Archive for the ‘mobile marketplace’ Category
That’s all I have to say after the brutal 30+ hour journey back home from Singapore.
Jet travel = one big giant petri dish, and after I took ill during the first leg of my trip from Singapore to Tokyo, my sinuses took it upon themselves to become completely inflamed and congested, so I learned yet another helpful travel trick: Pack sinus spray in the carry on at all times.
Fortunately, my head never got to the point that it exploded mid-flight, and I was sentient enough when I landed in Austin to be able to drive home. Where I promptly slept for 10 hours.
The weekend in sport was just as daunting: My UT Longhorns got on the wrong side of the Sooners in the Red River Showdown, my Cowboy’s QB doesn’t know how to count in seconds at the end of a football game, and my New York Yankees lost their beloved captain Derek Jeter in an ankle-wrenching, season-ending heartbreaker, now heading to Detroit down 0-2 to the Tigers in the ALCS.
And then, to awaken today bright and early and discover more potential consolidation in the telecommunications space, this time with SoftBank’s 70% stake its buying in Sprint, which amounted to a $20B U.S. stake!
TechCrunch reported the news brought down the Sprint website overnight.
As has been widely reported, Sprint is well behind in the LTE game, and the SoftBank infusion is expected to help Sprint with their continued rollout of the new network technology, as well as consolidate their position in wi-fi broadband provider, Clearwire.
Faster, cheaper, better. Isn’t that (almost) always the objective in the technology game?
Speaking of, if you’re made in the spirit of a tried and true “Maker Fairean,” DIYer, the new Raspberry Pi is now shipping with double the RAM (512MB!) at the same tiny price tag of $35.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that runs several variants of Linux and is primed for attraction to emerging growth market countries looking to move into the computing realm at a ridiculously affordable price.
And if that news is music to your geekish ears, also on the Monday morning news run down is Microsoft’s announcement it’s moving into the digital music game, using its X-Box as a music streaming Trojan Horse.
The Xbox Music service will be available through the Xbox Live service, and on Windows 8 tablets, PCs, and Windows mobile phone devices, and will include free and paid models for streaming AND downloads.
While you’re at it, how about delivery of a patch that keeps the “blue screen of death” from ever darkening my virtual door again?!
Okay, that’s enough silly news banter for the moment.
I have to get back to work — Information On Demand 2012 is less than 7 days away (more on that shortly!). In the meantime, stay tuned for more interviews conducted last week at IBM InterConnect 2012.
So how do you prefer to consume your news on your mobile device?
A new study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism indicates that half of all U.S. adults now have a mobile connection to the web through either a smartphone or tablet, which is much higher than even a year ago.
Pew alleges this has “major implications for how news will be consumed and paid for.”
But we’re also seeing that users are moving from “snacking” on news via their mobile devices, to reading much longer form content.
And moreover, more people are moving towards using a browser and away from using an app for their tablet news consumption.
I found this one to be quite interesting, as it’s somewhat opposite from my own behavior.
For example, I’ve been a long-time New York Times reader, mainly via their Website (on my Mac), and sometimes via my iPad or iPhone 4.
I finally decided to give them some of my hard-earned money, recently signing up for an all-digital subscription. I don’t want no dead tree showing up on my doorstep!
I strongly prefer the New York Times app, particularly on the iPad. Call me old-fashioned, but being someone with a journalism background myself, I place great value on design, layout, and yes, usability.
So, I save the browser version for the desktop, but much prefer the app on my mobile devices.
Going against the trend, as always!
Some other highlights from the study:
- Lower cost tablets in late 2011 brought in a new group of tablet owners.
- There’s growing evidence mobile devices are adding to how much news people get.
- People who get news throughout the day on their mobile devices are more engaged news consumers.
- People notice ads on mobile devices and may be even more likely to click on them than they are to click on other digital ads.
From their lips to Mark Zuckerberg’s ears!
You can read more about new Pew report on mobile news usage here.
