Monday, September 28, 2009

The Future of Rich Games in Mobile -September 28th

By Craig Turner
Teleca often discusses and debates hot topics from various viewpoints. Today, we present one viewpoint on the future of mobile gaming. Next week, we’ll follow this up with a counterpoint!

Rich games will never grow beyond a niche market on mobile devices. In this space, casual games will continue to take the lion’s share of revenues. That is not to say that only games like the original Snakes will be successful or that there is no interest in good-looking, fun games on mobile devices. I think the interest in mobile games of the caliber of the Halo or Grand Theft Auto will remain the exception to the rule.

1. Mobile gamers are casual gamers. We want to play quick and be able to start and stop at any time. Not that a game may not last longer than 5 minutes, but it shouldn’t have to last an hour.
2. Mobile games are limited by the form factor and hardware of their target device. These are extremely fragmented. There is no single hardware like in the console world and no unifying DirectX software platform that makes games easy-to-build. And games need to be playable and fun on such a wide range of systems that economics alone will continue to boil them down to the lowest common denominator.

For my mobile games, I expect them to start quick, entertain and challenge me, and not punish me when I take a break to get off the train or (heaven forbid) answer a phone call – all this without instantly draining my battery, please. If I want to blast my way uninterrupted through mind-boggling 3D scenery, I can turn off my phone and sit down with my PS3.

And I’m still waiting for somebody to show me a truly casual multiplayer game. Maybe that will be the key to bigger and better things in mobile gaming…

Do you feel challenged? - Any comment on this is welcome. Next week we expect a counter point blog!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why can´t my phone talk? - September 22, 2009

By Chandra Challagonda
Back in the days when mobile phones were perceived as a replacement for landline phones the definition of "Hands Free" meant not using your hands when you are talking on the phone. But nowadays mobile phones are used more or less as computers & usage is increasingly cantered accessing e-mails, social networking & internet browsing. So there is a need to re-define, what exactly "Hands Free" means with the current mobile phone usage.

The other day I was taking a walk with my dogs and heard my phone alerting me at the arrival of a new e-mail. Both of my hands were holding leashes so I did not have chance to take the phone out from my pocket and start pressing keys. So I had to tie the dogs to nearby pole and then reply to the email. After I started walking again, I come to think that the phone I am using is supposed to have the Hands Free-feature, right?

As a mobile device user I would like to have more intelligent & advanced voice command based usability of my phone which would be totally hands free. That means when my hands are not free, I connect a Bluetooth headset and when I get a new mail, I just say "Read New Mail", then I would expect my phone to read the e-mail with the same voice & accent I have. (good, eehh?). Also for example if I give a voice command to my phone "Next Meeting Please", then my phone reads out the next meeting details and then I say "Take me there/Drive me there", then phone should be able to launch Navigation application and guides me to that location.

Another use case is that the user keeps dictating and mobile phone automatically keeps typing it. There could be many more use cases like this. And this all needs to be done without using hands and without pressing a key buttons on the phone.
In today's world staying connected is considered important and doing multiple things at the same time has become so common that it would be really good to have one more hand to operate mobile phones.

Well I am not mentioning that all mobile users have to undergo mutation. But rather a usability mutation is needed to provide a true Hands Free experience.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

OSiM Observations Day 2 -September 17th

By Robert Kempf
It was good to see that the initial Sales pitch in the Day 1 talks was not visible anymore on Day 2 at OSiM, but that rather the key topic “Open Source in Mobile” was the focus again.

The presentation from Samsung on how they handle this transition phase from working in a rather closed environment towards using OSS was a good example. A very honest description of the challenges a company phases in this transition and an encouraging outlook for those who are going along the same path.

There were also quite some statements on having too many open source platforms coming up and the potential need to go one step back to see whether there can’t be a unique platform as a common base at least in the Linux space – but to be honest I doubt that anyone speaking about this idea will really invest in making this happen short term.

A very inspiring part of OSiM today were the WIPJam sessions. These 40min open discussions around a specific topic with a very diverse audience were great fun. Having open source freaks, entrepreneurs, senior management people from large companies and people who want to learn about this topic and are more kind of the end-user-type around the same table leads to a very unpredictable but exciting discussion on a topic and gives you new ideas of what could be done. It did also show the very different view of how to interpret benefit and innovation – especially in this area the view of the technical experts and the end-user-type participant were quite different.

It was well worth participating in OSiM 2009, meeting people you haven’t seen for some time, getting new ideas about where open source in mobile will go and seeing the ever increasing momemtum of OSS in the mobile industry.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

OSiM Observations Day 1 -September 16th

By Andrew Till
With OSiM now in its fourth year it is establishing itself firmly on the conference circuit. Here are our key takeaways from day one

Overall the conference has a more commercial feel to it suggesting that Open Source Software has clearly made its mark in the mobile space. This was echoed by a number of the first mornings presenters who deviated from their presentation titles to sell their credentials to the audience.

