12 June 2008

Handsets World event, Berlin

Filed under: Events, Open Source — David Wood @ 12:32 pm

The Informa Handsets World series of events tend to bring together a knowledgeable crowd of speakers and attendees. The latest one, in Berlin this week, was no exception.

I gave a couple of presentations, which seemed to go down well:

  • “Hardware and software enabling powerful devices: mobile power without heat and without confusion”
  • “Refuting the claim that value in handset software is evaporating (it’s actually growing!)”.

Here’s what I saw as some of the highlights from the event:

1.) Ari Jaaksi, VP of Devices R&D at Nokia, gave a upbeat yet pragmatic account of “Nokia’s Vision for Wireless Handsets”, focusing on growing practical collaboration between open source advocates and people who understand “ugly business realities”. See zdnet for a write-up.

2.) Toshio Miki, Associate Senior VP & Managing Director of NTT DoCoMo, speculated that the MOAP platform which runs on NTT DoCoMo phones in Japan would before long support Android apps, running on top of an Android environment sitting in turn on top of MOAP, in parallel to (a.) Java apps and (b.) native apps. “This is my personal prediction”, he said. (There are two variants of MOAP: one is powered by Linux, and the other is powered by Symbian OS.)

3.) Daniel Meredith, Head of Handset and Device Marketing at T-Mobile, said that the most important change he would like to see in the mobile industry is to “remove all closed OSes”. In response to the same question, Guido Arnone, Director of Terminals, Vodafone, asked the industry to “improve out-of the-box usability”. And Simon Rockman, Head of Requirements and Applications at Sony Ericsson, asked the industry to realise that users of lower cost phones in different parts of the world typically wished for applications and features that are NOT the same as cut-down versions of higher-specced phones: for example, in India, there’s a requirement for mobiles to be able to receive AM radio broadcasts.

4.) Aditya Kaul, Senior Analyst at Pioneer Consulting, gave a fascinating report on how phone manufacturers were looking at taking advantage of nanotechnology in forthcoming wireless devices. He covered possible uses of carbon nanotubes, quantum dots, spintronics, and gave a special mention to MEMS.

5.) Morten Grauballe, EVP at Red Bend, urged ISVs to realise that “developing software” was only the first of three problems that need to be solved. The other two are “deploying software” and “managing software”.

6.) Francis MacDougall, Founder and CTO of GestureTek, showed some impressive videos of the new kinds of user interaction which are enabled when phones can sense motion and gestures (either via accelerometers, or via clever analysis of the camera viewfinder image).

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