Mobile Phones

The Mobile Playbook, The Busy Executive’s Guide to Winning with Mobile.

I work for a 100 plus year old company, that is steeped in old school corporate culture. That corporate culture sometimes gets in the way of being able to see the future. It prevents us from knowing what to do. This isn’t a knock against my employer. I have a pretty good feeling that this happens with many companies, especially when you are talking about shifting technology spaces and emerging digital markets.

For the last few years, I have been preaching that my company, and frankly any business, needs to engage heavily in the mobile. With the introduction of the iPhone, and Android handsets, the way people engage with content has taken a dramatic shift. In the last 4 years, mobile has exploded in ways few people would have imagined.

If you are like me, working in a large company where executive management is having a hard time wrapping their collective heads around mobile, this might help.

Google has released a document that aims to help organizations figure out how to win in the mobile space. The document is free, and is being brought to you by a company that truly gets how to win in the mobile space. Click on the image below to go to the Google Doc.

Where Should We Go? Wieden + Kennedy’s Pop Up Book for Nokia.

Leave it to the folks at Wieden + Kennedy to come up with this promotional piece for a new Nokia smartphone release. Working with illustrator Nate Coonrod, W+K created this absolutely charming pop up book titled “Where Should We Go?”. At the end of the book the smartphone is revealed with a pull out section that shows the phone screen. The phone is hidden in a drawer that creates the binding foe the book itself.

The story is about a family who is looking for the perfect place to enjoy their vacation; so Tim and Jenny pack up their car, two kids and cat, and drive from forest to coast, to country and mountains searching for the ideal holiday destination with the help of their new Nokia smartphone.

I’m not sure how many of these were produced, but they are getting a ton of press due to the blending of the physical book, and the digital nature of the phone. I wish there had been a way to activate the phone when the pull out tab was used. It would have been a really wonderful way to tie the to objects together in a more complete way.

This video doesn’t exist

What if Your Life, Were a 78 Year Long Reality Show?

The video clip above, is of Arcade Fire playing at the Cochella festival. As you watch the video, try to count the number of mobile phones that are being held up to record the concert. Personally I am kind of blown away by this. It’s nothing new, people have been recording concerts of all types for some time now. I used to sneak my SLR into concerts to attempt capture the moment. Recently the Beastie Boys even used crowd sourced video to create a music video for the band.

Watching this I find myself saying there is something more significant happening here then what we might first think.

We are witnessing a revolution in content creation and quality that is taking gigantic leaps forward. The quality of mobile based cameras and editing software just keeps getting better, forcing companies like Flip to shutter their doors, and parent company Cisco to finally admit that video technology is going to primarily end up in our mobile phones. A space that they didn’t bank on when they launched the Flip camera less than 5 years ago.

As this technology improves at a rapid pace, we will become the movie directors and archivists of our lives. Much more so than we did with point and shoot cameras and photo albums or scrap books of years past. In the near future, we are going to see a prolific amount of quality content being created by average folks using their mobile phone, and probably a tablet like the iPad. It will get easier, and it will get better.

One of the things I find so interesting about the video above, is the publisher of the video seems more interested in recording the event, than the concert itself. No doubt the other people holding up their mobile phones and digital cameras feel much the same way. It’s clear that as social media continues to grow that all of us want to share what we see and experience with others. Just look at Instagram’s explosive growth over the last 12 months. It is a great example of how we are recording moments in our lives and saving them to the cloud. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. are all great examples of this. The ability to connect much more richly through these video experiences I feel is going to fundamentally change the way we experience our lives in the near future.

Look ten years out and imagine a person that has grown up with all of this, where this is the norm. Now compare it to the way you experienced and shared the experience of attending a concert ten years ago.

Now think about the way this individual experienced this concert. As you do, you start to see some of the issues with the constant multi-tasking of our always social lives. Yes everyone can multitask – but just like the video above, this changes our relationship to the event, performance, or experience we are interacting with. There is no way you can be 100% focused on that event, you have to give up some of your attention to capture and share the moment.

This pre-occupation with capturing the event calls into question some our future motives and other social issues.

As we become more used to this kind thing, are we going to want to “stage” things to make ourselves and our lives look better to others? Like your life a 78 year reality show where you constantly try to one up others?

Will our obsession with capturing the event mean that we are willing to miss out on the social interaction that creates the memories in the first place, creating a less personal level of social interaction with the people around us?

We will know soon enough, because this is going to become common place.

Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts for 2011.

Over at the Microsoft community blog “Microsoft Tag” they have posted a new info graphic showing the projected statistics for mobile phone use in 2011 worldwide

Some interesting facts show that more than 1 billion of the 4 billion mobile phone users are now using smartphones, with 3 billion shooting SMS messages on a daily basis. And to show just how fast people are moving away from desktop and laptop computer experiences for smart mobile solutions, they predict that by 2014 mobile internet usage will overtake desktop internet usage. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens much sooner. The info graphic also shows that already, searches from a mobile device are at 50% and growing.

Some of the more interesting facts deal with social media and entertainment. Microsoft Tag points out that 86% of mobile users are watching TV while using a mobile phone, 200+ million (1/3 of all users) access Facebook from a mobile device and 91% of all mobile internet use is “social” related. This unto itself is huge. Think back 2 years about how you accessed Twitter, Facebook, or watched YouTube videos. Now think about how you engage with these social touch points today. For me, as a person that works with interactive design, and integrated media, this is huge. It really points to the place where people will be interacting with what I make on a daily basis.

Over 70% of the world’s population now have a mobile phone, which breaks down to more than 5 billion mobile subscribers world-wide with more developed nations showing mobile usage at 9 out of 10 people. A rather sad but true statistic is children are now more likely to own a mobile phone than a book, with 85% of children owning a phone compared to 73% owning books.

Apple has sold almost 60 million iPhones world-wide since the iPhones initial launch. Google’s Android OS is growing at 886% year on year and carriers now activate over 160,000 Android devices a day, in more than 40 countries. It is predicted at this rate, Android will come from behind to over take Apple as the leading smart phone OS  this year.

The image below is fairly long, but worth looking at if you do any kind of design or marketing work that has interactive components to it.