Ding ding ding…Who’s ready for round 2?
Yep, that’s right folks! you guessed correctly, yet another DICE conference has come and gone and here I am writing my second blog post on one of the four enterprise conferences which take place in the Helix this year. Last time we were being told to get social, and this time it was all about Getting Mobile. No…not in the literary sense, more importantly in the technical sense.”How much more mobile can I get?” Is what I was thinking to myself before I attended the Get Mobile Conference on the 11th November 2014. I had previously believed that I was an avid user of mobile technology and that I knew everything about devices under the umbrella term, ‘mobile’. I hasten to say that I was wrong. I had no idea that the term mobile had come to symbolise a wide range of devices including wearable devices. Eg. Google glass and contactless devices! So what was the answer to my previous assumption? -A whole lot more.
I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this conference and although I was a bit bamboozled at first, as the speakers progressed in their talks and I became familiar with the terms mobile marketing, search engine marketing, search engine optimisation, algorithm but as the talks continued it all began to make sense to me. Thanks to the technical wizards and enterprise geniuses that spoke to us in The Helix on the at Get Mobile 2014, I now understand the importance of mobile in our rapidly changing world and hopefully, by the end of my post, you, the reader, will too!
Who was involved?
Dr. Mark Hughes, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Digifeye. Digifeye is an app which amalgamates computer vision and machine learning technology ( to learn more click here)to convert visual online content into an online store front.
Dr. Cathal Gurrin, a computing lecturer in DCU and a funded investigator at Insight Centre for Data Analytics .
Eoin Cruise, Market Lead, for Microsoft Mobile Devices, Ireland.
- Paul Davey, an IT mobile leader for IBM Ireland. IBM is one of Irelands leading providers of advanced information technology, products, services and business consulting expertise. It was founded by Thomas J Watson and has been in Ireland for 50 years!
- Alex Meisl, Initial CEO of Legion, of Europe’s largest IVR company, Co. Founder of Sponge in 2002 and Chairman of Wiforia Ltd . With such an in depth knowledge of all things mobile related, Alex was able to give us a detailed account of how mobile is becoming more important in business today and how people are underestimating the power of mobile as a business asset.
Get Mobile took place in The Helix main stage on the 11/11/14. Once again over 500 students gathered in the massive conference hall prepared for the talk which lay ahead of them. The atmosphere in the Helix this time around was electric as we now knew what to expect from the speakers and had a general idea of how the conference would go.
Dr. Theo Lynn opened proceedings by introducing the audience to the importance of mobile in daily life, ie; how people interact with technology .This set the tone for the entire conference as we could gather that the point of this talk was to recognise the importance of mobile marketing and online marketing as a major asset to any business. From the outset, Dr. Lynn stressed the amount of time people spend on their mobiles. I myself was genuinely shock at some of the statistics he provided us with!
”96% of people aged 18-35 own a smartphone” ”60% of smartphone users own an iphone” ”The average person spends up to 7.5 hours per day on their phone”On hearing this I was taken aback by the seemingly colossal amount of time some people would spend on their phones, but as the talk continued and Dr. Lynn described how we use our phones, I came to realise that I myself was probably spending 7.5 hours or more on my phone per day! It never occurred to me before ‘Get Mobile’ how important it is for businesses to have some sort of mobile marketing strategy in place in order to fully exploit all markets. Dr. Lynn went into greater detail as to how companies employ mobile marketing technology. He spoke about SEO and SEM, concepts which I had never come across before but after carrying out some of my own research on websites such as Search Engine Land and TinderPoint, I have discovered what they are. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and basically what it does is, it adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages! Here it is explained below!
