Nokia’s developer event is launch pad for desi innovation
Bangkok (Thailand), Oct. 31 If the much touted Web 2.0 — the Internet’s Second — community-based — Coming, is already upon us, can its cellular-phone based avatar, Mobile 2.0, be far behind?
Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone maker thinks it is high time – and its summit for the developer community, which opened here on Tuesday, helped showcase what customers can expect by way of compelling next-generation value-additions in the coming months.
Hotbed of innovation
A strong contingent of developers from India — many of them start-ups — had an unstated message for the assembled delegates from world-over. This was not just one of the biggest and fastest growing markets for cellular services; it was also a hotbed of innovation in mobile applications.
As an interesting aside on what is seen in India to drive the mobile business, almost all the desi technologies on display were in the enterprise space – while Chinese players seemed to be concentrating on applications in the entertainment and gaming arena.
Putting the Maharashtra metro firmly on the map as a creative hothouse, were two Pune-based firms whose offerings seemed to complement rather than compete.
Persistent Systems showcased a mobile-based enterprise content search tool where search engines like Yahoo or Google could be integrated with a corporate database like Oracle or SAP and the contents searched even from the mobile phone of an authorised user.
Another Pune-based player, Mobien Digital showed a tool which synchronised the home Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with the mobile phone so that data could be exchanged – even a dot matrix printer remotely activated.
In an application targeted at telecom providers, the Gurgaon-based Aims Migital showed how the Bluetooth connectivity of many phones could be leveraged to increase footfalls in shops and malls – by messaging phone owners going past a particular retail outlet. It is already being tried out in many Delhi malls, the Migital General Manager, Mr Rishi Dawar, said.
The UK and Singapore-based Affle, a mobile developer with a Gurgaon research base, offered service providers the means to add a second layer to the SMS message – pushing cricket scores, stock prices and other value-additions in the often used screen space of a text message.
The Noida-based start-up MCarbon will shortly launch in the Indian market its first product – an ‘interactive SMS’ solution. This will convert static SMS messages into dynamic tools that will interact, live with the users and allow them to access services of their choice, explained MCarbon’s Director-Sales and Marketing, Mr Rajesh Razdan.
Mr Shankar Meembat, Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) for Forum Nokia — the developer outreach of the Finnish handset maker — explained that the customer will increasingly drive mobile content and services — and telecom providers would ignore this at their peril.
Mr Meembat told Business Line that while India had about 1.3 million software developers, only a tenth of this number were known to be addressing mobile applications. Indian developers had a huge potential to leverage the global market for convergence solutions in the cellular space, he felt. Forum Nokia already counted over 1 lakh members in India – the largest chunk of developers in Asia-Pacific.