The Conversation of Those Left Behind in Mobile

If ZDNet hadn’t had that requirement that I would need to be a member of their website to comment on articles, this probably would have not gotten posted. Unfortunately, their method of wanting restricted conversation around their articles paints me to come here, where it’s more open, to talk about these conversations of those folks left behind in mobile.

In reference to ZDNet, they posted some time back about Google’s use of NFC in their Nexus S model and the associated campaign that would help to spark mobile payments. They also mentioned the Isis project, which is where carriers who have been behind the times for a good decade, have finally decided to get on task with mobile wallets/payment systems. Too bad that article missed on the leaders in that space:

Jumpstart mobile payments in the US might be Google, but it’s already the vase elsewhere. Nokia has been doing Obypay/Nokia Money for a good while, Japan and a few other countries do cards by option only. And you’ve got the fun of M-Pesa in Kenya, Tanzania, etc.

If we are looking at mobile payments to be jump-started, then that’s probably becaue we are behind the leading curve (which is usual for the US with mobile).

But, it’s not just there that the conversation is weirdly misguided as to whom the leaders are in mobile. Every month a new Android model comes out and is supposedly the latest and greatest. And you know what the media’s metric on this is? Memory and processor speed (!!!)

For example: Engadget’s take on Samsung’s new Infuse 4G

You mean to tell me that we’ve learned nothing from Intel’s debacle with processor marketing all of a decade ago to know that raw specs does not a great computing platform make. Yes, the technology is impressive, but don’t get it twisted, people don’t buy specs, they buy what they live with (else, how could you explain the fact that most of the mobiles sold today are not smartphones).

Is the only conversation that these media sites can have is on specifications? Or, do they really see a better conversation, and just don’t know how to make that the point of their interactions with their audiences?

But you know something, I get it. Our perceptions towards what makes mobile decent and cool is driven by what we’ve seen. And outside of movies, anything decent has been pretty much unattainable. But, we tend to let that govern our conversations and perceptions, and it gets old – especially when its the general media that seems to have the perception problem.

You know what’s innovative in mobile to me that we don’t talk about enough:

  • Paying taxes, parking, and ehealth by mobile in Estonia (link)
  • Doctors paying for travel costs by mobile so that people get treatment (link)
  • Mobile AI – the stuff that learns, not just the stuff you train manually (link)
  • Battery technology (link)
  • User interfaces less like a bar with buttons and more like space we can move (link)

My perceptions were formed from the very beginnings of my time in computing. I had to be mobile (with a floppy or zip disk), I had to be able to use multiple platforms, and I had been thrust into a role of being the go-to person for those things related to computers. I had to broaden my horizons beyond a myopic view of the technology, and constantly branch away from whatever it was that I was comfortable with.

That keeps my conversation varied, and very rarely on the side of being excited about something new and shiny.

There are a lot of new devices that have been and will be released that will simply fill the pipes. There will be very few products that will challenge the way you think, make you assess where you are now, and ask you to elevate your conversation.

Let me see tech and mobile do that. And for the rest of the conversations, we can leave those to the birds.