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Personalising the mobile internet

Speaking at AOP's forum yesterday, covering mobile widgets, was David Ashbrook, David Ashbrook, senior research engineer, Devices Team, Vodafone Group R&D.

Ashbrook revealed that the previous focus of mobile device manufacturers' internet propositions have been based on evolving the device to provide a full web experience, offering full web browsers, increasing terminal display sizes and resolutions and improving data entry mechanisms. This provides an experience that looks the same as that of a full desktop experience, but does not function the same due to the user interface constraints inherent with mobile devices.

  • Mobile widgets are lightweight single purpose software applications, 'mini-browsers' targeted to one topic of information and personalised to the user.
  • Mobile widgets provide an easy method of obtaining quick and personalised web data whilst on the move, matching user requirements.

In the future, mobile widgets could be integrated deeply within mobile devices allowing them to access data such as the address book and calendar, but this requires access to sensitive device APIs and has numerous security implications that Vodafone, amongst others are investigating.

  • Mobile Widgets provide a natural personalised marketing tool through the user’s selection of the Widgets they download, and thus provide a mechanism for distributing targeted and viral adverts.
  • Widgets created or funded by content providers might be pushed to users, providing content that is relevant to them, and advertising for the provider.

In summary: Mobile Widgets could become the primary mechanism through which users extend the functionality of their devices. They are quick to develop, quick to deploy, easy to use and personalised to the user providing new potential opportunities for targeted advertising.

Other speaker presentations from the forum are available for members todownload here.

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