Dec 05

LeWeb 12: Nokia and Design

Liveblogged – there will be mistakes

Marko Ahtisaari, Executive Vice President, Design, Nokia – an Internet of Small Things

Le Web Paris Dec 2012

THe internet is everywhere around us, on a multitude of devices. With a bunch of sensors connecting them to the world. We move from multiple screens to more and more things that are on. in around us that are all connected. So what is the world we want to design and how do we interact with them. Look at the mobile – the screens are immersive, they take all our focus. We are looking at designing experiences that gets people’s heads up again. So this is tech to allow us to connect remotely but does not get in the way of us engaging with the environment.

The other is a return to the significance of place. We used to only call a place by phone. Then you moved to call a person. Every single person would have a phone. This is a critical change. But now the devices know where they are. And all of the things we will hav eon us, in us will be located in a place. So can we use location as a lens for the interactions. SO you need a model of place. And that is what we are building. We started 30 years ago, the path to build a real-time digital extraction of the world – Nokia HERE. It is a map that is calculated to you personally. It is a lot of work. Industrial, with cars mapping, with partner data from UPS etc. Need more and more data sources to build the model. And then we need the user data. How people are using it, what are they adding. We use that to enhance and improve the quality of the industrial data. Community is needed to get data for maps outside of populated areas.

For HERE to grow and improve, it needs to go horizontal, across multiple platforms and that is now happening. And we provide ways for people to build on it too. The main experience is on the phone, but we it is growing. Thinking as location as the lens, it changes what is built etc.

The goal is to make experiences that are connected to the world around us. That are personalised. Make them more heads up, more relevant to the environment. But that’s not all. So a deeper dive into what we make. We are a product of Northern EU, even though team is international. And that reflects in how we think. And one way is to refine what people do every day, making them better.

It shows in a commitment to purity. To making a product PURE. You take away everything that is not necessary. The other goal is to make products that are BUILT BETTER. Solid, well engineered. Deep collaboration between engineering and design. Then our products are HUMAN, never cold. It’s about how they feel in the hand. They are then always ADVANCED. The right technology.

(he then went on to launch the Nokia Lumia 620. looks a nice phone)

Sep 11

Impressions from Over the Air

It’s autumn and Over The Air has come around again. A mobile hacking camp with some really decent talks, it’s a regular fixture, a place i come to and listen to stuff I only just about understand whilst pretending to build things.

This year, I made it to far more talks than usual, some not so interesting, but I managed to come away with some food for thought.

  • started off a a hack, turned into more of a project. made sure that the data was open so that others can build on it, building things that the originators never thought about. End philosophy is all about giving people ways to connect the data
  • Visual search. Mobile is the bridge between you and the world of things. Can be used for things like price comparison, adding data via augmented reality, marketing and ecommerce,
  • Visual search – 1d bar codes were made for laser scanning, not user friendly and mobiel cameras don’t read easily. 2d designed to work with imaging. Product imaging allows it to happen when you don’t have bar code, eg with pictures of products.
  • in 2008, 80% of location revenue came from navigation apps. now, that has gone, and nav apps are in the minority compared to vertical apps that just use location as part of the offering. There’s more than 6k iPhone apps available. costs are tending towards zero, so targeted ads are the preferred revenue stream, or sponsorship.
  • Crowd sourced data on maps is more and more important. Realtime reporting, things that have a timebound element, eg roadworks. Users will have multiple apps using locations and maps in different ways.
  • Key elements are to make highly customisable apps, making it more relevant; allow rich user-specific content to be added; navigation to be added; monetisation via ads and sponsors and let end users map their own world
  • Most interesting to me, is have personal sharable maps, eg add a place to meet to your map and share it with your friends. they’ll get it on their maps, plus how to get there from where they are.
Feb 05

Google and Latitude

Google is confusing me at the moment with its execution of Latitude and its multiple versions. If I type in into the address bar, it defaults to and gives me this for Latitude

iGoogle UK version

When I type in (or click on the link to provided in the notification emails, it keeps me on the .com TLD and gives me this: Latitude

It’s obviously available…so why does it pretend it isn’t? And what’s with the changing URLs?

Feb 04

BT My Place

Last night, I was invited along to the launch of a new service from BT – BT MyPlace. Unfortunately, it all got called off with the weather; they’d sensibly decided that it may have been a little difficult to demo a service that would involve us wandering around outside.

