Joe McCann: Mobile Is Not A Thing; It Is Everything.

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

Joe McCann (@joemccann) was speaking at Full Frontal about unlocking the true potential of mobile, these are my notes from his talk.

Outside the affluent first world the situation is different to what we experience.  There are an absurd number of charts showing how absurd the growth in mobile is.  Growing 1.5x per year - exponentially.   It's moving faster than any analyst though.  Mobile doesn't mean on the go.  Tablets are shipping more than laptops - they are not replacing laptops/desktops, they are additive.  We are still in the early stages of adoption - there are 5 billion mobiles but only 1.5 billion smartphones.  Even North America is at saturation point.  This doesn't even include wearable technologies which are still mobile devices.

We need to rethink the definition of "mobile".  Not just smart phones and tablets.  Mobile is reshaping everything.

  • Financial services:  More people in Africa have mobile phones than bank accounts - turn phones into bank accounts: M-pesa.  ~80% of Africans use their phone daily for financial transactions.
  • Health care: Kinsa created a thermometer that costs less than $1 which allows large scale adoption and can produce aggregate data.
  • Geopolical shape shifting:  Can create huge pop-up protests using smartphones, cameras and social media.  Can topple governments.
  • Toys: Physical toys that interact with the sensors on a device to cross the physical-digital boundary.
  • Cars: Phone apps that can interact with the car's electronic control system and these change the way people drive.  In 2015 50% of new cars will be internet connected.
  • Transportation: Uber - you can get a car at any point in a city - they will come to your location.  On-demand fulfillment - not just cars, even cats!!!11one!
  • Home:  Nest - you can have connected sensors round your house.  Hue - network connected RGB light bulbs.
  • Self:  The quantifiable self.  Personal measurement such as the Fuel Band and Fit Bit.  Digestible and implantable measuring devices being developed.
  • Mobile:  SMS has reached the pinacle of success - it's used for spam.  People are now using data to send messages rather than SMS (Over The Top messaging).  OTT messaging is now also a payment medium, a monetisation vehicle, a gaming platform, application platform (HTML5 SDK).  OTT messaging is changing mobile from inside mobile.

What's next?

It's up to us to decide what happens next.  We have the skills to do this.  Let's do it.