“If the internet is the great equaliser, then mobile phones are the great enabler.” These were the words shared by Mary McDowell, Nokia’s EVP mobile phones, during her keynote on day two of Nokia World 2010.
The final day of Nokia’s annual showcase defined mobile devices as gateways to the internet. It was apt that the packed audience at London’s ICC ExCel Centre was treated to a special presentation by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
Hailed as the founder of the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee opened his speech by tracking the journey of the internet from its humble beginnings to what is now a completely open, royalty free playground for developers.
Keen to share his views on new developments on the web, Berners-Lee talked about the potential of location-based services and data access through the internet.
“Imagine if you could take a map and burrow down into it. Your mobile device would know where you are and use data on the web to give you information about your surrounds. If you were walking past a church, it might be able to show you a 3D model of the church, give you information about the history of the church or the services that the church provides,” Berners-Lee said.
“As more and more applications are developed, it is increasingly important that sufficient data is able to be accessed on the internet.
“If developers create an application that compares the performance of different tyres, then tyre manufacturers will feel encouraged to share more of their tyre data via the web,” he said.
Alongside his enthusiasm for future internet innovation, Berners-Lee took the opportunity to share some of his concerns. These focused on privacy and maintaining the neutrality of the platform.
Speaking to the developers in the audience, Berners-Lee asked “With the development of more and more phone to web applications, how many hoops do you make the user jump through?”
Berners-Lee predicted that developers will need to think differently about privacy by building systems that will make organisations more accountable, track user requests and also outline the systems for determining acceptable access and use of applications.
Berners-Lee also voiced his concern that although 80 per cent of the world’s population have access to the web, only 20 per cent are actually online. “This means the vast majority of the world aren’t in a position to access the online wealth of knowledge, such as information about healthcare, share agricultural knowledge or fighting disease.”
In a final call to action, Berners-Lee ended his inspiring keynote with a plea for free or low cost data plans so that people in developing countries or disadvantaged people around the world can join the information age.
Next up after Sir Tim Berners-Lee was Mary McDowell.
McDowell brought to the fore Nokia’s vision to bring internet and mobile devices to every corner of the world.
McDowell appealed to the human desire in all of us to connect. “PCs are no longer the primary way for people to connect with each other, mobile devices have taken over with 80 per cent of the world’s population now in range of a mobile phone tower.”
From the bicycle powered battery charger for people with inconsistent access to electricity to a phone that uses icons instead of text for people unable to read, McDowell confidently outlined how Nokia is using technology to improve people’s lives.
As proof to this claim, McDowell spoke about the positive impact services such as Ovi Life and Nokia Money have had on communities in India and beyond.
With much excitement, McDowell then introduced a new range of Nokia phones – the C3 with QWERTY keyboard, the dual sim C1 and C2, the X3 touch and type mobile device and the next generation of the C3.
After two days, a new family of Symbian smartphones, innovation in services and a host of improved developer tools, Nokia saved one big reveal for last. Less than a week since the announcement of his appointment as Nokia’s next CEO, Stephen Elop stepped on stage during the results of the ‘Calling All Innovators’ competition to present the prize for the Growth Economy Venture Challenge
Elop (pictured) was not on stage to make an address, but took a few short moments to let the developer audience know how important it is to Nokia’s strategy. “Developers, developers, developers, you guys matter…” said Elop. “You bring the eco-system to life”.
You can view Day Two keynotes live via the Nokia World website: http://events.nokia.com/nokiaworld/home.htm