Ever since that conversation with Ewan at Uplinq about me and continuing to use a Nokia N97 versus some of the seemingly innovative mobile devices and services available today, I have been sitting in a bottle of contentment. You see, if you are as close or closer to mobile than I am, then you realize that there really hasn’t been much innovation at all happening. But, we are on the cusp of it. Really, really close.
For example, take one of my favorite applications on any mobile device today, Nokia Bots. As I am spoken about many time here, it’s ability to have my mobile device fade into the background for simple things like showing me the contacts or applications I use, or turning on the alarm without me needing to set it for the morning, are things that I consider as innovative. The device is respecting my context of use, and adapting to me.
The next level of this was demonstrated by Intel last week. It is this idea of fusing social networking tech, with the personal and contextual use that mobile devices already respect and measure (sensors), and then presenting the user with relevant data that really streams into their life, rather than interrupts the flow of how they choose to live.
Now, the keen eye in me says that it looks as if Intel developed this with a very early and targeted application of the MeeGo mobile platform. And to do this makes a lot of sense given where MeeGo is in respect to being developed right now.
But, aside from that platform argument (blah), we see something more important happening with social and mobile computing, this awareness of contextualization. You look at that device, and the user interface is essentially a camera view window with a few buttons overlayed and an avatar when needed. There isn’t a need for even a keyboard and a mouse as speech and gestures are the primary input methods.
I won’t go into the privacy discussion; it’s relevant and too often talked about. I want to speak on the attention aspect. A device with this system makes you pay attention to you local environment. It invites you to discover who is sharing what and how it fits within your life context. Learning happens almost by accident, with the implications being that you have to take action for what you engage and don’t engage with. In a sense, it is making context the vehicle for pushing community accountability (for better or worse).
Hence my post on this. Even with it’s “dated” platform, the contextual interface offed by Nokia Bots endears me to pay attention to the life around me that matters. To open my interface layer to somewhat that shares the intelligence that I have, while adding value to the people and places around me.
For me, my next device has to look at act like this project. And from there, offer all kinds of opportunity to myself and others because it’s not about how shiny or fast it is, but how much not using it will give back value into the people and relationships around me.