I was honored to participate in the RWW Mobile Summit which took place today in Mountain View, California. The event was structured in a unique unconference style, great for encouraging brainstorming and insights sharing.
Richard MacManus, Marshall Kirkpatrick and others from the incredible RWW team gathered a mixed group of start-ups, entrepreneurs, developers, journalists, marketers and researchers, who are not only experimenting with mobile innovations, but are taking an active part in this revolution.
While the topics of interest were freely suggested, it came by no surprise that Augmented Reality enjoyed most of the attention.
Personally, I see the excitement around AR somewhat similar to the experience of getting satisfying search results (can you imagine that?). Add to that a great UI experience and you get Augmented Reality!
Augmented Reality from my perspective is all about users’ interaction with new and relevant information embedded in a unique UI display. That can hold for any QR codes (or other markers), location based solutions (take Foursquare and add into it one more display layer) and of course more advanced sensory system which can also monitor and provide feedback.
When we praise AR today – we actually enjoy the visualization aspect of it, as the information we currently receive is still in its infancy. All the rest is our imagination, what we believe can be applied soon, very soon.
I would like to share some of the discussions I’ve enjoyed participating in:
Marshall Kirkpatrick managed the “Augmented Reality and Beyond” discussion.
The discussion group suggested that AR is most likely to be developed in the following directions:
– more interfaces: extended screens, accessories and moving objects, human body interface.
– more tools to gather information (EveryBlock)
– more utilities and practical implementations
In another group managed by Gigi Wang (VLAB) we’ve discussed the monetization of Augmented Reality.
While the common model will go towards relevancy (context and location) consumer ads sponsored by advertisers, the more exciting models will be those which users will find valuable enough to pay directly:
– Traveling (museums, historical monuments) and entertainment (games) can offer users unique experiences (Layar is experimenting already in this direction with its new apps store).
– Real-estate can provide users with unique content that can be cost effective.
– Health monitoring systems can be valuable for its life saving potential.
Lastly, I’ve enjoyed meeting with Jeffrey Pierce – from IBM Research who is researching mobile experiences. We have discussed mobile unique behavioral patterns. Pierce had introduced me with an IBM study which suggested that mobile search in compare with web search (in the enterprise environment) is done mostly during morning time and late night (next to the TV) and is known to be oriented at very specific needs. I’ve suggested that we might learn from other human dynamics with communication devices (landline calls versus mobile call behavior). People are likely to use different system to interact with friends / colleges at different times. They will SMS friends when they have a specific need, call from their mobile when their need is more obscure, or choose to call from a landline when they have a more general interest in learning whats new. Can that have anything to do with our search behavior patterns (web versus mobile?)
Hats off to Read Write Web for one of the most inspiring conferences!