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openMIC #9

On the 2nd of December, I attended the openMic event that was being held in the Jam Factory, Oxford. It was the 9th in a series of un-conference events but the first one that I have attended. Unfortunately, I was only able to stay for the talks in the morning and had to miss the bar camp sessions that were planned for the afternoon. The day suffered, to a certain extend, from the snow since Reto Meier from Google was unable to make the trip along with a number of delegates. That said, the rest of the speakers were able to make the event along with a good number of delegates to make for an interesting morning.

Dale Lane from IBM R&D gave a talk that covered the history of various mobile devices, looking at various innovations that succeeded and failed for various reasons. Anyone remember the IBM Linux Watch?

Daniel Appelquist, Web and Internet Evangelist at Vodafone (and W3C Advisory Committee Representaive at Vodafone) talked about the advantages and disadvantages of developing for the Mobile Web. The talk included a survey of relevant technologies, including JavaScript APIs for handling gestures, geo-location API, W3C widgets (which provide monetization opportunities), PhoneGap, and the problems of privacy, i.e. who gets to access data and for what purpose? There is also currently work on other APIs for contacts, calendars, filesystems, augmented reality (POIs) and WebGL.

Tom Melamed of Calvium gave an overview of the tools that can be used to create web applications for mobile phones, including those than can be packaged as native applications through frameworks like PhoneGap and Titanium. He also demonstrated the web-based tools that his company have developed. Through the tools you are able to create geo-location applications that can be played through a “player” that is on the iPhone App store or, with their help, packaged in its own iPhone application. Android should also be supported later in 2012.

Mark Watts-Jones from Everything Everywhere talked around areas of marketing and customer relations. There were a number of key messages: keeping customers happy keeps the revenue coming in; customers have different needs, behaviour, phones and money; and it should be noted that customers are not buying the app but the benefits that the app brings.

I found the morning session fascinating and have subsequently met Tom Melamed in Bristol, to discuss the MyMobileBristol project and the possibility of joining the beta programme to access Calvium’s web-based tool.

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