Blogger’s Note: If you’re a tried and true news junkie, then you have to check out the Magnolia Pictures documentary release “Page One: Inside the New York Times.” The filmmakers take you inside the Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk, just as the Internet started to surpass print as our main news source and as newspapers all over the U.S. started going bankrupt. Page One chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil. The best part: It features lots of coverage of media columnist and technology curmudgeon, David Carr.
IBM’s mobile computing juggernaut continues with a new deal just announced in Saudia Arabia.
Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and IBM announced today a 5-year agreement worth approximately $280 million to provide comprehensive IT solutions for the Saudi Arabian company.
Saudi Arabia: 870,000 Square Miles
Saudi Arabia is a big place, encompassing some 870,000 square miles with a population approaching 30 million people. Mobily, as the fastest growing telecommunications company in Saudia Arabia, has experienced an explosion in demand from the growing number of subscribers using mobile devices, and so in turn needed to boost its IT capacity and innovation in the market.
This new agreement with IBM will provide Mobily with faster, targeted access to new technologies and expertise so it can build a strong infrastructure to keep up with the company’s business growth.
As Mobily gears up for further expansion, it wanted to improve the quality and speed of its operations using IBM best practices.
As part of the agreement, Mobily and IBM will collaborate on future innovation with the help of IBM Research, for example, using IBM’s Spoken Web solution.
The basic principle of Spoken Web uses speech to create voice sites using the mobile phone network to establish a spoken version of the internet. The opportunity to collaborate with leading IBM researchers has become a key differentiator for IBM.
IBM’s Growth Market Strategy
The agreement highlights IBM’s continued geographic expansion initiative to strategically increase its presence in key growth markets like Saudi Arabia in support of its global growth strategy.
IBM is ramping up its investment across the Middle East and Africa, harnessing the company’s Smarter Planet initiative to help both public and private sector clients do more with fewer resources.
The strategic management of IT remains with Mobily, ensuring continuation of its standards of excellence and cutting-edge architecture, and enabling Mobily to meet the explosion in demand it is seeing from the growing number of subscribers using mobile devices.
“Partnering with one of the largest technology companies in the world offers Mobily a broad portfolio of modern IT solutions that will have a positive impact on our customers in terms of the quality of products and innovative services, in addition to solutions that will enrich their lives. We are pleased to sign with IBM, which has a significant presence in this strategic sector,” said Khalid Al Kaf, CEO, Mobily.
“The agreement is part of our efforts and vision of transforming Mobily into an integrated telecommunications operator. It also supports the Saudi government’s initiative of creating a knowledge-based community, adopting state of the art services and solutions” Al Kaf added.
IBM And Saudi Arabia: Remaking The Kingdom’s Future
IBM is involved in a range of key initiatives in Saudi Arabia, including a joint project with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology using innovative membrane technology and solar power to address the shortage of drinking water.
In another project, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and IBM are collaborating using the most complex, high performance computing system in the region.
The agreement with Mobily was signed in August 2012.
Anybody watch the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games from London?
I don’t know about you, but I rather enjoyed them, in a British humor sort of way.
The testament to the National Health Service was a bit out of left field, but Danny Boyles made even that fun.
As for the image of the Queen skydiving with James Bond (aka Daniel Craig) into Olympic Stadium…well, cue the Bond theme, and shake up a martini, please, Miss Moneypenny, as that was a surprise indeed!
Across the English Channel and a bit further east, IBM recently partnered with major German retail hypermarket chain, REAL, to bring about its own recent surprise.
IBM and REAL have partnered to launch a new electronic coupon system throughout REAL’s 320 German stores, a first-of-its-kind digital coupon system developed with IBM Research to enable consumers to use their mobile phones to find and redeem e-coupons as they shop in stores.
This new capability delivers a convenient and personalized service to shoppers, even if they forgot their paper coupons back at home.
The REAL Deal
REAL hypermarkets sell about 80,000 different items, from food to electrical appliances to clothing, and already were conducting the largest coupon program in Germany through the company’s “Payback” program.
In fact, REAL cites customer loyalty programs like Payback as an important part of their business strategy in the highly competitive German retail market.
