2013 – What’s been on the go and happening in the first quarter of the year ?
Mobilium have been very active and international in the first quarter of this year. In our relentless search for important developments in mobile, mobile technologies and API’s that make a central difference to our clients’ businesses, brands and projects, we have found some compelling new developments in the Emerging Markets of Africa, India, LATAM and Russia, all worthy of a mention. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the places and things we have seen and interacted with:
January 2013 – We were active in the big international digital music and digital social media gathering in Cannes, France, known as MIDEM – the 42nd annual gathering of this event in Cannes, in France. Hot new trends in digital music including “Access-only” platforms were unveiled, and the way in which music can be used in mobile and with API’s bears some attention – especially if you or your company want to widen your social media and multi-screen relevance.
February 2013 – This has been a very hectic month for Mobilium and its associates and teams across the major mobile markets. We were active in the UAE in Abu Dhabi, in Africa with some of the smartest mobile and tech developers in Southern Africa and also in Silicon Valley. we also participated in the 2013 main TED Conference, where we met and interacted with some of the world’s great innovation thinkers and inventors – including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the main driver behind the HTML5 language(s) and the individual globally recognised for bringing a whole new breadth to the internet and its spread across the world. A number of key new projects, business and initiatives came out of this active and busy month.
Mobilium and Ralph Simon participated in the important World Summit Awards. Ralph Simon is a member of the global jury of the United Nations’ and UN Millennium Goals organisation known as the World Summit Awards, and the World Youth Summit Awards. Organised through the Centre for New Media in Salzburg, Austria, through the excellence and efforts of Professor Peter Bruck and his team, UN member states submit the best of their mobile apps into a global contest and competition to find the very best new mobile apps and APIs in around 12 categories – including Governance, Health, Environment, Media, Travel, History, Mobile Commerce and Money, Mobile retail and more – and choose the world’s best in each category. Entries were received from over 100 countries, and the category winners came from a wide variety of UN member states including Chile, Sri Lanka, Estonia, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Hungary. The 2013 World Summit Awards take place in October in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital – and this year’s competition and events promise to be a great showcase of some of the leading developments in the mobile sphere. Its important to note that many new and exciting innovations are coming from the Emerging Markets and countries. Don’t be surprised if you see that Africa dramatically rises with some stellar examples of best in breed mobile developments. A case in point, is how Kenya has become the world leader in mobile money and mobile commerce. Their ground-breaking m-Pesa system of a few years ago, has become the model for global mobile money and mobile commerce platforms and API construction. The World Summit Awards are presented under the auspices of the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr Thomas Steltzer – he has been a key driver of this initiative in the UN, as he is also responsible for all inter-agency co-ordination within the UN. In 2015, he will be hosting the massive and global review of the Millenium Goals, some 15 years after the formulation and commencement of the Millennium Goals – the UN’s initiative to reduce poverty, increase education and also, to accelerate online and mobile inter-connectivity for all.
Mobilium play a key role in this initiative and will be participating in the 1013 jury and search for the world’s best mobile apps and APIs.
March 2013 - A big focus in March has been the rapid growth of mobile money, mobile commerce and new way in which entertainment can be served as a mobile driver for retail and mobile commerce. Mobilium have also been working on new ways to allow for what are becoming known as “Glocal” products. What is global but yet, still and also “local” ? How can one get one’s content or product appeal to millions of mobile users and subscribers in non-English countries ? How does one take say, English content and make it very desirable in Mandarin for China, or in Hindi and Tamil for India or say, in Behasa for the many millions of mobile users and subscribers in Indonesia ? Mobilium has some terrific new ways of doing this and helping brands and media companies get to a whole new constellation of users – in their own language. How about Lady Gaga singing in Mandarin ? Or, how about a prominent global figure or politician like, say a Bill Clinton being able to deliver a political or Clinton Global Foundation speech in Spanish or Yoruba ?
March also saw Mobilium playing a key role in Canada’s annual and important Canadian Music Week gathering, conference and convention. Ralph Simon was brought in to do the keynote interviews with two of the world’s best known and most successful creative producers, Bob Ezrin – he produced Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and is also working with China’s famed classical virtuoso, Lang Lang; and also, with LA-based British producer and long-time creative producer of U2, The Dave Matthews Band and others.
