Interviewed by IDEO on Mobile Market scenarios

A few weeks ago I received a mail from Jennifer Leonard asking me for a brief interview for a paper whe was writing. The interesting thins is Jennifer’s employer: the uberfamous design firm IDEO: they’re preparing a deep research on mobile future scenarios and wanted to hear the thoughts of this humble Italian guy.

So, here below all the questions and my answers; in their full form.

IDEO: When you think about the future of mobile multimedia, what comes to mind?

Matteo: I have this dream in mind. That – as Bill Gates correctly pointed out (and
this is probably the only time I’m completely agree with him) – mobile devices,
cellphones in particular, could be the main ingredient in the solution of the
digital divide. They’re cheaper, more reliable, with long lasting batteries
and with already existing wireless networks.

Thus, when I think about the future of this type of devices I see vertical multimedia application and devices capable of very few tasks at the same time, but absolutely perfect in these task accomplishment.

Even if at a very seminal stage Mobup is a perfect example of what I’m saying. Just install this less-then-40KB app on your cameraphone and you’ll transofrm it in a full featured moblogging platform. Dare I say Ubicomp? :-)

I: What are you most excited about?

M: I’m 30, and just a few years after I was born the first personal computers
appeared. I saw their raise and the computational power becoming greater anbd
greater. Now the same thing is happening with cell phones: just 7 years ago we
had narrow-band monochromatic devices useful just for talking and sending SMS.
Now we have broadband multifunctional devices where – if you like this kind of
things – you can also receive TV programs and films, you can use them as
photocameras (I’ve choosen a Megapixel device to be used as a slim camera
always in my pocket), you can read your favourites weblogs… just as you were
in front of your computer.

If this is happened in this short time-frame, the next 7 years are going to be even more exciting!

I: Where in the world are the most interesting things happening?

M: Tough question. US have a GREAT wi-fi diffusion, but is in EU that mobile
networks are becoming mature. Thus it’s here in Europe that we’re seeing great
innovation in mobile services; but Japan (and the wider Asian area) is a
challenging competitor.

I: Any unmet needs you can think of when it comes to mobile phones?

M: Usability. Let me spell it: U-S-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y; Nokia is probably the
cellphones manufacturer who’s trying its best in following usability and ergonomy
principles when projecting its devices. But we’re light-years faraway the accomplishment of this objective; I still haven’t found the perfect device where everything is easy and quickly accessible.

I: What would be your dream mobile phone application and/or service?

M: Me and my wife had a baby last year (Francesca is in her 10th month while I’m
writing) and – since I’m often far from home I’d like a mobile who can be “awaken” when she performs or discovers something new (a new movement, a new expression, a new word learned, etc.), record it and send it to me to be viewed. That would be really lovely…

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