Monthly Archives: September 2008

Adobe’s New Tools for Mobile Creators

You have no doubt read the press releases from Adobe Systems about its CS4 software for mobile content creators and you’ve probably heard of Adobe’s Open Screen project. If you’re a mobile content creator, should you care? MobilizedTV says Yes and explains why below.

Adobe’s Open Screen launched in May, the result of five years of work to get Flash onto devices of all types, from mobile phones to ATM machines, says Anup Murarka, Adobe’s director of technical marketing for Mobile and Device. “What we’ve seen across over 800 million deployments are two industry goals or common challenges that the Open Screen project is trying to address: the first is enabling web browsing and rich internet applications across a broad range of devices and desktops,” he says. “The second–and one we hear most clearly from our developers–has been to give them opportunities to enable them to publish and deliver content and applications across screens more easily than they can today.”

“It’s almost trivial to publish content on the web today,” he notes. “We’d like to bring some of that ease of publishing and distribution to the device industry.”

Murarka spoke about “two use cases” for Flash. the first for stand-alone applications and the second for web browsing. Stand-alone applications relies on AIR, the technology Adobe launched on the desktop for building desktop applications. “If you want to build an application that uses all the same web technologies you’re used to but deliver it outside the browser, AIR enables this,” he says. “An application installer allows developers to ship a binary that installs exactly the same way on Mac, Windows and the beta of Linux as well. We’re going to take that same packaging format and work with different device partners to enable that as well, so you’ll have the same application binaries installable on devices, not just desktops.”

“One of the biggest gaps we have between Flash on the desktop and on a mobile devices is a difference in the scripting language,” he continues. “On the desktop, we support Active Script 3 and in mobile, we’re only at Active Script 2. We’re working with Mozilla on an open source project to get that script working well for devices, essentially bringing the scripting language up-to-date.”

The second element to the standalone application is support for hardware acceleration. “Clearly mobile devices don’t have the same processing power,” he says. “There’s often a ten times difference, and for the high end of those categories. a lot more has to be done. A lot of our energy has been focused on taking advantage of all hardware features to accelerate the graphics capabilities of Flash. We believe we can support AIR on a fairly wide range of phones, from high-end smart phones all the way to mass market feature phones.”

What will this mean for the content creator? “It gets back to the idea that developers/designers used to using web technologies can use the same skillsets and deliver applications not dependent on a browser to a wider range of devices than they’ve been able to.”

The second use case–which builds off the first–is web browsing. “Mobile browsers have become more powerful and capable,” says Murarka. “We’re working to enable a complete web experience on high-end mobile devices. We still won’t see web compatibility on low-end devices, but we do believe, based on several months of engineering work, that we can get desktop-compatible browsers working on smart phones. We’ll need the same hardware acceleration and script browser, but it would live inside the browser. We’re working with partners so that all those browsers will be updated to support Flash.”

A great example of this is our work with Nokia on the Nokia E71 with a browser that actually had a Flash plug-in and could browse existing web content. “The E71 is a first attempt between our two companies to get that web compatibility working well,” he says. “We’re going to continue to work on it. With Open Screen, we hope to release something that’s 100 percent compatible with web content. It’ll take a lot of effort and it’ll take a while and it won’t be on all phones, but we believe we can do it with the high-end smart phone.”

Adobe has also been successful at creating a suite of well-known software tools for content creators, including Photoshop, Flash and Dreamweaver. Creative Suite 4 (CS4) focuses on the broader workflow, from planning through management of assets and metadata all the way through delivery.

Carol Linburn, Adobe group product manager, for mobile authoring, describes how CS4’s Device Central helps mobile content creators. “Particularly relevant for mobile is the explosion of new devices and the number of screens people are targeting,” she says. “The major brands are thinking how they can move content across these screens. RIght now, there is a lot of additional testing and complexity with piping out content in all these different ways and formats. There’s a lot of versioning of content, and it’s more complex and harder to get started.” To keep content developers abreast of where their content might be headed, every time you open CS4, it will show a window of newly shipped devices.

Testing and optimizing is a “huge time sink,” says Lindburn, and Device Central is aimed at shrinking that. “We’re doing some interesting things around automating the testing process,” she says. “Instead of a developer going device by device, they can set up a test script and set it up for 50 to 100 devices. Then they can see the 10 phones where their content isn’t running correctly, go in and diagnose the problem.”