Mobilium also participated in the important annual Bollywood convention and conference gathering in Mumbai, India, known as FICCI Frames 2013. FICCI Frames is the most important annual gathering for the Indian movie and TV industry and is the place where the latest trends in cinema and TV arts, as well as the latest developments in what is now known as the Multi-Screen worlds, can be presented and assessed. It is becoming clear that Multi-Screen usage is growing exponentially around the world as subscribers and users tend to view and look at more than one screen – more than the TV screen, more than the mobile screen – yes, it’s multi-screens ! Ralph Simon is a close associate of Gary Schwartz, the Canadian recognised as the world’s leading authority on Multi-Screen usage for retail and for stimulating retail.
April 2013 - Mobilium played a central role this year at the Bahrain International eGovernment Forum. This important gathering took place in Manama, Bahrain and showcased the latest developments in the world of electronic government, and how to use Big Data to make government, local governance and municipalities more transparent – and allow consumers and citizens easier ways of conducting and controlling their lives and lifestyles. with manifold developments in better energy usage using technology and APIs, plus the wider embedding of multi-screen solutions into daily life, those governments and countries with enlightened high tech policies are going to be the first to benefit as their citizens become increasingly able to “see” data usage and consumption in ways that enhance their lives and daily living. The Gulf and especially Bahrain, could become the next major incubation zone and spot for finding new ways of enhancing the lives of millions of Arab-speaking consumers in the Gulf, the UAE, the CC and the North African Arab countries.
May 2013 - Mobilium will be involved in a variety of new initiatives in May and key activities will be shown and grown in Asia and Asia-Pacific (singapore and Hong Kong), and also in California with some hot new Los Angeles and San Francisco-based start-ups.
In addition, special focus is going to be given and shown to the area of Mobile Health and Mobile Wellness. Mobilium play a key role on the board of the global Wireless Life Sciences Alliance, the San Diego-based body that governs the global growth of connected and mobile health and wellness. Watch this space – some very interesting announcements concerning connected and mobile health apps, platforms, products and APIs will be announced soon.
The Last 3 months of 2012 – Summary of action and global activity:
The Global Mobile Warrior is on an amazing journeys of discovery in the last three months of 2012. The autumn season started with a major visit to Ghana and its bustling capital, Accra, to take part in and attend the African Leadership Network’s annual gathering. The ALN as it is known, is the very prestigious network of Africa’s top business leaders and the leading African digerati and internet and mobile visioneers and executives. Founded by Fred Swaniker and Acha Leke some years ago, the ALN has become one of the most important gatherings in the “new” Africa. This year’s gathering in Ghana saw some 450 of the continent’s top execs and digerati meet and attend a conference program exploring the immense new opportunities that are rising in Africa, as the mobile revolution and mobile payments revolution gathers steam. The ALN gathering was also the location of the very significant annual Africa Entrepreneurial Awards. The glittering banquet was held in State House in Accra, and special awards were given to companies in three categories: a) Companies with turnover from $1 – $10m; b) $10m -50m and then those companies in Africa with a turnover of $50m +. This year saw a Lifetime Achievement Award given to the noted South African business legend, Richard Maponya, who created and developed the biggest mall in Africa in the heart of Soweto – known as the Maponya Mall. His story of overcoming profound obstacles during the apartheid era to become one of Africa’s legendary business figures is the stuff of dreams and history. The ALN is also a great meeting place for the leading new media executives and business ideas, and is also always attended by prominent change agents. The Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, the Oxford PhD in robotics, Dr Arthur Mutambara attended this year, as did the American Ambassador to South Africa, the highly popular Donald Gips. Africa is seeing an explosion in mobile growth and now that mPesa is making such an impact as a payment platform in East Africa, mobile money is spreading fast and many say, that Africa is ahead of developed countries such as the USA and EU countries. One thing is for sure: there is a very substantial potential in Africa – it feels like it did in Silicon Valley when the internet and search platforms were first expounded. Those readers of this column that do business in Africa, should make it an essential part of your year to attend the ALN. Great for doing business and also for finding out what is coming next on the African continent.
We visit Helsinki in Finland on a regular basis during the year. Our October visit was most interesting especially since great engineers and mobile coding specialists reside in the Finnish capital – many of whom are no longer with Nokia. In fact it was surprising to learn when there, that Nokia would be selling off their head office – a sign of the pressures on the Nokia company as they struggle to get their rhythm and influence back in the wake of Samsung and Apple’s surging ahead in the smartphone stakes.
