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All posts tagged Smartphones

Is it just me or…?

Has Foursquare been awfully quiet lately? Not just Foursquare but the other contenders in the Location based market seem to have faded into the background. Is this because Locational Services have evolved as far as they can go? Sometimes silence indicates that something big is coming.

 

 

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Clipart courtesy of Microsoft Word ClipArt.

Recently

I was visiting Manchester, UK to see family and escape the August heat in Israel. I spent every morning in the local Costa Coffee ensuring I started the day suitably caffeinated (day trips with the kids make this a must). Most places in the UK now use smart chipped credit cards and when I renewed my Visa last year I made sure to get a chipped card. Basically you “dip” the card into a reader and enter your PIN number.

All this was pretty cool but it got me thinking…

Warptest Speculation for 2012/13

Given the rise in consumer adoption of Smartphones and the drive for the phone as a wallet. I believe we are going to see a convergence of eWallet and Locational Services.

A check-in to a Store, Coffee shop , Restaurant or even your local Costco is the precursor to your shopping in that location.

Lest we forget Locational Services contain excellent Business Intelligence all about our habits and behavior.

Even as a basic validation of your payment processor: that you couldn’t possibly be using your Credit card to physically purchase in two locations simultaneously or too far away to have reached within the time between purchases is a sound feature.

So the Warptest prediction is that Facebook, already with a money/ account feature will tie this to Facebook location check-ins and perhaps Foursquare will head in the following direction(s): –

1. A strategic alliance with VISA, American Express or Mastercard where your Locational Check-in via Smartphone allows you to receive targeted real-time offers, virtual coupons and a Check-out handshake at the cashier’s till to pay for items your phone scanned as you shopped.

2. Foursquare offers a pay for use API for real world stores who wish to adopt a Locational Pay model where your Supermarket Chain tracks your Check-Ins, sends reminders that you haven’t checked in for your weekly shop, analyzes your purchases to create an on-the-fly shopping list and provides In Store location updates for your favorite purchases when they are moved from Aisle 3 to Aisle 5.

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Nokia Lumia 920 image from Expansys.com

Of course, this should drag several secondary services such as enhanced Smartphone security kicking and screaming into 2012.

Can you see yourself using a service like this?

 

Technorati Tags: ,Locational Services,,

Where Are You Mobile Technology?

We often hear that mobile technology or smartphone processing power is greater in these tiny handheld units than the computers used to affect the Lunar Landing by NASA.

Mobile technology - moon landingImage courtesy of YouTube screencap

However, sometimes it seems that no matter the hot new mobile device we are all lusting after the technology is just a new spin on the same thing .. there seem to be a couple of obstacles to progress:

Stall #1: Batteries

Smartphones, laptops and other mobile devices are dependent on rechargeable batteries. These batteries are either heavy or have limited lifespan. This is not to say that there haven’t been improvements but which of us at an event or in an airport doesn’t gravitate to the nearest power socket for a mains electricity boost?

In a previous post I wrote about Apple registering a patent for hydrogen powered batteries and the inherent problems in this but at least someone is pushing the boundaries of the existing paradigm.

Stall #2: Screen Size

I’m writing this post on a 13.3” wide laptop screen. I was initially concerned about the drop down from 17” but my back is thanking me for the lighter load and with a 1Gb GPU it does the job well.

We are starting to hear about flexible screens and micro-projectors but let’s be honest us Sci-Fi geeks are waiting for a “screen” that is 3D Holographic, touch display.

The moment your display is holographic it will change by need. I’m going to suggest again that a Smartphone with Kinect built-in would provide the “touch” reactive functionality.

However, this will in all likelihood be constrained by battery life.

Mobile technology - Obi Wan You're our only help
Star Wars – Princess Leia’s Holographic Message to Obi Wan

At the end of the day these are not the only issues but they are big ones. What do you think?

Technorati Tags: ,,Holographics,,

Google Glass and Microsoft Kinect…

Google Glass and Microsoft Kinect, both big time disrupters. Kinect the game-changer that allows your gaming experience to react to your body movements and voice. My first question when I first heard about this was, just how much processing power does it take for the Kinect to act as your primary interface?