“Automated testing is moving from a world where you have to test everything individually, to a position where you can create a test script to interact with the content and capture keystroke interactions, which can be shared with different developers,” says Lindburn. “You can use that as a way to batch test and not have to test sequentially. You can test simultaneously and you get visual output [snapshots] and error messages that might occur for different devices. We can also adjust latency and so on to give the developer a chance to see what the content looks like on a slower or faster network.”

Another challenge addressed by the new Adobe software focuses on how to showcase content for clients. “If you’re in LA and your client is in NY, and you’re targeting a Nokia N95, but the client doesn’t have one, you have to FedEx one across the country,” she says. “This isn’t conducive to the design process, which is iterative.”

To showcase content to clients, Adobe has added two things: Device Central will spit out a quick storyboard that can be saved to an HTML file that’s easy to share. Likewise, the content creator can capture a video recording and save it as a Quicktime file for people to view. “The person viewing the content doesn’t even need CS4 installed, so it’s a much easier way to share content with a broader audience,” says Lindburn.

She also states that Adobe looked at how to get Flash designers used to building for the web to bridge to the mobile platform. That problem is addressed by Device Central, which is already integrated with the toolset those Flash animators are already using. “It allows them to preview their work on a variety of devices and a range of media types within the same environment,” she says.

“The other piece to get people started is an easier way to manage mobile projects,” says Lindburn. “There is complexity with keeping all the assets together and CS4 offers project management capability. How do I get my files to a phone? You might have different publishing routines or “output tasks” and I can set them up and do it with a single click.” Adobe has also built an SDK (software development kit) for partners to plug into Device Central directly with their different packaging routines.


Filed under Devices

Miss Playboy Mobile: First Step in a Global Mobile Strategy

In April this year at CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas, Playboy Mobile announced Miss Playboy Mobile 2008, sponsored by THQ Wireless and Viva! Vision.

With carriers in control of content, adult content has been largely shut out of the mobile content game in the most obvious way. Yet, without fanfare, Playboy has expanded its reach in mobile, in 50+ countries and well over 80 carriers.

Playboy Mobile took a much higher profile here with the April announcement about Miss Playboy Mobile. I spoke with Ed Lang, SVP and GM, Mobile and International Online, Playboy Enterprises and a veteran in the wireless industry, to find out how Playboy can both maintain its brand and meet the PG-13 requirements of the mobile platform.

MobilizedTV: How do you stay true to the Playboy brand in a mobile environment that restricts adult content?

LANG: We do have an interesting split in how we distribute our content. International strategy is different than U.S. strategy. Some countries are more conservative, the U.S. being one of the most conservative countries. Here, they only allow PG-13 content, which disallows even models modeling clothing in a particular way, anything at all sexually suggestive. A lot of territories in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia, and the Middle East are also conservative. Europe is the most receptive to that content. They allow streaming XXX content in those territories. The bulk of adult business is in Europe.

How do you promote the Playboy brand in the U.S.?

We knew we needed to focus the brand into its more traditional and aspirational areas, which is the lifestyle side it’s been over the last 50 years, the lifestyle associated with someone who’d buy the Playboy magazine. We created a Playboy experience, with fashion and design elements.

That decision was made a couple of years ago and we initially weren’t leveraging the full breadth of the brand in our digital media. The company realized there were other areas to be competitive in in the mobile space, rather than being pigeon-holed. I realized the editorial voice of Playboy is so strong and we demonstrated the depth and breadth of the brand in the U.S., not just to consumers but to carriers. We felt we didn’t necessarily have to fall in the stereotype; there was no reason why we should accept the brand positioning being set by other people.

How did that position evolve?

About one year into my job we made the decision to go out to the direct-to-consumer market and prove that theory. Rather than direct carrier deals, we launched initiatives relating to consumers. Really, the greatest effort to demonstrate the lifestyle was to launch our model search. Other people had done similar things, so we had the benefit of looking at that and thinking of how we could differentiate ourselves. Last year, we launched an ambitious project around Miss Playboy Mobile, to find a non-nude contestant who would the crown winner.

Amber - contestant and ultimate winner

Amber - contestant and ultimate winner

We crowned her at the April CTIA Wireless conference. It was well attended and we demonstrated the ability to pull off a gender-friendly event with a viral component. It also went cross-platform, starting as mobile initiative and moving into social media on the computer.

Miss Playboy Mobile contestants

Miss Playboy Mobile contestants

Miss Playboy Mobile - the winner!