The Global Mobile Warrior always likes to stay right in touch with hot new trends and what grows traffic in social media and on social media and mobile social media sites. The world of Electronic Dance Music is a world-wide phenomenon, and this is nowhere more evident than in Amsterdam in October, when the hugely popular ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) takes place. It did this year again for the 18th year, and some 3,300 people from around the world came to the ADE Conference and also to check out the world’s top 20-30 DJs. ADE is the place where the global DJ culture votes on the no. 1 DJ in the world. If you like David Guetta, Calvin Harris, DeadMau5, Kaskade, Tiesto and Afrojack, then this is the place to be. Hot new tech trends and also the strong showing of mobile to the global millions of social media users who love dance music, are all exhibited in Amsterdam. One of the key professionals and bloggers in this space, Jonty Skrufff, is always worth reading as he has his finger right on the pulse of what’s coming next in the dance and electronic dance business. Mobile apps and mobile phone users around the world follow this genre with the same kind of devotion as sports fans follow their favourite sports teams. Hot new tech trends can be seen there too – and of course, the 100,000+ people who come to Amsterdam during ADE crowd the many clubs in the city that celebrate the medium with special sessions for the world’s top DJs. This year, homage was paid to one of the great founding fathers of dance music and techno, Frankie Knuckles. Daniel Miller, founder of Mute Records and the person who discovered and then developed Depeche Mode as a world wide attraction is a regular attendee. So too is one of the smartest innovators from Silicon Valley, Seth Goldstein, the founder of www.turntable.fm and now, his new company known as DJZ – say Dee Jayzzzz. Seth is bringing great innovation to mobile addressing this core global dance music fraternity.
October also saw the annual Rutberg Wireless Influencers’ gathering in Palas Verdes, California – always an important high level gathering of the USA’s top mobile executives.
Mobilium participated this year in Montreal, at the World Congress on Information Technology in October. Attended by a large gathering of senior technology executives, mobile leaders and also government ministers of IT, Telecoms and ICT attended and the conference itself was a great opportunity to find out what is coming next as the world concentrates on opening up “big data” and democratising almost every aspect of IT and its impact. The Congress was also the location of the 2012 World Youth Summit Awards – recognition to young mobile apps makers, developers and creators from around the world. Winners included young people who made apps in Nepal, Kenya, Egypt, Colombia, New Zealand, Latvia and of course the USA, Canada and the EU.
Central Europe is no slacker when it comes to innovation and mobile creativity. The Global Mobile Warrior is taking part in the highly regarded Pioneers Festival which takes place in October in Vienna, Austria. The Festival showcases some of the most exciting new start-ups and innovators from Central and Eastern Europe, and also gives focus to the burgeoning area of “colloquial” or local apps that have local relevance. The Austrian and Vienna city governments are keen to grow innovation and make Vienna a key hub for important new thinking, apps, platforms and formats in new media. The highly respected Centre for New Media, at the University of Salzburg, led by Professor Peter Bruck are also at the forefront of initiating great research projects that will surely lead to some strong new tech developments and reflect that Austria plays a leading innovation role in Central and Eastern Europe.
We will be going to Russia and Moscow at the end of October and playing a leading role in the all important Moscow Forum for Innovative Development – a major gathering looking at all aspects of innovation and how to accelerate Russia’s already deep and proven tech and scientific brainpower and commercial significance. We hope to meet and spend time there with the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev – someone who is well versed with innovation and is a great protagonist for growing Russia’s significant potential. Russia has produced some of the smartest innovators on the web and in mobile. Companies like Yandex and VKontakte and Mail.Ru have made exceptional progress in Russia and the surrounding CIS states.
We always like to keep a sharp focus on what is going on and happening in India. With nearly 1bn mobile subscribers, and a very vigorous mobile landscape, where 14 telco carriers compete for subscriber mindshare, India is competitive and innovative. Our interest there is in the world of content and Bollywood. We will be taking part in the terrific event known as India’s Music Matters in Mumbai in November. One of India’s leading mobile visionaries, is Neeraj Roy, the founder of the well-known company Hungama, who export mobile Bollywood to some 40 countries around the world, as well as being the leading aggregator in India.
In November we will also be going to the MIT Media Lab in Boston, USA< to take part in the highly important group of innovators and futurists known as The Futures of Entertainment. This conclave see s the coming together of some of the smartest brains and thinkers at the MIT Media Lab, incubating ground-breaking new technologies and platforms. Sam Ford is the luminary that puts it all together, and it is always a thrill to spend time at the MIT Media Lab, where so much of the modern internet era was actually developed and created there.
In a world where there are now some 6bn mobile phone users, and with smart phone penetration growing exponentially, the future is so bright, we have to ear sunglasses ! Heh heh !
More news to come – the Global Mobile Warrior is on the ball, on the road and on right track to get a good view of what is coming next in mobile and trans-media.