebOS to be used in their mobility products to Google's Chrome OS, HTML5 is not simply another buzzword that can be treated as a mere passing trend, but should actually be taken seriously for app development.
But what makes up the HTML5 stack and how will it truly be the future of software? What are the benefits & risks associated with using the HTML5 stack? Prove to me it works. All of these questions & demands will be answered & showcased in the presentation including important issues such as:
Web and mobile technology have developed differently in Japan than any other country with hardware, features and social communities which are completely unique to this singular market. But Japanese companies are now realizing this introverted market position isn't sustainable and are now looking towards technology from outside and exploring way to create technology for outside of their country.
Japan has ubiquitous high-speed coverage and a voracious appetite for tech gadgets, however, their tools have developed with entirely different features than other countries. For example: Japan's "Galapo-phones" commonly include streaming TV and multi-character sets, Mixii and Gree each have more than 30 million users on their social networks, and Yahoo is a whole different experience from US counter-part.
With meteoric growth in Twitter and network tools, Japan aims on becoming the regional leader for emerging social web technologies -- much like their early leadership in consumer electronics and gaming industries. This presents opportunities for collaboration and partnerships but localizing requires more than translation.
This panel will discuss the unique characteristics of Japanese web and mobile market including tactics for connecting to markets, identifying opportunities, and outreaching to audiences, plus understanding unexpected cultural nuances and consumer expectations.
This presentation will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of visual and non-visual augmented reality. We’ll cover alternate types of augmented reality techniques and how they have been saving us time in the past few months. We’ll demonstrate how we’ve been merging available technologies with custom programming to create location-aware social networks with custom proximity notification. Finally, we’ll describe other uses for location sharing, such as automatically turning off house lights when leaving for work, wayfinding with piezoelectric buzzers, geonotes and other mashups that can be done using sms, gps, x-10 and irc as a control hub.
Wired declared Web 3.0 the age of apps and that the Web was dead and the future is native apps. Insight or naiveté? We’ll discuss the current merits of HTML5, and which companies and technologies will accelerate its adoption among mainstream consumers and create new opportunities for developers. We’ll also discuss the impact this can have on current native application strategies for Windows, Windows Phone 7, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android by looking at the impressive work that is being done today with the Web and apps to deliver compelling consumer experiences. But we’ll also address the shortcomings and the reality of HTML and what Web and app designers and developers can and should be doing today.
With the momentum of green design, new technologies and applications are continuously being developed to assist in sustainable living. A large percentage of your energy consumption is in the home, majorly impacting your individual carbon footprint. By monitoring home energy consumption in real time with a web or mobile application users can pinpoint vampire devices, times of high or low consumption, and wasteful patterns of energy use.
This presentation will explore the available web, mobile, and touch screen applications for monitoring energy consumption and automating the home that are currently on the market. After identifying components of successful applications the presentation will cover why designing a strong user experience will make total home management applications a convenient tool, motivating the user to make adjustments, and change their consumption behaviors. An intuitive application will help users to quickly understand their usage habits by clearly identifying total consumption as well as individual device consumption. Specific examples will prove why great design equates to more security, big environmental impact, and even bigger savings.
Is it true that if consumers had to choose then they would prefer to lose their wallet rather than their mobile phone? Making secure transactions a reality on mobile devices relies on a complex dance between chip makers, device manufacturers, software developers, content developers, carriers and the banking industry. How is technology and the industry moving forward to ensure consumers can rely on their mobile devices as their mobile pocketbook and how will these changes shape consumer behavior and content consumption.
11th–15th March 2011