At m-pulse we wrap up a month dedicated to mobile voice technology and transformation with a look at Nuance, a company aggressively leveraging its long heritage in speech recognition to enable a range of new experiences and – ultimately – a new voice search experience (and ecosystem). Our guest is Kenn Harper, Nuance Mobile Director of Product Management.
In other segments we discuss some new numbers from Xyologic, a company tracking app downloads to provide us a more European perspective on the rise of Android and the increasing importance of local content and context. And this time my co-host Rob Woodbridge raises his goblet of rock to an innovation (and a mad genius) that redefines what we mean by ‘awesome.’ (Words alone don’t do it justice, so you’ll have to tune into m-pulse and check out the video teaser Rob has inserted into this week’s vodcast.)
Should we brace ourselves for a new battle as companies (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nuance) jockey for position to control the voice interface and our personal search/assistance experience? We continue our look at the opportunities and competition around mobile voice with Roberto Pieraccini, industry veteran and author of The Voice in the Machine.
In other segments we discuss the wider issue of personal privacy, following the news that social app Path has been uploading user data to its servers without our consent. Rob Woodbridge recounts a checklist of things to consider when building privacy into your minimum viable product. And we both find a perfect fit with a brilliant presentation— whose time has come (again) — from Jonathan MacDonald, a thought-leader and entrepreneur in digital media perhaps best known for his passionate views on the 3Ps (Permission: people will decide what brand messages they interact with; Privacy: people will decide where their data is collected and how it is used; and Preference: people will decide what content they find relevant). More about that further down in this post.
Mobile voice services have finally crossed the chasm thanks to the rise (and rise) Apple Siri — the smart, voice-enabled mobile assistant that connects with our personal data and the wider Internet to manage our daily lives. What is the real impact of Apple on the industry? Where are the opportunities for innovation? Who are the niche companies with good ideas and huge potential? And how will our requirement for a voice interface challenge mobile search and set new demands on customer service?
By way of background, Bill is the founder of TMA Associates, an independent consultancy providing insights and supporting companies that want to incorporate speech technologies into their offer, or improve their own enterprise efficiency. Bill has also teamed up with the Applied Voice Input Output Society (AVIOS) to organize the Mobile Voice Conference, March 12-14 in San Francisco. With this must-attend just around the corner my co-host Rob Woodbridge and I dedicate this month to mobile voice and celebrate the 'Year of the Ear' — to borrow an observation from Mary Meeker's invaluable trends presentation.
Google may give us a glimpse of the top Internet search terms that defined how the world searched online in 2011, but Mobile Commerce, a U.K.-based provider of optimized mobile search services stands out as the only company offering us insights into how we search using our mobile devices.
Today we kick off a new series of mobile search app reviews and road tests with Goby, a mobile search app that helps people find fun things to do nearby. The company behind the app, described by tech celeb Robert Scoble as more important than Foursquare, was acquired on Friday by location services giant TeleNav, proof that mobile search is a new must-have feature of apps, services and discovery schemes.
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While Google may have sewn up the market when it comes to general or horizontal Internet search, the race to dominate the mobile and alternative search space is far from run. In fact, it's just starting. A top contender for a lead spot is Goby, a mobile search app available on the Apple and Android platforms designed from the ground up to help people find fun stuff to do nearby.
Is your company driving more personalized mobile content discovery and content sharing, making it easier for us all to find, purchase and popularize mobile content? If the answer is 'yes,' then stand up and be counted. You have three more days to submit your entry to the Meffys. Now in their 8th year, the Meffys are the industry’s most coveted awards, honoring innovation and achievements across mobile content and commerce.
The deadline for entries was extended to May 6 due to popular demand, so don't miss out on the opportunity to showcase your service and have it viewed by the top journalists and analysts who sit on the judges panel.
If your company is shortlisted, then you can count on being center stage at the annual gala event (and top of mind with the hundreds of leading industry execs and decision-makers who attend the ceremony each year). TV personality, comedienne and author Ruby Wax will host the 2011 Meffys Gala Awards Dinner (July 7) at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London’s Covent Garden.
Heightened activity and interest in mobile retail (spurred on by holiday shopping and the rapid uptake of price comparison services and apps), has paved the way for a variety of new and immersive mobile experiences that insert marketing messages and campaigns into our daily shopping routines. From mobile codes (specifically, barcodes) to mobile coupons, companies are enlarging their arsenal of capabilities to capture our attention while we shop.
However, only a handful of companies are prepared to compete where it really counts: at the point of inspiration, otherwise known as the retail shelf.
The global prepaid market is growing faster than post-paid, but winning and retaining these customers is no longer about extending plain-vanilla telephony services to people on fixed budgets. The advance of smartphones and faster 4G networks forces mobile operators to get smarter about how they offer data services (that were traditionally offered to post-paid subscribers) to everyone.
A recent poll conducted by research firm Ovum (and commissioned by Amdocs) reveals the vast majority of service providers and operators can read the writing on the wall.