Google Glass - actually this is Kinect

images courtesy of Microsoft’s  XBox – Kinect Homepage

Of course Microsoft are well on their way to realizing the full potential of Kinect. For example, voice controlled search via Bing, combined with XBox Live and more.

Next question: when is Windows Phone going to make this the primary interface?

Google’s Project Glass

Last week the whole tech blogosphere and beyond went wild about Google’s Project Glass. It is a sleek, wearable heads-up augmented reality display that will act as the user’s primary interface with the world.

Google Glass heads

images courtesy of Project Glass on Google+

It seems that according to what we know from the G+ page, Glass will interact with head tilt and other basic motion .. possibly using a gyroscope and or accelerometer (the example cited is for the Navigation System).

The Warptest POV

Google Glass sounds like an amazing concept that should be scaring the other platforms into playing catch-up.

In a nutshell were Project Glass (or a WP7 OS equivalent) to mate with the Kinect then the wearable, immersive, augmented reality interface would kill the competition.

However with Kinect the user may not need to look like an extra from Universal Soldier or Star Trek TNG:

Google Glass - Unisol    images courtesy of IMDB   Google Glass - STNG

Google Glass - Kinect phone mockup

(the image above is a mockup)

Redmond, if you are reading.. it’s catch-up time!

Smartphone Paradigm disrupted?

If you follow the market analysts in the field of Smartphone Research and Development then one of two things is going on right now; analysts are either seeing a drastic change to the existing smartphone paradigm of who is making new Smartphones or these guys have been imbibing some very interesting stuff.

Breaking Rumors and Old News.

Until now we have had the big OS / Ecosystem players selling their phones: –

However recent rumors indicate several cases of a new trend:

  • Codename Buffy: Facebook and HTC have formed a partnership to develop a Facebook Smartphone intended to be as it’s codenamed “A Slayer”. The potential market attraction to fans of the show and of course the colossal demographic that is Facebook users lends itself to this.

    FB-logo

  • Kindle Phone: Citigroup analysts were quoted only this week across the web as anticipating Amazon releasing a Kindle Smartphone during 2012. The expectation is  that this phone like the Kindle will be sold under cost with the phone providing a platform for ROI using the Amazon ecosystem.

kindlephoneamazon-logo

Sheer Speculation and Tongue in Cheek.

Are competing platforms to Facebook going to sit still and watch while The Buffy slays the competition? Probably not. So the question is;

Are Twitter and Linked In quietly developing their own Smartphones?

  • The Twitter Phone: Codename Get ShortyIf Twitter sticks to their 140 characters what will that do to a Twitter Smartphone? SMS gone and replaced with Twitter DM or Tweeps as your Contact Book. Perhaps Voicemail will be as short and sweet as a tweet.

twitter-logo

  • The Foursquare Phone: Codename The Stalker – If Foursquare were to develop this Smartphone will it anticipate everyday, habitual routes based on frequent checkins (at the same coffee-shop), use NFC for checkins, offer deals based on location and or ping you when 4sq Friends are in proximity?

4sq-logo

In a nutshell.

Speculations (tongue in cheek or otherwise) aside, the Facebook-HTC Buffy is interesting for many reasons: –

  1. This turns the smartphone paradigm on its head: instead of an app on an OS (iOS, Android, Mango, Symbian etc.) we will see a Platform like Facebook defining the phone.
  2. Facebook has substantial investment from Microsoft which leads to the reasonable assumption that Buffy will be a Windows Phone, Search (Social or other) will be Bing based, photography will be one-click integrated with both Facebook photos and presumably Skydrive . Facebook’s video chat is based on Skype which coincidentally or not is now owned by Microsoft. HTC already make several Windows Phones but for this to work I guess that this phone will be aimed pricewise at the lower end of the market to allow all those younger Facebook users to get the phone.

If this shift holds true and platforms that were formerly only an app on a Smartphone define the whole ecosystem of the phone then what does the future hold for apps but more importantly what does the future hold for the consumer?

The author of this blog reminds you that this piece is speculative and somewhat tongue in cheek .. but not entirely: You heard it here first.