Since we’re collaborating with Motorola for our studio 2 project on mobile media, I went to a lecture today on campus by Frederick Kitson, a VP at Motorola. The presentation was called “Mobile Applications Support for Entertainment.”
Motorola’s vision, according to Kitson, is to drive seamless mobility. This was defined as communication sessions that cross networks and devices seamlessly. The best example seemed to be Follow Me TV, which senses where you are in the house and car and turns on and off TVs and other devices based on your location.
Kitson said Motorola is moving toward peer-centric communication devices, which he called “experiential,” and describe as content determining the user’s community.
The focus on entertainment was explained as being logical because that’s what people value the most. The argument was that if you’re not at work or school, you are looking to be entertained.
Kitson said the corporate world has the impression that academia has a reputation for solving problems that no one cares about. That made me wonder about what they would think of our research and products for mobile media, and why he was talking at Carnegie Mellon.
While the focus seemed to be the technology, what I thought was missing, of course, was talk about supporting the user, or discovering what the user really wanted. As I watched the Follow Me TV video, and the scenario that it walked through, and what I perceived to be the unrealistic interactions, I really began to wonder about how they develop products.
Another nugget I wondered about was a statement that 87 to 90 percent of people they polled said they want to watch video on their mobile phone. Granted, I’m just a simple college student, but given my research last semester and currently, these numbers seem way off.
Also, last week: “A survey of 22,000 European mobile users commissioned by Tellabs revealed that a high percentage of early adopters of mobile TV and video services are snubbing a second helping.” So I seriously question their research.
Another “big thing” that they’re looking at is music on phones. According to their research, they’ve proposed having a buddy list of who you can share music. “We’ve tried it, and people just love it,” he said. Though again, my research into music sharing has yield a big no.
On an even scarier note, he mentioned that advertising will happen on the mobile phone. He noted lack of adoption in web browsing on mobile phones. Motorola’s answer? Since people don’t browse, they’ll
force deliver content it without asking, but claiming it’s content you really want, and not spam. He showed the bottom portion of a mobile phone interface being taken up by such content.
Another scary item was a virtual person that would speak other people’s messages to you. The rationale? “You basically interact with another person. That could be a synthetic person.”
Maybe I’m just an idealistic college student, but this isn’t exactly what I wanted to hear.