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Location, location, location? Wrong, wrong, wrong

In real estate, you will have heard, there are only three rules: location, location and location.

In the emerging industry of mobile commerce, we hear the same argument. Much is made of the potential of location-based services (or LBS, in its inevitable acronymisation). The most profitable models for the delivery of mobile commerce services, say the experts, will be based on where users find themselves. Ergo, the most successful services should be the likes of:
IBM’s vision of LBSTraveller services – business travellers wanting information on the destination where they’ve just arrived;

Entertainment information – users going out to movies or a meal wanting information on what is in the area where they find themselves;

Route information – directions on getting where you want to go from where you are;

Emergency services – alerting rescue, medical or police services on the location of someone in distress (for more examples, See IBM’s vision of LBS).

Aside from the last – which is more usually the province of public authorities rather than of commercial services – the problem with this vision is that much of it doesn’t make sense. Oh yes, it makes perfect sense from a technological perspective. This is what the technology can do, so why shouldn’t it be part of the promise?

Even academics are arguing that mobile commerce is dependent on Location on the one hand, and on Time on the other. In short, where users are, and when they are there.

But it is wrong, wrong, wrong. Keep reading →

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Posted in the category: Strategy, Technology, Trends

Americans go content-crazy

Nearly half of U.S. media consumers are frequently creating online content for others to see, according to a survey commissioned by Deloitte & Touche USA.

This marks a 12 point escalation from a prior survey commissioned by Deloitte in early 2007, challenging the conventional assumption that online content creation is limited to a niche group of technology-savvy individuals. This and additional top-line survey findings were released last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.Ed Moran: unheralded choice has been created

Deloitte’s 2008 State of the Media Democracy survey found that 45 percent of survey respondents are developing web sites, photo albums, blogs and music online to share with friends, family, peers and total strangers.

“Mass digitization has created unheralded choice and desire for American consumers,” said Ed Moran, director of product innovation for Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications group. “Now, more than ever, consumers have the independence to enjoy what they want, when they want it, and where they want it – but increasingly, they are also choosing to create content themselves, or re-working other people’s content.” Keep reading →

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Posted in the category: News, Technology, Trends

Rwanda president at CES: 'Technology brings stability'

Technology brings jobs and financial stability, Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, told a session of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Discussing emerging technology and its impact on his country and the African continent, President Kagame spoke of his desire for Rwanda to prosper through technology.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame at CESHe was speaking on the inaugural CES Industry Insider program on Technology and Emerging Countries at the Consumer Electronics Show. The program also featured Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC) and the MIT Media Lab.

In his opening keynote address for the program, Negroponte explained OLPC’s goal of eliminating poverty in third-world countries through education. He declared that, since most of the nearly two-billion children in developing countries are poorly educated, “We must restore, introduce and create the passion for learning in children.” Keep reading →

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Posted in the category: Insight, News, Technology, Trends

Yahoo! wants your desktop … and your phone … and Google

Yahoo! co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang this week detailed a vision for delivering the most personally-relevant and indispensable Internet experience to consumers worldwide. Addressing the needs of today’s users at the 2008 International CES Industry Insider Series at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Yang provided the first public demonstration of Yahoo!’s latest mobile offerings and offered a concept demonstration of the future of the desktop experience.

Jerry Yang and David Filo at CESIn his speech, Yang said “from the newest to the most experienced user, Yahoo!’s goal is to be the simple starting point for a much richer and more complex world so you can get more out of it. Whether you’re looking for fun, information, entertainment or social connections, you want to experience everything to the fullest – this is living life with an exclamation point.”

Yang’s presentation and message were clearly a response to the massive strides made by Google over the past two years – much of it ironically coming after a keynote presentation by Google at the same venue two years ago. At CES 2006, Google unveiled a strategy roadmap that electrified the content industry. Since then, Google has implemented its strategy to such dramatic effect, that it dominates search throughout the world, and sets the agenda in areas as diverse as mapping, social networking and desktop customisation.

And Yahoo! wants some of what those guys are having. Keep reading →

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Posted in the category: Strategy, Technology, Trends

Rise of digital music spells end of record label as we know it

Plummeting CD sales means that the record label as we know it is on the way out. And fast-rising digital sales are not enough to reverse the trend.

His Master’s Voice is fading fastYankee Group announced at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday that two fundamental shifts were driving the music industry – digitisation and direct-to-consumer transactions. As a result, US recording industry revenue has plummeted 25% since peaking at $14.6 billion in 1999. By year-end 2006, it had declined to $11 billion.

In 2008, according to the Consumer Electronics Association, games software will pass the $11-billion mark, confirming that computer games now represent a bigger content market than music.
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Posted in the category: News, Trends

CES keynote: Intel promises Internet in your pocket

Intel Corporation President and CEO Paul Otellini said on Monday the Internet will continue disrupting the consumer electronics and entertainment industries in new ways and described how the Internet’s evolution will create business opportunities for “those who embrace it.”

Paul Otellini“We’re now in the midst of the largest opportunity to redefine consumer electronics and entertainment since the introduction of the television,” Otellini said during a keynote speech at the International Consumer Electronics Show. “Increasingly, computing and communications are coming together, bringing a new level of capabilities and intelligence to the Internet experience. The personal Internet of tomorrow will serve you – delivering the information you want, when you want it, how you want, wherever you are.” Keep reading →

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Posted in the category: News, Technology, Trends

CES keynote: Bill Gates presents vision of hi-definition decade

The “next digital decade” will be distinguished by an expanding HD, or high-definition, experience, said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corporation, delivering his eleventh and final keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Bill Gates at CESGates, who will retire from his full time position as chairman of Microsoft in July, will shift his focus to charitable work on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates marked the occasion with a humorous sketch featuring friends including former Vice President Al Gore, rapper/producer Jay Z and U2 front man Bono.

In his presentation, Gates predicted that displays will be everywhere, including walls and desks. In addition, all devices will be service-connected, which will relieve users from having to bridge between content and devices. Gates noted that next digital decade also will see the power of the natural user interface take hold, with “touch” technology and speech recognition appearing in more products.
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Posted in the category: News, Technology, Trends

Rwanda president at Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas

The 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s largest tradeshow for consumer technology, begins tomorrow (January 7) in Las Vegas with a focus on an important and often overlooked component of the success of the CE industry: international free trade.

Deelgates from Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia, including the president of Rwanda, will participate in events during the five-day programme.

At CES in Las VegasA distinguished series of speakers and panels, as well as other activities, will highlight the importance and need for free trade policies that will expand economies and create new American jobs.

“The technology industry is a shining star in many world economies, including the U.S., and that simply would not be the case without international trade,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), producer of the International CES. “Now, more than ever, the industry must demonstrate to U.S. policymakers that free and open trade – not self-defeating protectionism – are the keys to innovation and world economic progress.”

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Posted in the category: News, Technology

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The Big Change is a business strategy blog and newsletter published by Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a leading technology research organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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