Event Report: “Amplify Mobility” event on Mobile Tech at Bharati Vidyapeeth

This Saturday, there was a day-long event on mobile technology organized by Amplify Mindware, a group of educational institutions housed at Bharati Vidyapeeth. This is a live-blog of three of the talks at the event; (which is unfortunately being posted with a 2-day delay because my internet connection did not work at the venue.) There were other talks which haven’t been captured either because I missed the talk (as I had to leave early), or it wasn’t interesting enough, or they were student presentations that were appropriate for the audience but not for this blog (and my own presentation on “Mobile Technology Trends” that I couldn’t blog).

Anyway, here are my notes on 3 of the talks:

Enhance Education’s talk about MyOpenCampus portal and the e-Pad tablet

Lots of people have lots of ideas on how to improve education. And most of them will not work because that’s not what the students want. Amit Sharma of Enhance Education claims that the right approach is to ask the students what they want. And his research indicates that students just want answers to their questions without having to ask the question in highly public forums.

Enhance Education’s MyOpenCampus product tries to fill this requirement. It is an educational social network and content portal that provides content specifically for your degree, your discipline, your year. Basically it is a general educational social network, but it has groups for the specific classes your taking, information about your curriculum, notes, and other study material, and groups of your classmates for interaction. The difference between a general repository of such information from the internet and this repository is that this is found and uploaded by your teacher or fellow-students and validated by the teacher. This is further supported by question & answer forums and discussion forums.

All of this is delivered to the students via the e-pad, a 7-inch resistive touchscreen Android tablet, which is smaller than a book, is always on, is always connected to the internet, and is cheap. It’s portable, can be used for accessing all the data from MyOpenCampus, all the documents, the study material, audio/video lectures, and it can also be used as an entertainment device. It will cost about Rs. 6000, and the first batch will go to Amplify Mindware students in June 2011.

Binoy Samuel from Digital Spice:

Media companies, design companies, publishing companies, gaming companies are all moving to mobile platforms from their usual medium. This is a huge market opportunity.

He gave a few examples of apps that have come through this route. One of the interesting example was of a book called “Bio-replenishment” on Bone Health, which has lots of information about the health of your bones, and what causes problems, and how it effects you. The book was expensive, at $50, and still not compelling enough for readers. They converted it to an iPad app with a lot of 3-D animations to explain the issues, and that is a much better format for this material.

In this space, there are opportunities in healthcare, animation, wildlife, e-Publishing, e-Learning, and retail design.

Anthony Hsiao from Sapna Solutions:

On why becoming a mobile developer is cool:

  • Because it is new and exciting and unknown
  • Because it is a completely new way to try and benefit the bottom of the pyramid
  • Because you can develop things and immediately try them on yourself
  • Because you can use maths and science along with computer science when developing for mobiles (e.g. accelerometer, gps, etc.)
  • Because you want to build things for users. Real users. Non-techies. Kids. And cats.

Mobile development is fast, always moving, high pressure. It’s a lot of hard work. It is not for everyone. Choose wisely.

What will be big in mobile:

  • Money transfer
  • Location based services
  • Mobile search
  • Mobile browsing
  • Mobile health monitoring
  • Mobile payment
  • Near field communication services
  • Mobile advertising
  • Mobile instant messaging
  • Mobile music

Anuj Tandon from Rolocule Games:

Quote: “I was a techie first. Then Infosys made me a donkey. Then I quit to join Rolocule and became a techie again”

Mobile Gaming is a hot area.

In Asia, mobile gaming industry will grown at 73% CAGR.

The biggest entertainment launch this year was not a movie, it was a mobile game. Consumers are willing to pay for quality mobile games ($9.99 per game). There is already good M&A activity in amongst mobile games development companies since 3 years of the launch of the Apple AppStore. e.g. Ngmoco acquired by DeNA, Tapolous acquired by Disney. Freeverse acquired by NGmoco. VCs have already made investments of over $100 in iPhone gaming related companies.

India, gaming industry is worth $7.9B in 2009 and will grow to $32B by 2014. Globally, gaming industry will grow 18%, but in India it will grow 32%.

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