Tag Archives: xmedialab

Wrap up from: MIPTV and X Media Lab Sounds Digital

Well, last week was an eye opener. I attended both MIPTV and X Media Lab Sounds Digital and thought I’d share some highlights.

MIPTV: Mobile Engagement 2.0

Without wishing to blow my own trumpet too loudly, I’d like to say that I really enjoyed moderating this panel as part of MIPTV’s digital focus.  Thanks to the lovely Ferhan Cook for inviting me to host it.

We had a great line up – Michael Schneider, CEO of Mobile Roadie; Rudy De Waele from DotOpen and (aka @Mtrends on Twitter); Clare Boonstra from Layar and Kurt Sillen from Ericsson.

There’s a live blog report of the session on the MIPTV site (as well as a video of the debate – choose the second video down, under April 15 – not sure why there’s no addressable link). The panelists talked about the importance of apps, location , media transfer and other issues but there was a healthy debate about which was the most important.  Check it out.

Rudy’s presentation was great for people who are interested in where the mobile industry is going (he and I are in agreement on alot of points!):

Clare’s presentation on augmented reality was particularly good and here it is:

Starling

One of the coolest things I saw all week was Starling – a new mobile app that enables social TV viewing – it will essentially make it possible for audiences and broadcasters to create experiences like the one MTV created for The Hills where users could comment in real time and then MTV could overlay the best comments on the screen.

When I first saw The Hills (purely out of professional interest, I might add!), the main thing I didn’t understand was why it hadn’t been done on mobile in the first place – and this app does just that.  I’ve often said that broadcasters aren’t making enough of the natural proximity  CEO Declan Caulfield was kind enough to give me a sneak preview of the alpha and the interface is very slick – combining loads of bursts of social media with various contexts in a really slick way (and I promised I wouldn’t say any more than that!).  Good write up on it from Mobile Entertainment here.

Mobile Roadie

CEO Michael Schneider was on the panel I hosted and showed off what looks like a great product for build-it-yourself apps.  There’s bound to be alot of pretenders in this space – I get emails from them regularly – but Michael also demonstrated that he’s making apps for major names (including Madonna and Taylor Swift) in the music industry and that these apps are making money and increasing the ‘laser focus’ (as he called it) on their brands.  Michael also used the panel as an opportunity to announce that Mobile Roadie would be opening a European operation.  One interesting insight he told me is that they’ve seen fans buying songs in the music apps that they already own, because they are so drawn in and wanting a complete experience while they’re inside the app.  Interesting, and very different from the web ‘model’ for music and artists that we’ve seen so far.

And speaking of web vs. mobile discussions… Newscorp’s Chief Digital Officer Jon Miller talked about how he no longer sees mobile as ‘just an extension of the web.’  He also talked alot about Newscorp’s forthcoming paywall policy (and the related notion of ‘freemium’ content like what the Wall Street Journal is doing on the iPad), and hinted at a paid music subscription service from MySpace.  He also expects to see different tiers of quality of content and experience to emerge based on whether or not users are willing to pay for better experiences and quality.  Interesting.

I had to miss Gerd Leonhard’s talk on Social Media because I was in a rehearsal for my panel but caught up with him in person and have reviewed the presentation and thought I’d point that out too.  Worth a read:

X Media Lab Sounds Digital

I was lucky enough to get to talk about mobile (what else?) and mentor on Sounds Digital over the weekend and really enjoyed it.  My presentation is below – basically an update of things I’ve posted here before.  And prettier.

Lots of other interesting tidbits I gleaned…

- Tune Rights proposal that we can all be ‘cons-owners’ music that invest in tracks and artsist is really interesting (and works in Sweden – so let’s hope it rolls out further soon);

- Susan Bonds from 42 Entertainment talked about how their work on an alternate-reality-game was directly related to Nine Inch Nails directly marketing music to their fans without going through a label;

- AudioFuel looks like alot of fun for other triathlon/running fantatics;

and

- I’ll see alot of you in Egypt for MasterPeace (I hope!).

Korea: X|Media Lab: 3D internet, virtual worlds and Mobile

I did two speeches back-to-back earlier today at the X|Media Lab and Mobile Content 2008.  In both, I gave an overview of what the BBC’s been doing on mobile; which is slightly ironic since the Koreans are so far ahead of the UK, technologically.  Hopefully I had alot to share with the audiences about the content side of things.