The REAL coupon program enables in-store Payback members to use their mobile phones to browse online coupons as they walk through the aisles. Shoppers can choose their favorite coupons from the REAL homepage or a Payback app on their smartphones.
In a maximum of 500 milliseconds, the system confirms their choice and transfers an eCoupon to the store’s “3V – Value Voucher Validation” coupon system in real time.
To redeem the eCoupon, customers then display their Payback membership card upon check-out and the transaction is automatically processed.
For REAL, this new electronic system offers a more personalized view of customers and the option to change coupon distribution in real time. Promotions can respond more flexibly to seasonal changes or fashion fads to appeal to ever-changing consumer tastes.
“In essence, we are simplifying and improving the coupon redemption process,” explained Bernd Hasenbank, Head of Point of Sale Solutions at REAL.
REAL expects that it will be receiving several hundred thousand eCoupon queries and eCoupon redemptions per day at the cash registers of it 320 stores. That is not an easy task for the underlying information technology (IT) architecture with a central server.
The new 3V coupon system at REAL is based on existing IBM solutions at METRO Group, which are compliant with the EPC Information Services Standard (EPCIS) of EPCglobal. The system is based on IBM InfoSphere Traceability Server, a high-performance data storage device, that is able to manage and analyze large amounts of data, integrate master data systems and provide data in real-time for internal and external applications.
If you’d like to learn more about IBM Smarter Commerce solutions, go here, and don’t forget the upcoming Smarter Commerce Summit to be held in Orlando, Florida, September 5-7. You can learn more about and register for that event here.
Remember “Minority Report?” That scene where Tom Cruise was walking by the billboard, and the billboard “recognized” him through some kind of biometrics (I think it was an eye scan?) and then started to target ads to him?
Well, IBM is doing something really cool and not even like that, but I had to make sure I got your attention so you’d keep reading.
In our case, IBM Research has created a new augmented reality application that gives in-store shoppers instant product details and promotions, all in the palm of their hand.
Here’s how it works: Upon entering a store, consumers download the app on their smart phone or tablet, register, and create a profile of features that matter to them — from product ingredients that could trigger an allergy, to whether packaging is biodegradable.
When they then point their device’s video camera at merchandise, the app will instantly recognize products and, via augmented reality technology, overlay digital details over the images — such as ingredients, price, reviews and discounts that apply that day.
Talk about an educated, empowered consumer!
And, if consumers opt in (their choice!), information from their social networks can be integrated into the information stream. For instance, if a friend had reviewed or made a comment about a product they’re looking at, they’ll see it.
Using IBM’s prototype app, shoppers looking for breakfast cereal could specify they want a brand low in sugar, highly rated by consumers – and on sale.
As a shopper pans the mobile device’s camera across a shelf of cereal boxes, the augmented shopping app reveals which cereals meet the criteria and provides a same-day coupon to entice consumers to make a purchase.
The app, being developed by IBM’s Research lab in Haifa, Israel, addresses the fundamental gap between the wealth of readily available product details on the Web that in-store shoppers don’t have access to — despite the fact that in-store shopping accounts for more than 92% of the retail volume, according to Forrester Research.
Retailers will be able to use the app to build in-store traffic by connecting with individual consumers, turning marketing into a welcomed service that is not intrusive.
In turn, the app can make it easier for retailers to understand consumer likes and dislikes and offer related products in other aisles, such as bananas or milk, to accompany a cereal purchase. It could also make loyalty points and digital coupons become more convenient for shoppers, freeing them from the hassle of searching for discounts.
Too bad the app won’t be ready in time for net week’s MobileBeat 2012, which is being held at the Palace Hotel in downtown San Fran next week (July 10-11).
AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher, Mark Pincus (CEO, Zynga), Michael Bayle (SVP and GM, ESPN Mobile) and a host of other mobile luminaries will be coming together to talk mobile applications, design/UI, and ecosystem, among other mobile-relevant topics.
Conference sub-themes include Tablets, IT: Consumerization, Infrastructure/Cloud: Scale Is Beauty, Monetization, Retail: Wait, Why Are They Coming? and Designing Distribution.
You can register for the event here.