Future Technologies and Forum Oxford

On Friday, I went to ForumOxford’s Future Technologies Conference in Oxford (England) as a speaker and sponsor, but also as an active member of the Forum (apparently one of the most active, which surprised me)¬†and as a delegate, eager to learn new things and network with others in the mobile industry. It didn’t disappoint on any of these levels.

For those that don’t know, ForumOxford is run by Tomi Ahohen, the leading consultant, speaker, writer and blogger¬†and Ajit Jaokar, who also does pretty much the same. It’s free to join and is a hotbed of discussion and debate about mobile. I sometimes cross post over there, if I think an idea is worth exploring further. So get on over there and check it out.

Back to the conference itself, here’s what Tomi wrote as a follow up:

I do want to thank personally, individually: Adrian Blair of Google, who gave us a beautiful view of what Google can contribute to the future of mobile.

Then Professor Ed Candy of Three/Hutchison who gave such a positive view of an operator who “gets it” and supports this industry.

And to thank Daniel Applequist of Vodafone whose views were well in harmony with Ed Candy’s, probably surprising many in the audience.

A wonderful presentation on the road maps of handsets from the always amazing David Wood of Symbian.

William Webb of Ofcom and his inspiring view and visions into the next 20 years of our industry.

Jeff Sonstein of Rochester Institute of Technology and his practical guidance on design for mobile applications

Vladimir Dimitroff’s beautiful lead in the debates about what is convergence and do we need it

Nick Sex and Scott Beaumont with their beautiful case study of a start up

Simon Cavil’s wonderful real time demonstration of mobile payments

And for me perhaps the most inspiring and uplifting presentation in a day of fantastic contributions, Russell Buckley’s live setup of a mobile ad campaign before our eyes.

Gee shucks, Tomi, thanks – and for once the demo Gods were with me.

In addition to that, there were a couple of interesting nuggets I gleaned that you might find of value.

Adrian of Google said that 20% of all search terms (both web and mobile web) were new/unique. If the Long Tail concept needs demonstrating, this seems to do it.

Dan of Vodafone said that 50% of Vodafone Page Views came from the LEAST popular 84% of sites (Long Tail economics again). Also check out the WC3¬†if it’s possible that you’re in mobile development and don’t know about it. There’s also a lot of great stuff here too¬†at Jeff Sonstein’s site, for the techies among us.

David Wood told us that there were 25,000 Wap 1.0 sites and 80 million Wap 2.0. That would seem to be a kinda large market.

Tomi shared that 44% of mobile users in Japan click ads, which seems an amazingly high number.

Vladimir Dimitroff had the impossible task of leading a discussion on “convergence” in 10 minutes. He’ll be etching the bible and works of Shakespeare on the head of a pin as an encore. However, one point that was very thought-provoking was that convergence isn’t just about devices. For instance, customers are converging with employees. In other words, customers are now creating content and telling their friends about it (becoming sales people) and spreading the word (morphing into marketing personnel). Does that mean we need to treat customers differently, from the old passive consumption model?

Obviously, the fact that customer relationships are changing isn’t a new thought, but thinking about it in this framework is stimulating.

Finally (and I may post about this a little more), Simon Cavill’s mobile payment demo included the nugget that the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the maximum limit to transfer funds from mobile to mobile in the prevalent payment system is $1 million. The average person there earns a mere $700.

 

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