Mindtrek – Final Keynote on Thursday

Nokia phones - from wikimedia commonsI’m liveblogging the final plenary session at Mindtrek, where Olavi Toivainen is stepping in to the breach after the resignation of Ari Jaaksi from MeeGo at Nokia. ¬†We’re all settling here for the session and the announcement of World Summit awards for e-content and creativity.

(Keep refreshing this page for updates on content.)

  • Category 1 – eGov & Institutions – Opasnet
  • eHealth – Smart Care
  • eLearning – Animal Class 2
  • eEntertainment – Renderfarm.fi
  • eCulture – A Key to Downtown, City Nomad
  • eScience – Aava Platform
  • eBusiness – Hammerkit
  • eInclusion – EPOOQ
  • mLearning – Ympra
  • mEntertainment – Angry Birds
  • mTourism – A Key to Downtown
  • mMedia – Need4Feed
  • mEnvironment – Poimapper mobile geomapping
  • mInclusion – Jalumba – East Africa mobile social network

NHS paper won best academic award. Well done Uni of Lincolnshire!

Now mobile Apps4Finland awards – all in Finnish, so I’m a bit lost ūüôā But the winner for new ideas is LiveInfoboard, and the winner for pre-existing implementations is Eduskunnan rajapinta (a voting machine interface). ¬†Finally implementation agency winner is Data Suomi.

Nokia UV media awards up next. ¬†We’re shown three videos that were finalists. ¬†One is a energy saving register (2nd), one is an interactive carpet (3rd), and the final is an interactive wall for a green space in your lounge (winner).

Well done all!

4:20pm Now Olavi is being introduced, and the title of the presentation ‘It ain’t over till the fat lady sings’ is said to be appropriate as Ari Jaaksi has clearly been hearing the fat lady singing ūüôā

Olavi takes the mic (or the headset). ¬†He notes this is the electronics industry plenary. ¬†He’s been designing handsets and he’s extremely excited and passionate about what he does. ¬†He says the stuff he does is about converging the use value of PCs with the use value of phones, from the ground up, using a standards linux stack on a handset. ¬†It’s not an IT convergence so much as a consumer use convergence. ¬†MeeGo is designed to be put in ‘Nokia Kick Arse’ products going forward.

Could give us a long story about the kernal, but instead going ti talk about the fat lady. ¬†This is a debate Olavi and others at Nokia has had with Ari Jaaksi for some time. ¬†We’re not going to leave the room with a solid strategy but rather a process towards a strategy.

In order to win, you have to be paranoid all the time.  But competition is fun. So paranoia is a driver.

In the press there’s a tendency to pick winners on a regular basis. ¬†But the race is not over and probably never will be. ¬†Those following the mobile phone industry a long time will remember the mobile phone industry when the Motorola Razor came out and it blast away the opposition. ¬†There have been moments throughout the mobile tech history when phones have come out to change the face of the sector. After Razor came out it was clear the phone could do many tasks – not just pics and music, but other apps too.

So use value became the focus of development. ¬†The N95, for instance, became an ‘ultimate gadget’. ¬†But then from the gadget, when a range of apps can run and web services can run, you start to move from a gadget to the cloud. ¬†This is an addictive (or, to combat the negative connotations of the word, ‘addictive’, captive) device. ¬†Features are turning in to services – camera devices are now being used primarily to share online, voice is being used to convert to data, mp3 audio is being used in music service facilities and social networks are being used to filter content streams.

From a development perspective, it’s now crucial to ensure the best engagement and interaction scenario (the Apple user interface) to ensure that the services being accessed and are becoming addictive. ¬†Qt is the magic box of tricks for Nokia in generating a high-usability, high capacity platform.

Increasingly, the innovation across all electronics production industry is moving to mobile and portable devices. ¬†We’re beginning to understand that the services being accessed and used by consumers can be run on smaller, portable devices.

The marriage between Nokia and Intel in Meego is designed to integrate technological functions and services across a range of devices – not just tablets, but in cars, for transport, for devices in homes, etc.

In the past, size has mattered.  Nokia originally built the smallest phone in 2000 with a 79g device.  Now Nokia has one of the largest phones at 135g.  The battle for size has been amusing, based on the kind of interaction with the device from the consumer side.  Small was for convenience.  Now large is for more compelling engagement.

Now we’re seeing new players emerging in the smartphone market and this is fun. ¬†But there’s also a myth of open. ¬†Truth is that Suppliers will have existing relationships that they sustain with electronic industry manufacturers (eg: HTC with Google). ¬†There’s also the latency built in to the telecommunications suppliers agreements. ¬†Truth is that telcos don’t actually want to roll out updates to the software in case there are any problems with new software.

The thing is, thinking that the current smart phones are the apex of development is absurd.  There will be:

  • new consumer trends (there’s an app for that!)
  • new screens
  • new UI
  • new cross-platform integration.

The speed of innovation is constantly increasing. ¬†Butmany things are fragmented and unclear (eg: developer tools and new platforms). ¬†It’s a continuous race, but there are goal posts along the journey.

It’s not time to predict a winner. ¬†Don’t make the mistake of coming up with solutions when there is no winner that’s either clear or sustainable.

Olavi concludes by saying that the objective of MeeGo is to consider almost a biological approach to engagement.  Video, audio, loudspeaker, sensory inputs and a decent chassy need to be considered in order to develop a properly addictive set of services on a comfortable device.

That’s it for Thursday at Mindtrek! ¬†I’ll be back tomorrow to blog at least one session. ¬†I can’t blog my own session so you will need to watch online to see what I have to say at the end of the conference!

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