Our second speaker of the day was Dr. Mark Hughes, Cheif Technical Office of Digifeye. Digifeye is a company which focuses on combining machine learning technology and computer vision technology to convert visual content (eg; clothes on a model) into online shopping content/ an interactive store front. This essentially means that on sites which have partnered up with Digifeye, there would be a sidebar beside the image of the celebrity/model and it would have a list of products you could buy relating to what the person is wearing!!! If the majority of you readers are unsure as to what machine learning is, don’t fret! I was too! Machine Learning is a way of getting computers to learn what things are, without being programmed to know the information. It does sound very confusing but Dr. Hughes explained it wonderfully! (to learn more about Machine Learning technology click here) He compared machine Learning to how you would teach a child how to recognise what different objects are. In Digifeye, they use ‘Supervised Learning’ to teach the computers to recognise objects such as clothing, cars, etc. Personally, I found Dr. Hughes’ talk fascinating. He opened my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes for online shopping which was really cool. As an avid online shopaholic, I constantly get pop ups from the web as to where I can buy the clothes on a celebrity in a picture I’m drooling over. I was fascinated by over 250 million images are uploaded online per day! I thought that Digifeye was the perfect solution to every shopaholic and celeb obsessed person’s needs! In fact, Dr.Hughes talk about the work that goes on in Digifeye interested me so much, that I am considering trying to get an internship in a company like Digifeye or even Digifeye itself, in my second year ! I think it would be a life changing experience! Next up was.. DCU’s very own, Dr. Cathal Gurrin. A funded investigator at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics and a lecturer at the School of Computing in DCU, Dr. Gurrin spoke to us about the evolution of mobile in todays society, mobile computing and lifelogging. Dr. Gurrin spoke to us about how rapidly the world of mobile technology is evolving. He startled the audience by informing us that the next billion internet devices to be sold will be mobiles, as mobile technology is becoming more powerful and also increasingly cheaper as years go by. His proof of this bold statement was that he bought a tablet last year for only 35 euro! I personally, was stunned by some of the facts that Dr. Gurrin provided in his talk! It dumbfounded me how wearable computer devices. ‘Wearables’ as they are commonly called, are small electronic devices which are worn by the user either on top of their clothes or on their person. They are devices which have no on/off switch but are constantly interacting with the user and the users surrounding environment, in order to augment the device into the users life. Here is an example of a few different types of ‘wearable computers As well as telling us about all of these wonderful technologies and how they are becoming more and more common, Dr.Gurrin also introduced us to a way of life that has emerged from the birth of these new technologies. Lifelogging. I was blown away by the whole concept of lifelogging. For those of you who are wondering, what is life logging? It is essentially a method of documenting ones life. Lifeloggers use wearable devices to document every second of their lives and store this data on their personal search engine. This basically creates ‘An Internet of Me’ for the user which they themselves have sole access to. Lifelogging appeals to many because it is a method of storing one’s memories, of engaging with new technologies, and of analysing oneself through the data collected. Lifelogs allow a surrogate memory because through use of automatic mobile devices the lifelogger will get a completely accurate, unbiased picture of themselves which they can keep on record in their personal ‘internet of me’ Dr.Gurrin himself is an avid lifelogger. He wears a sensicam around this neck which takes pictures every few minutes in order for him to document his life. He also makes use of google glass to supplement his data gathered from his camera. He told us that on average, the camera takes up to 4000 pictures a day. Since 2006, he has gathered a vast digital memory which includes over 12 million sensicam images! For those of you who think that you may have an interest in Lifelogging, you can view Dr.Gurrins’ research at http://www.meetup.com >>and search for Lifelogging. This will give information on the next Lifelogging meeting in Dublin which will take place in Trinity College Dublin. Speaker 4 was. Eoin Cruise, Market Lead for Microsoft Mobile Devices Ireland and head of Nokia in Ireland. You’re probably wondering, who are Microsoft Mobile Devices? Well, They are the new name in Windows Vista replacing Microsoft ActiveSync, essentially, they are Microsoft device management for windows phone. Eoin began his talk by asking the audience a question. ‘Who here owns a nokia phone?’ The answer? About 3 people in an audience of over 500 people. Eoin used this response to begin telling us about how Nokia has fallen from the leader board of smartphone producers. Eoin has been a market lead for the Irish Mobile industry for 20 years and for 10 of those years he worked with Nokia, so it was good to get an insight into the new journey that Nokia and Microsoft are embarking on from someone who knew the company so well and could tell us what it was like to be a part of such a big change. They now “have the best platform to change the world“. He backed up this bold statement by telinng us that their company alone can put software onto smartphones that others can’t, software like Xbox Live and Microsoft Office. He explained to us how the two companies have gotten together and how they plan to make both brands a huge success. Since 2011 Microsoft has been on a mission to renew their brand and make it popular. By joining with Microsoft in 2012, Nokia was revitalised and made a huge comeback, with the emergence of the Nokia Lumia (pictured below) In 2013, Nokia’s sales gathered momentum thanks to the Nokia Lumia which combined Microsoft software with Nokia phones. Sales rocketed from 5% to 11.6% in 2 years. Now in 2014, Microsoft are changing their strategy once again. Once the merger was consolidated this year Nokia and Microsoft became one. With a new mission in hand, Microsoft plan to;
”Every Vision a Transaction, Turn Vision into decision” – Digifeye
Light up the Microsoft strategy by setting up Microsoft Devices Group
Set the bar for high quality hardware and software
Be one Microsoft
Paul continued his talk by telling us how central IBM technology is in the background of all things IT related. Can you imagine that IBM technology is touched on 6 times in one flight to England! The part of Paul’s talk which I found to be the most eye opening was Watson Technology. Just watch the video below and you’ll see for yourself why I was so amazed! Last but not least..
Alex Meisl concluded proceeding at Get Mobile. Having flown in from London that very day , I was grateful that he had made the effort to come and speak to us DICE students at Get Mobile.. As chairman and founder of Wiforia and Sponge, two highly esteemed mobile marketing sites, I’m sure you can guess what his talk was about? Alex began his talk by telling us some hilarious facts which he had gathered from the Ipsos Mori research, about the British populations thoughts on giving up their mobile phones, in order to give us an idea of how important it is for businesses to have some form of mobile marketing campaign in place since, apparently, people seem quite attached to their phones and are not willing to let them go.
”One third of British adults would rather give up sex than give up their phone”
- ” Two thirds of British adults would rather give up drinking than give up their phone”
I’m sure you are thinking that, surely most businesses would have an app or some sort of mobile site which consumers could visit to fulfil their online needs? Well, the answer is yes, they do have all of the above, however the content of their websites and the level of engagement with those sites is not very good, according to Alex. The rest of his talk concentrated on steps to be completed in order to make your mobile site a success. Alex advised us that if we wanted to make a good mobile site, we would need to let go of the things holding us back which he believes to be
- Age and Attribution
I was absolutely stunned to hear that only 17% of Chief Marketing Officers in the world have successfully intergrated mobile to their relative industry! In a world of a rapidly expanding mobile industry I would have thought that businesses would be up to date with what o RE; mobile marketing. After the conference I carried out some of my own research and discovered that a whopping 57% of marketers surveyed by Forrester analyst Thomas Husson in his blog, did not have defined mobile objectives. If you want to read more about what Thomas Husson had to say about the matter, you can visit his blog by clicking hereClosing remarks; I think that Get Mobile was a step up from Get Social and I found it extremely interesting to learn about developments in the mobile industry from people from huge IT companies such as IBM and Wiforia. I also found it fascinating to learn about new ways to utilise all of these new mobile devices from Cathal Gurrin and also to learn how to use these new technologies to create a business like Mark Hughes did with Digifeye. I think that this conference will be invaluable to me with regard to creating my team app for DICE as I heard from the very best what I should and should not do! Feel free to leave feedback in the comments section below and I would love to hear what you guys have to say about Getting Mobile! Until next time readers!