On the 4th of December, we attended our third mini conference, as usual it was in the Helix. Get Mobile was hosted by techspectations. Prior to this conference students we able to look at the mobile apps released by postgraduate students under the DICE module.
Dr. Theo Lynn’s opening words were as informative as always. He highlighted the huge potential of mobile phones and phone applications for today’s world.
Púca- Dominic Muldoon
Up first was Dominic Muldoon, who works for Ireland’s leading Mobile Marketing Specialist Púca. He talked about the history of the phone from its creation in 1876 until todays more modern and hi-tech telephones. He also spoke about how common mobile marketing has become and told us an interesting fact that 91% of the world’s population has a mobile phone. He told us another surprising statistic that it takes the average person 90 seconds to reply to a text message and that SMS messages are generally opened within 15 minutes of being sent. Everything Dominic said I found very interesting especially when he told us that if a person forgets his wallet and leaves it at home, they would not bother to go back and get it but almost everybody would for their mobile phone, and this is definitely the case for me!
Nokia- Eoin Cruise
The second speaker of the day was Eoin Cruise, the head of sales and marketing at Nokia. He claimed that a couple of years ago almost everyone had Nokia phones (which I feel was definitely true, they were like the iPhone of today). To emphasize this statement he put up pictures of well-known but really old mobile phones on the projector. After that he asked the students in the audience to give a hand sign if they had a Nokia phone. Even though the Helix was completely full there was very few students that raised their hands which I found quite amusing. He also talked about Nokia coming back to be competitive in the market with the new Nokia Lumia 920 which actually looks very good and told us that it is run with the new Windows 8. He sold the idea of the phone to the whole audience very well I felt.
Microsoft- Patrick Ward
Third speaker of the Day was Patrick Ward from Microsoft. This was one of the less enjoyable talks of the DICE conferences. Patrick talked about Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The products he was talking about seemed very efficient as would be expected with anything from windows. He showed us what windows 8 looked like which was quite interesting.
PayPal- Louise Phelan
After a short break which we were able to see the app expo again, Louise Phelan, the vice president from PayPal was next to speak. She started her talk with trends and data on mobile shoppers. We learned that mobile payments in the amount of 4 billion Dollars were made through PayPal in 2011 and that amount is expected to rise up to 10 billion Dollars in 2012. People using mobile payment mainly buy digital goods, clothing and tickets, but lots of them are really worried about security, convenience and usability. She also mentioned that 40% of smartphone users have purchased something through their phone. Towards the end of her presentation, she told us about the idea of buying coffee online at a café that is close to where somebody is and then go pick it up without having to queue or wait for the coffee to be made. I found this example of the convenience of mobile shopping quite humorous but completely agreed that that is the way smart phone technology and online shopping is going.
It was interesting to hear from people who work in different areas of the ‘mobile world’. The question about their favourite app was the best for me. Most of them said that ‘clever’ apps are the best ones. These are apps they considered as a real enhancement to people’s lives .e.g. skype. The rest of the panel discussion, however, was quite boring and I felt like the questions asked were not completely answered by the panel.
Global Diagnostics- Johnny Walker
Last but certainly not least was Johnny Walker, Founder and Chairman of Global Diagnostics Ltd. Global Diagnostics is a leading international provider of diagnostic medical imaging services that the Australian founded over 15 years ago. His speech was very entertaining, because he accompanied it with many hilarious stories from his journeys. He was the most motivated of all the speakers and I can tell why his company has succeeded. He was the most enjoyable speaker of the day and a breath of fresh air at the end of quite a long conference.
To conclude the mini conference today, I found it very interesting that all the companies have many plans for the future of smartphones that will soon be a reality and one day I hope to be able to order my coffee without having to stand in the queue!