ETel – Day One & Two

My snippets from the first day of Emerging Telephony

  • Nokia continues to say all the right things…as well as the usual stories of mobile payments and convergence devices, Tero OjanperΓ€ namechecked augmented reality applications; refreshingly Nokia understands that the path to proliferation for such technologies is an open and inclusive developer community.
  • Rajesh Veeraraghavan, of Microsoft Research india, described the Warana Unwired project – designed to address the computing needs of farmers in rural India. The project helped manage land registration, farming permits and the operations of farming co-ops by replacing PCs with mobile handsets and SMS messaging. Sean Blagsvedt followed by demonstrating an impressive set of development tools for SMS services (accessible to 40% of the world!), provided by Microsoft; including looking up Active Directory contacts using SMS commands.
  • Sadly, Orange’s Ndiata Kolanji great sentiments for a socially-aware voice network seem a little out of step with developments within France Telecom. In 2002, FT’s R&D unit launched C@ti, an experimental voice-groups service that pretty much does what Ndiata was describing as a future service. C@ti was enormously successful with the modestly sixed test group of Parisians…I wonder if it’s still active…?
  • Go Kaliya! OpenID is on…this time last year iNames, Sxip and LID weren’t YADIS and they were’nt yet OpenID. It’s happened, and it’s working πŸ™‚
  • Lee Dryburgh’s segment on Auto-Buddies explored the transition of telephony to multi-modal communication and moving from unsociable to sociable networks of callers…enabling conversations between relevant others.
  • John Todd’s segment on FreeNum was close to my heart…the mapping of E.164 phone numbers to URIs. FreeNum isn’t ENUM, but instead utilises a numeric format (21232*270) with a domain local portion, an asterisk separator and an IANA-allocated ITAD; ITADs are analagous to an organisational domain, such as a .com. Freenum’s utilising this notation in order to avoid controversies of the ARPA-derived ENUM mappings.
  • Google’s Chris Sacca provided an insightful overview of Google’s attempt to launch a muni wifi network in Mountain View. Interestingly, though telcos and local government resisted Google’s attempts, municipal services, such as libraries, emergency services and schools, helped Google shape a strtegy that met their needs and eased the path to regulatory acceptance. 397 Meraki radios cover 12 square miles, with 90% of radios in use every day πŸ™‚
  • The morning sessions closed out with demonstrations from the three finalists of the Telephony Mashup contest; RoboCal (an impressive text-to-speech service that reads from your Google Calendar), FishLign and AfterHoursDoctorsOffice (using mTurk to determine if out of hours patient calls are urgent)AHDO deservedly won the contest πŸ™‚
  • Benoit Schilling’s Greenphone, from Trolltech, is something I’ve been looking forward to seeing for some time…just like the Neo1973, the Greenphone has brought to life Surj’s vision of an open source handset…open telephony is getting easier and easier πŸ™‚
  • Ram Fish’s Fonav continued the openness theme with their open-source wifi handset…a modified Netgear phone. Interestingly Ram categorised current voice devices as music, eLife (Mylo, N800) and purely voice, but speculated that video, DVR control, music control and photo form-factors will soon begin to emerge as digital lifestyle appliances.
  • The lightning talks from NeoKeys and Nuance were intriguing, looking to advance mobile input paradigms ;keytops with integrated screens and gesture-driven on-screen keypads.
  • Jaiku and Twitter have changed the way I consider presence and availability – so I’ve been looking forward to  Jyri Engstrom’s session on Ambient Storytelling all week πŸ™‚ Jaiku’s mobile client provides rich presence of the sort that answers the most common pre-call questions; can you tall? where are you? Jaikus are essentially short posts to the people who follow you.
  • Mexua is one of three Northern startups represented here at ETel, including YuuGuu and Carbon….strangely, I couldn’t get Tim’s LinkedIn demo to work from my account, even as he was demo’ing on stage…
  • SMS Servers replace PCs in rural India – and its Microsoft doing the work!!
  • The communication of content has become less significant that the network of communication…popular culture provides the tool with which to paint the self…go Norman πŸ™‚
  • Moshe Yadkowsky defines revolutions as breaking things apart…in one of several categories; Authority, Ownership, Mechanics, Space/time and Concepts. Callers waiting in an IVR queue? Give them Karaoke!
  • Plausible and probably futures – this is the business of the IFTF…that and helping clients find desirable
    futures.  Wifi cities, Software-defined Radio, smartphones as the world
    computer, the thing/sensor/geospatial/mobile/semantic/cognitive web.
  • Geovector – a mouse for the real-world.
  • Botanicalls, Megaphone 3000, The Human Race – some fun student projects from ITP at the ETel Faire.
  • Mozes – 1 trillion text messages, 3 billion MMS, 5mmms/sub,
    mostly male US vs females elswwhere – 150/month, connecting people, 7/7
    relationship to internet and realtime reporting, propaganda in
    afghanistan by british mobile
  • Quentin &
  • Phil Zimmerman & Zfone
  • The Future Of Asterisk…better developer outreach, a bigger core
    development team, reaching out to end users with better graphical
    configuration tools and seeking to compete with Microsoft on the
  • Equals – presence is a bad proxy for availability πŸ™‚

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