BT MyPlace is a ‘pocket concierge’ system, for wifi devices. Register some of your preferences and when you are out and about – and can connect to the BT Openzone system in Westminster, you’ll be served relevant content. It’s a very local service, looking at the choices on offer, it’s focused on tourists. You don’t need to access over BTWifi though, as it seems to work perfectly well over standard connection.

To get it set up for the first time, you have to register on the site. Interestingly, I expected the confirmation to be sent to my phone, but instead it’s an email. On reflection, that’s because not all mobile wifi devices are phones, in fact, most aren’t if you consider laptops.

Next set your preferences. The UI on this site is a little raw to my eyes. The links to setting preferences are tucked away at the top, within preferences you have this weird mix of radio buttons and check boxes. My first thought was that I could only choose one type of preference, as radio buttons are used for exclusive choices.

Bt My Place (screenshot from site)

Bt My Place (screenshot from site)

At this point, I’m a little stuck. I’m going to try it out for real on the phone, but test searches were not overwhelmingly good when sitting at the desk whilst not in Westminster. I’m going to have to give it a try out in the outside world. I like the idea, it’s a good collaboration between BT and Westminster Council, I’ve just not seen it in action yet.

Apr 01

BBC on the Phone

Despite the data charges, having 3G on the phone on the phone in the Uk was fun, offering a lot more than is currently available in the US. As part of the available offering from Vodafone, Orange and 3, the BBC are going to trial 3 of their channels, BBC1, BBCNews and BBC3 over the phone system. They are testing both the service the audience reaction according to Ashley Highfield.

“The findings, combined with quantitative and qualitative consumer research, will inform the BBC’s future mobile strategy.”

Nice to see this happening but I wonder how many people will enjoy it. I tried out the Sky services last year and although a novelty the costs were too expensive to make it worthwhile – i could always wait to get home to see the news online. I think there will need to be better packages for widespread use.

Mar 10

Bluejacking is back

Well, according to the BBC anyway. The craze that never was is back in favour and is currently the most emailed story on the news site. Interestingly, the site links to stories from way back in 2003.

The only time I got messages this way was in a W hotel in New York, just the once. But this time round, it’s not being used to pick people up, but to confuse and confound them.

I came across the idea of bluejacking at an online discussion forum and it immediately struck me as a fun thing to do,” said Ellie, who set up and runs the bluejackQ (Bluejack You) website.

She said the “priceless” expression on the face of her first victim as he tried to work out what was going on has turned her into a regular bluejacker.

“This, mixed with not knowing whether the victim will react in an amused/confused or negative way gives me an adrenaline rush,” she said.

Mar 02

MoMoNYC February

Mobile Monday this week was set up as a demo night, with 8 companies presenting for 6 minutes. The host (Dan?) did a brilliant job of keeping everything moving and ensuring no-one lasted longer than their allotted time. I did not make all of the presentations, but here are brief notes from those I saw.

Greg Harris – Mobivity

  • Set up and run mobile campaigns
  • A simple user interface, to manage lists and all aspects of campaign
  • They’re still having issues with tmobile
  • The api takes incoming messages and pushes off with an api to company’s own systems for management
  • Working on ability to send image/video into the interface – can manage to send correct images using a
  • database to resize images

Doug Moore – Class math

  • Make educational software – 100k classrooms using them,
  • they collect data from child assessments, collates and then delivers back to web or mobile app
    on pdas and handhelds
  • have the walkthroughs of the assessments – remove the need to carry a lot of docs around with them, gives prompts of what they are going to say
  • also helps with problem solving assessment – how do kids work through the math problems
  • is a technology layer that sits on top of the devices, so can be ported to many devices,
  • you can track mistakes by kids
  • also detects common mistakes and helps diagnose issues with thinking
  • can track whole classes and show how they are doing – track work against them.
  • not on wireless synch…there are infrastructure issues. schools have low tech
  • timesavings – average 50% savings. also, the increase in frequency of assessment improves the child’s development – Cutless Steve Bull

