On Tuesday 11th November 2014, the second D.I.C.E event, ‘Get Mobile’ took place in the Helix in DCU.
Unlike the previous event which was focused mainly on social media and data, ‘Get Mobile’ focused on all mobile device related things such as; phones, Apps,’Lifelogging‘, mobile analytical software and ‘way-of-the-future’ products like ‘Google Glass’ and ‘Smart Watches’.
There were six speakers in total at the event in the Helix, each discussing the way in which they see the importance of mobile devices today but also in particular, how mobile usage relates to them.
Dr Theo Lynn, Business Innovation Platform Director at DCU started off the conference. He spoke about the usage of mobile phones among young people in Ireland. He provided facts and statistics that I found very interesting, for example; “96% of 18-33 year olds own a smartphone, with 60% of this number owning an iPhone.” Dr Lynn provided lots of similar and sometimes unbelievable, yet realistic facts in his speech relating to mobile phone usage. Shocking statistics such as; “18% of people use their mobile phone while in the cinema, 18% use it on a date, 56% use it on the toilet and that in less than five years, children as young as 7 years old will have mobile phones!” made his speech very interesting.
Theo Lynn also spoke about the new developments in mobile devices such as ‘Google Glass’, a ‘Smart Watch’ and a ‘Connected Car’, which he predicts could have a possible future market worth of $150 billion. Lastly he made a point which stuck with me personally; “Money follows eyeballs (which follow a mobile device)”. If this statement is true, then Dr Theo Lynn would be correct in his predictions that the amount of people ‘getting mobile’ is only going to increase in the future.
The second speaker was Mark Hughes, Chief Technical Officer of ‘Digifeye‘, an online image analysis company. Mark discussed the function of Digifeye – the way in which it uses algorithms to identify, recognise and analyse the different elements of an image. He also spoke about ‘Style-eyes‘, another App-based company that he works with. I found the concept of ‘Style-eyes’ particularly interesting and I thought it was a great and useful idea for an App. ‘Style-eyes’, similar to Digifeye, analyses parts of an image in order to identify products such as articles of clothing in the image and match them with similar products that can be found online. After the conference I downloaded ‘Style-eyes’ and I was really impressed by the App!
After Mark Huges, Dr Cathal Gurrin gave a very interesting talk. I found this speaker to be the most interesting of all of those who spoke at the event, as some of the topics he spoke about, such as ‘Lifelogging‘ and ‘The Internet of Me‘ were very intriguing. I had never heard of ‘Lifelogging’ before and so I researched more on it after the conference was over in order to find out more about it. ‘Lifelogging’ is when you use a mobile device to capture almost every aspect of your life as you live it, including what you see, hear, where you go and how you feel, with ‘The Internet of Me’ following a similar idea. ‘Lifelogging’ can be described as a surrogate memory and can create a private digital archive of everything; from your productivity to your heart rate. Much like Dr Theo Lynn, Dr Cathal Gurrin predicted that this mobile device will be the way of the future. In fact, as he gave his talk in the Helix, he wore a mobile device around his neck as part of his own ‘Lifelog’.
The fourth speaker was Eoin Cruise, Marketing Lead for Microsoft Mobile Devices in Ireland. Eoin Cruise was different in comparison to other speakers as while he did speak about the company he works for – Microsoft and the company he formerly worked for – Nokia, he spoke about the previous failings of the company, and not just what the company does. I was surprised by Eoin Cruise’s honesty when it came to talking about the slip-ups and defeats of Nokia before it was bought by Microsoft and I respected him for admitting that both he and the company had made mistakes and poor choices in the past. I also admired him for being determined and motivated when he began speaking about the future of Microsoft mobile devices, his focus and clear thinking on what the company needed to do in order to gain back the ‘trust of the people’ which Nokia had had a few years ago was very impressive.
Paul Davey was the fifth person to speak at the event. Paul Davey is the Mobile Leader for IBM and he spoke specifically about IBM’s work with mobile Apps. While IBM don’t in fact make smartphones, they do create Apps for other companies. IBM is also currently collaborating with other big names such as Apple and Twitter in order to further the technology of many mobile devices in the future. One such project that IBM has started working on is ‘Watson‘, a super-computer that can identify any illness or medical condition in a person by comparing and analysing millions of pieces of data. Again, this speaker gave us a glimpse into what the future of mobile devices may look like.
The final speaker of the day was Alex Meisl, the co-founder of ‘Sponge‘ an extremely successful mobile agency. Sponge supplies advice on mobile solutions to companies such as; ‘Birds Eye’, ‘Coca Cola’ and ‘Vodafone’ and encourages them to utilise mobile devices and mobile technology in order to further their productivity, popularity and overall business, as Sponge realises that ‘getting mobile’ is certainly the way of the future.