Web based development is now seen as a key platform for mobile application and service development. This was also linked to the future deployment of HMTL 5 browsers further blurring the lines between the desktop and mobile experience. However delegates also agreed that not all development will be web based with the need for native development continuing as a key way for developers to show off the best of the platform.

Another key theme was the need for greater education for companies about how work with OSS. It was observed that many companies do not know how to make the most of using OSS in their development strategy or how to contribute back to the community.

Building on past events the subject of fragmentation came up on a regular basis. This is clearly a subject area that is not going away and while there are concerns about fragmentation of platforms it was also recognised that there is a strong need to enable innovation and differentiation which is key to the long term success of OSS platform.

And finally the question that was perhaps posed the most is does OSS save development costs. While there was not quantitative answer given the general agreement was that using OSS in product developments may not save you money but it changes the way you spend money – for example more focus being place on innovation rather than core plumbing.

And so now it’s time for bed and to see what is in store for tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nokia world- a different service perspective Sept.15th

By Jari Saarhelo
Until the recent Nokia World, I thought Services are happening on high-end devices only. There is a tough competition going on over the best user experience on mobile or the best business application connectivity. Mobile services compete against other media, such as mobile gaming versus handheld consoles, browsing on mobile versus browsing on PC, listening music on a MP3 player versus phone etc. But what if there is no other media available? What if the mobile device is the only computer you have?

Nokia Money in emerging markets opened my eyes. I had been looking at it from a developed world point of view. I.E: yet another way to execute ecommerce transactions, which may be more convenient in some situations, but maybe not too often. The situation is totally different, if you have a mobile phone, but no access to banking services. Yes, this is not a special case, there are a 4 billion mobile phones out there, but only 1.6 billion bank accounts. Suddenly, we are talking about providing basic infrastructure.

It seems that mobile services have a potential to address totally different needs in emerging markets than in developed. Nokia is planning to offer a portfolio of services, which are running on lower end devices. The focus is not on the most responsive and coolest touch UI, but actually providing services, where the infrastructure is not available, such as banking, email/messaging, agricultural information.

Services are happening both on high-end and low-end devices after all. However, what services are successful and the needs of the consumer will be very different depending on the market. In looking at future opportunities emerging market services should not be evaluated from developed market point of view and vice-versa.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

3 Lessons to learn about security

By Volker Schütz
The first lesson to learn about security of products is that security is not a chip in the upper left part of your design. It’s nothing you buy as "fire and forget" solution. Security is a process. You need to consider it during your first design ideas and you still need to consider it when being in the maintenance phase of a product. At each stage you can easily completely ruin your security system.

The second lesson to learn is to list the possible threats and to decide which of those you want to protect against and which not. This is hard to understand, especially for people not deeply involved in the security area. "Why should I allow a certain attack?" or "Can't I just have a secure design?" are typical questions which arise. The lesson is that security is a trade-off between having secure designs and not spending too much money, time and resources. Finding the right balance is the key to having products with an acceptable time-to-market and budget on the one hand and a secure design protecting against the most dangerous attacks on the other hand.

The last lesson is that security by obscurity doesn't work. First, your enemies will find out what you have done anyway. You can't keep your security features secret. Second, if you just have a small men-in-black security team designing obscure security features, you miss the chance to review and audit your whole security system by enough experts to find weak points before the attackers do. Share your design; let it be reviewed by many experts.

Following these three principles is no guarantee for a secure product. There are many other pitfalls and the attacker just needs to find one of them, whereas the product owner needs to know and prevent all of them. This is a clearly outbalanced game. But when playing it with the right team you definitively have a chance to be successful with your product!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Consider going to OSiM next week ? -September 9th

Teleca welcomes you to OSiM/WIPjam September 15th-16th in Amsterdam
Ever wanted to put a face to a name ? Well if your are at OSiM next week then you can do exactly that with two of Teleca’s regular bloggers.
Robert Kempf and Andrew Till will both be at OSiM and WIPJAM to both give presentations and host round tables so if you want to meet them and discuss what’s happening in the market, innovative new ideas or other exciting areas then send us a mail at

OSS, cross platform applications, E2E services and how to get it all work is a concern on everybodys mind right now. Seeking answers ? See you at OSiM and WipJam !

Didn´t consider OSiM ? Check out here first

Friday, September 4, 2009

What do You think is happening in Open Source ? -September 4th

By Andrew Till
In the coming weeks we will be attending a number of industry events such as OSiM and the Symbian SEE. During these events we expect to hear a lot about the changing face of open source software and its impact in the mobile world. We will also hopefully be stimulating some industry debate through the presentations and round table events we are participating in.
-So why not comment about your expectations for the key drivers in OSS over the next 12 months?

I will start of with a couple of expectations ;
-I expect part of the debate to move from OSS for handsets to other devices such as Netbooks, ebook readers and maybe even gaming consoles.

-I also believe that we will see OSS move in to the service domain with companies starting to use OSS more and more to deliver end to end mobile services. This is something I will be presenting on at OSiM so if you want to know more come along and listen.

So enough from me and tell us what you think, now!