  • working in entertainment areas – campus treasure hunt played with cellphones
  • cutless cell phone tours, eg historical tour
  • carrier and wireless agnostic
  • did karaoke opera and took people voices
  • this is their first b2b app
  • addresses the nightmare of a written report – so you telephone your sales report in, generates automatic report in text that gets delivered..and you approve later. later you get an auto reminder, at a date and time you specify, then the service calls you and the client at the appointed time through the server – so when you do a follow up, the client can get their remarks recorded directly – under client control
  • records the voice and converts to text….transcription are being done by hand.
  • report can be emailed out.
  • can run on wireless
  • not yet integrated with salesforce but are looking at it
  • 150$ a month..biggest expense is transcription. looking at moving to voice recognition when gets to a good enough point

ILoop Mobile Vince Traylor

  • a mobile marketing platform, the fastest most scaleable (according to themselves)
  • serves out SMS, WAP, subscriptions etc – target market is brands and advertising agencies so they can create mobile platform and business
  • gives you the tools to create, connect and control
  • create quizes, polls, subscription modes, connect numbers etc
  • have apps themselves and the the ability to give you a one stop shop
  • can create wap site dynamically, with drag and drop build of site
  • can offer ringtones, wallpapers, RSS, soon doing an ad server you can ad to your pages
  • you can text keyword, it can send you to wap page
  • remote publisher – ability to create social mobile marketing – can connect small groups with one another
  • can use non-commercial you can do proof of concepts to pitch client

Benjamin Eptsein – personal search syndication – Septep systems

  • understanding is that there is a passion for knowledge – goal is to make repositories and share info – so you need search
  • want to make a mobile search easy to use, gives people the ability to bring knowledge management to the masses – build their own repository and provide the tools for it
  • will demonstrate it
  • set up account..set up the engines, the mobile app gives you directories, you can search through, drill down through categories – (hierarchical based on on categories)
  • can give you location based search – put together a directory..working on adapting the results based on where you are.
  • also does word search…gives you results this way as well – within a directory
  • you can assemble collections of wap WAPWorld category. other results are stripped data from sites, these one in this category and specific for web
  • Q: why is this different from digg, delicious A: they are tagging not categories – they are assembled differently…a bigger search results. has a search process – continues to update then info based on the template you set up to get the data – dynamically keeps it updated

VectorMax – Alan Krebs

  • Anitones – a way of delivering synthetic video over wireless, can do 3d animations, videos, streaming
  • looking at developing new ways of streaming video – compression etc, with mobile an area of focus
  • mobile anywhere solution,end to end with content, player and video deployment
  • on symbian, java and some windows phones
  • can give you a personal agent – a character who answers your questions
  • can take a picture of yourself and get it put into an animation (on their servers) and send the film onto people
  • have a videomotion caption system
  • animation is rendered on the phone directly with the app – so can use low stream 2kbps stream
  • need the player on the phone – or deliver it as video, but quality is better with players
  • app takes up 200k on phone….mainly for hi end phones

Stowe Group – Janet Sullivan/Jonathan Schilling

  • HopCheck – targeted to sysadmins…sends updates of systems to phones
  • to monitor apps/servers/apps. install agents and can access the systems
  • you can take actions from the smart phones
  • can predefine events that will send you alerts when there are problems
  • runs on a variety – windows mobile, palm os, java etc
  • can see what services are running..and can take actions, see laerts etc from phone without needing to get to terminal
  • pretty customisable – can define applications and services that you want to monitor
  • can scan logs
  • You can use it to monitor sales ans store data – not just systems
  • security us https/ssl from phone to server to server.

Jason Send Word Now

  • started as an alert system, a service provider for emergency notification and alerts. Now incident management services
  • now looking at changing to allow people to manage from mobile devices. Not marketing, but business critical apps, eg Walmart co-ordinating employees during an emergency
  • the account has all the contact info and can then send out info through all different channels
  • can do via calling a number and speak the message and send it out
  • will track responses – turns into a 2 way mode
  • can get people direct into a conference
  • can allow a 1800 number to be set up so they can call in and get message
  • this is now all available in pda and palm and blackberry
  • incident management via blackberry dashboard

Unfortunately, I did not see any ‘good presentations’; there were problems with running the pres and with connecting the the web. Nothing was slick, there were problems with using the mike; the machine set up for the presentations seem to put all of them on autoplay, which caused no end of concern. It came over strongly that having on 5-6 minutes to present an idea is very, very, difficult. It’s too tempting to try and do a full company and product pitch when really only have the chance to pick one thing and do that as well as you can. Capture the imagination with that one thing and point people to the web site where all the rest of the information can be found. And if you can make that interactive and rich, you can get all your messages over at that contact point