The theme of this X|Media Lab is “3D Internet: Virtual, Visual and Social.”  I have to admit, I don’t know a hell of alot about the 3D internet other than that it exists and has a huge audience.  Before spending last week at Crossover Nordic, I didn’t realise just what a huge audience it has but when it was put in the context that many of the big worlds like World of Warcraft and Second Life have more inhabitants than many real-world countries, my ears perked up and I realised it was time to pay more attention.  Good thing I’m here.  But what on earth was I going to talk about?

The answer had to be about how mobile and virtual worlds could overlap and complement each other.  Here’s my presentation (.ppt) and I’ll elaborate on it below, because the more I think about it the more excited I get about the possibilities.  Click to Download: X|Media Lab Presentation

So here’s what I suggested could be done:

1) Mobile can provide a persistent and ubiquitous connection the worlds, extending the opportunities for play and connection to the worlds.

Users of these worlds are ‘addicted’ to them and I suspect would welcome any opportunities to be more connected, more immersed and able to constantly participate ‘in world.’  I understand there are some Flash clients being developed for phones that will hopefully create 2D or 3D versions of the worlds.  This seems good, but like a ‘mini-me’ type of approach; and I’m not sure this will work.  Will the screens be big enough and good enough to render something useful?  Will on-the-go users really want to pay this much attention?  Or would they rather a thinner connection when the world is in their pocket at work?

On thing I spend alot of time telling people is that mobile ‘isn’t just a mini version of the web.’  Sure, mobiles access the web, but a mere copy and paste approach doesn’t always ensure success.

I think it might be cool to see if the types of services that help audiences stay in touch with their real world would be popular with helping them stay in touch with their virtual worlds.  SMS alerts sent from the worlds or text messages from or between characters in the world seem like an obvious opportunity. Imagine a guild of players in World of Warcraft texting out of the world to players in another guild to get online and help them in a battle where they need backup/support.  Texts would reach the players and they could rush from the real world back to their PCs to get in world and play.

The Twitter Fountain in Second Life is a start at this as Keren Flavell from SLCN.TV pointed out to me, but its still feels more like novelty and the beginning of something better:

And what types of web apps could provide data from the worlds to thin mobile clients, widgets or even simple mobile web pages?

2) Thinking about this type of connection and play, I wonder how these could be crossed with Alternate Reality Games.  ARGs are doing more out of home and with the crossover between real the real world and mobile and I think that this type of crossover could be replicated into the virtual world – possibly even triangulated between reality, alternate reality and the virtual world.  What a game that could make.  Can you geocache in any virtual worlds (yet)?

3) So how could all this work.  Well, I’m no expert.  But I have an idea that flexible, open web services could sit in the middle of these different ‘worlds’ (aka media) and provide the glue that lets transactions and interactions flow between them.

For example, using the Last.fm API you could (I think) create a situation like this if you built the right connections into the Virtual Worlds, Mobile Web, etc:

- I’m in a physical store and see a CD I want to recommend to a friend;

- I capture the barcode/semacode on the packaging which gives me information about the album from the mobile web on my phone;

- I could then choose someone from a list of virtual friends to recommend the track to;

- They would get notified, in say Second Life, and be able to stream the track for free;

- If the friend likes the song, they could add it to a Last.fm style playlist or even buy the track using real or virtual currencies.

In my presentation, I tried to describe it with this diagram:

To elaborate…  If we’re moving to a world where the ‘Internet of Things’ is becoming a reality, then everything around us will be connected, not just our devices.  This should apply to things in the virtual world as well.  If flexible and open web services can connect to these via mobile devices, strong connections between the real and virtual world can be created.  Behind this a strong system design strategy would be required.  Expanding from the idea that ‘Designing for Accessibility is good design’ (because everyone can use it), you could move to the idea that designing for mobile is (also) good design because everyTHING (in the real and virtual worlds) can access and use the service.

I’m obviously not going to be the only one thinking about this stuff but sitting in a room full of experts on this world has me really excited.  Neil Katz, from IBM, told me about a few examples where you can start to see this stuff coming to life in a very basic way.

The first was an IBM R&D project that echoed/emulated a Virtual World on Treo device.  Video of it here:

He also showed me this motion-aware mobile interface on a Samsung for Virtual Worlds (very cool!):

Also: Click to download my Mobile Content 2008 Presentation (similar to the X|Media Lab presentation but with a little more detail on the specific content the BBC has done)