This weekend I had an interesting chat with some pals who
somehow had all come to buy iPhones at exactly the same time. Obviously they
were raving about them and were discussing which apps were good to download.
Being 60% of the way towards becoming a grumpy old geezer I unleashed an
ill-informed rant about how apps are the stupid person’s way to use the
internet. Barely a week seems to go past without another news story about how
many billions of app downloads from the Apple store, or how many apps are
available for sale there (around 90,000 at the moment I think).
However, it’s quite counterintuitive that apps have become
so important in the mobile content market. BlackBerry (RIM) and the
manufacturers are desperately trying to catch up with their own versions of the
App Store. If someone offered you a programme for your home PC, which you can
download and it will show you the weather, or give you travel updates and what
is more, it costs £1.99 you would politely invite them to piss off. That is
what the internet is for, and you download one programme – an internet browser –
to look at all the myriad different types of content online.
In a way, the mobile manufacturers and networks are the
architects of their own predicament. The market that evolved between them set
the stage for a single minded player to enter and create something well
arranged for the users themselves. The mobile telephony and data market has
been characterised by the manufacturers and the network providers each trying
to ‘own’ the user’s experience. No-one wants to become the ‘dumb pipe’. Can you
imagine how stifled the fixed line internet would have been if each of the
players – telephone company, modem manufacturers, computer manufacturers would
each have been able to block or change the end users experience of the
internet. That is something approaching what happened over the last ten years,
and is why the much vaunted ‘year of mobile’ hasn’t happened yet.
Apple were very acute in seeing a way through to avoiding
this rat’s nest and having a direct relationship with the customer, as well as
being on top of a very large distribution network. Apps certainly have improved the user
experience, but as people become used to using the mobile internet, and as open
systems tend to win out over closed ones, over the long term apps will probably
start to die away in favour of using the internet the way it was intended.
This is absolutely amazing, take a picture of nearly anything and have google search for it, or use a video to see what is what in the real world. Screw printing out bits of paper and holding them up to a webcam, this is what augmented reality is all about. Imagine when you finally get to put a HUD into your sunglasses or your specs.
This is the final result of the little trip to Rome at the end of October. The site is live in across all the markets now, and the ads are live. The celebratory bottle of Limoncello will be breached shortly...
Some nice flash actionscripting of the shake function on the phone - I think it's called SenseMe. Get the old boy's hang-dog expression. I love it.
We used a tobacco filter on this shot. At least that's what they told me while I was busy carrying the bags, drinking coffee and scoffing Italian cakes.
Very pleased with the end result - especially amazing was the shoestring budget managed to stretch to about 15 crew on set, plus all the cast, a grade in the Framestore and subtitling in eight languages!
However, the project is unlikely to be contributing in any meaningful way into Mark Collier's holiday fund.
This is a picture many of you will be aware of - it is the car currently running around the USA for a company called Immersive Media, and being licensed by Google for their 'Streetview' project.
I had a little lightbulb moment the other day when I found out the supposed G-Phone, and put that together with an article about the string of mobile patents that Google have got. It Looks like they are looking to integrate search with the camera phone:
Image-based Contextual Advertisement Method and Branded Barcodes
Image Base Inquiry System for Search Engines for Mobile Telephones with Integrated Cameras
take a picture of what you are doing or where you are and get information back
from Google’s search engine, effectively overlaying the real world with a world sized map of virtual data.
that the new version of Google Maps Mobile will already tell you roughly where
you are to within 100m or so, this is pretty cool, but when you match this up to a Google index of photographs of everywhere in the world, you then have the most powerful search engine the world has ever seen (cue maniacal laughter)...