Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Collaborative and Mobile solutions from MagicMonday Amsterdam

A bit off topic, but in a way linked to new ways of interaction during business processes and knowledge work...

I attended a great event yesterday in Amsterdam: Mobile Monday (http://www.mobilemonday.nl/, Dutch).

Two things came up, that showed interesting innovations for businesses, in the area of B2C (or better C2B!) and G2P (Group to Person, sorry my invention :-)).

1. Backchannel (G2P)
A new concept for me, very new generation internet type. The concept is simple: a presenter is giving a speech, supported by visual material (such as a Powerpoint presentation). At the same time, a large screen shows comments by the group listening to the presenter. This could vary from questions, doubts, observations, new insights to (realtime) results of research (is this person telling the truth).
What's nice about it:
- It made the whole group feel much more involved.
- Easier and faster to interact with rest of audience (react to eachothers comments)
- It made boring parts of the presentation much more fun :-)
- The comments are kept (on a website) and can be reviewed later by presenter and participants (would be nice if there was a playback with timed backchannel, a type of voice over :-))

Where I have my doubts:
- Well, I am not a part of the new internet generation, that can MSN, listen to music, watch tv and do homework at the same time. The constant stream of comments distracted me from the speaker
- It would be nice to filter out questions to the speaker and keep them on the screen, till addressed. Now it was still a blur of all kinds of comments, which kept going...

For some pictures of the concept....
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marjolyn/530670411/ (backchannel on the right)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/64015000@N00/530485307/ (backchannel image)

For a list of comments during the presentation (partly dutch, partly english):

2. Mobile concept: barcode scan by mobile phone camera
There was a presenter from http://www.op3.com/, who are working on a new way of C2B (Customer to Business) interaction: through barcodes.
Some example scenarios:
- You walk around in museum. Every object has a barcode close to it. Scan the barcode with the camera on your phone, and additional information will be displayed....
- You walk on the street. You see that a lamppost is broken. The lamppost contains a barcode. You scan the barcode, which automatically informs the local government to fix it
- You want to get a coffee in your company or make a copy of some paper. Coffeemachine/Copieer broke. You scan the barcode, and your mobile phone informs the vendor that repair is needed.
- You see a poster of a cool new band. Scan the barcode and your phone shows you more info and enables you to order the cd, download MP3's or order tickets for the next concert close to you...
- You are buying a trainticket. The trainticket contains a barcode. You scan it, and your phone immediatly informs you about the fastest trainroute and interesting (well for you personally) things to do in the place of destination.

This is just a short brainstorm, but I do see large potential. From a lean perspective (outside in) it's amazing how difficult it often is to fulfill your need as a "consumer" (yikes). It involves searching, going places, asking, uninterested personnel, waittime (so it takes 2 months to get this couch?) etc. Technology that we as buyers could use to quickly find our way to the right product would greatly improve our lives. Not to forget the advantage for the companies...

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