Leading entrepreneurs from hot wireless start-ups and top executives from major Internet and technology companies assessed the promise and challenges of the mobile commerce marketplace for attendees of the Mobile Commerce Conference (MC2), presented by Key3Media Group, Inc. (NYSE:KME). The sessions were filled to overflow capacity by attendees representing 10 countries and more than 28 states. The conference and exhibition took place February 12-13, 2001 at the Fairmont Hotel San Jose, in San Jose, California.
Keynoter Sridhar Ranganathan, general manger, Yahoo! Everywhere, Yahoo! Inc. kicked-off the conference by providing attendees with a solid assessment of the potential and challenges of m-commerce. He noted that the industry is in an early, fragmented stage but is ripe with potential long term opportunities for profit. Key to capitalizing on the potential is for companies to focus on four areas: educating the consumer, offering essential, personalized and timely information, pricing and promotions. In addition, Ranaganathan challenged industry innovators to initiate projects that take into account different user preferences, particularly those based on international and lifestyle differences. Ranganathan's overall message was one of cooperation within the industry.
The growth and potential of the wireless data marketplace was reinforced by Gerry Purdy, President and CEO of Mobile Insights. In his keynote panel session, Purdy noted that, "In comparison to TV, radio, electricity, the telephone and the automobile, the adoption rate of the Internet, PDA, cell phone and PC is occurring faster than at any time in the creation of the world." Purdy attributed this in part to an emerging social dynamic which enables the rapid acceptance of new technology on a world-wide scale. He also noted that one of the most important issues facing the industry is the platform battle of cell phone with Internet access versus the wirelessly-enabled PDA. The winner will greatly impact the development and direction of the industry.
Gerry Purdy was joined by industry experts Joe Astroth, Executive Vice President, of Autodesk Location Services, a division of Autodesk, Inc., Jack Dangermond, the President and Founder of ESRI, Rob Enderle, a Research Fellow at Giga Information Group, and Josh Newman, the Senior Editor of Unstrung.com, to discuss what will be the "killer application" in mobile commerce. To be successful, a killer application must personalize, localize and be actionable. In the future, the experts concurred, killer applications could be used to book a restaurant reservation or track down your children or pets. The panel also agreed that once wireless software developers create a new generation of killer applications, it will drive usage of mobile commerce by consumers.
In other sessions at the conference, discussions focused on the development of devices. Experts emphasized to attendees that one device cannot be all things to all people, that devices should be developed based on functionality and context of use. Jacob Christfort, CTO and vice president of product development for OracleMobile, the mobile products and services division of Oracle Corp., commented on the importance of ease-of-use and simplicity, by stating that "Mobile is the dream of a computer as simple as a remote control." He also emphasized his belief that the application, not the technology, is holding back the advancement of the industry. Demographics were a hot topic of conversation and some experts suggested focusing on 10-11 year olds who will embrace the technology now and as they grow, with less resistance to new applications.
"The leading companies and experts deploying and monetizing mobile commerce have met with an extremely targeted and receptive audience here at the Mobile Commerce Conference. Based on the information disseminated and the networking and strategizing that has taken place at the conference, attendees and speakers alike left armed with valuable tools to move the industry forward at a more rapid pace," noted Michael Goodman, Brand President of eMobility.
MC2 was developed in conjunction with The Wireless Developer Network. Media sponsors are M-Business and Wireless Week. Sponsors include MShift, IntelliWare and Air2Web. For a detailed MC2 conference schedule, keynote lineup and registration, visit http://www.key3media.com/mc2/.
The Wireless Developer Network (http://www.wirelessdevnet.com) is the leading online community for wireless application developers and IT professionals. The site serves its audience through features, commentary and tutorials covering the latest technologies in mobile computing and wireless communications. WirelessDevNet also hosts a Career Center for employers and job seekers in the wireless industry at http://careers.wirelessdevnet.com and is actively involved with planning and speaking roles at several major industry events.
Mobile Commerce Conference (MC2) is a Key3Media Event. Key3Media Events, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Key3Media Group, Inc., is the world's leading producer of information technology tradeshows and conferences, serving more than 6,000 exhibiting companies and two million attendees through 60 events in 18 countries. Key3Media Events' products range from the IT industry's largest exhibitions such as COMDEX and NetWorld+Interop to highly focused events featuring renowned educational programs, custom seminars and specialized vendor marketing programs. For more information about Key3Media Events, visit www.key3media.com.
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