Miss Playboy Mobile - the winner!

That led to a partnership with mywaves. We’re expanding the strategy of syndicating our content with social media on the phone, so you’ll hear about more deals in this space. Mywaves is Playboy’s first ad-supported, mobile-content distribution deal to handle syndication of a content channel.

I understand you also came out with an iPhone version of your WAP site?

Yes, when the iPhone came out earlier this year, we launched a WAP site optimized for the iPhone that will leverage the 3G version of the phone. That will stay a one-off decision. I’m not interested in optimizing for multiple handsets. But there’s a “thing” happening around the iPhone and we didn’t want to be on the sidelines.

The iPhone site features an immersive experience including “Playboy-on-the-Scene” footage from lifestyle-based projects. iPlayboy contains mobile-specific features such as “Battle of the Sexiest,” “Playboy Radio,” and “Scout,” a blog on sex, dating, and other lifestyle topics. iPlayboy is an ad-supported site which will be upgraded continuously to include social/community involvement, a content storefront, and other feature introductions, integrating the iPhone experience with Playboy Mobile’s PC experience.

What have you learned from the Miss Playboy Mobile experience?

Our three-pronged approach is our mobile internet site; syndicating our content out to mobile social networks, and a yet-to-be-announced comprehensive messaging strategy. Basically, we’ve done enough deals with enough depth to do both free, ad-supported content and premium content, with every type of messaging solution you can have. This will be a big deal for us, because previously we’d only done short code. We’ll integrate messaging between how we syndicate our content out, our mobile site, and how we interact with it online and with social media. The idea being that every one of those places that people can interact with the brand, they’ll be one click away from our messaging strategy, which will lead you to discover everything in the network.

When do you expect to be able to monetize the mobile portion of the strategy?

We’re already making revenue from ad sales on the mobile site. When you monetize what we’re doing across product offerings, we think this will work from an ad-generating place alone. Each one of these three prongs will eventually have a premium area with an up-sale for more premium service or content. What Playboy is aspiring to do is deliver value. We’re in the process of coming up with unique content offerings that people haven’t seen before. We are trying to push the envelope by bringing out things that we believe haven’t been done in the past.

One example is that we recently decided to go into the mobile original content area and we have our first series we’re going to put out. The way we approached it is very different. We figured out how to integrate the divisions of the company, ranging from TV to the magazine and our sponsor ad partners. How we’re releasing it is also unique. We thought about integrated marketing. It won’t be video with a pre-roll or post-roll. We said, Let’s go for integrated marketing, product placement, just like TV, and that’s the elements we did.

To finish it off, we just announced that we’re in the planning stages of taking the Miss Playboy Mobile competition global. I have no less aspiration than attempting to pull off something that’s never been done before. We’re ambitious in the number of territories, the interactions, to integrate sponsors into the competition and the abilty to run it on online and mobile with a heavy social media element. We set our sights on the bigger campaigns and want to improve on it. We have localized partners that produce products and content for us: 26 local magazine publishers that publish local editions, TV stations that add to our broadcasts, digital partners who represent us in certain regions. Leveraging those partnerships allows us to customize and localize for the global Miss Playboy Mobile. Localized competitions feed into the regionalized and then ultimately global competition. There are sponsorship opportunities at each level and we continue to target both men and women. We look at top social media networks in all the different global regions and we’ll try to extend a widget or application to those, in the native language. It’s an ambitious project and the targeted time frame will be Q1 2009 with target party at CTIA Wireless in April.

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Filed under Content, Devices, Monetizing Mobile

CTIA 2008: The Walls Are Crumbling…

In fairytales, things usually happen in threes. At CTIA 2008, I espied three trends that promise, if not a fairy tale ending, at least a major game change in the future of mobile usage in the U.S. The evidence was everywhere that the garden walls surrounding the carriers’ pick of content for mobile users is still there, but crumbling. Hastening the inevitable, broadband mobile Internet made a strong showing at CTIA, proving its inevitability. Lastly, the number of companies pitching easy ways for Internet content creators to “mobilize” their content was amazing. Since I’ve been a big proponent of all three of these directions for the mobile content market, I had a happy time at the show.

Let me just draw attention to a handful of the companies I met with and a few of the items that caught my attention. First, one of the stars of the show was RIM’s new clam-shell Blackberry Pearl 8220.

new Blackberry Pearl

new Blackberry Pearl 8220

I’m perfectly happy with my Blackberry 8830 World Edition, but if a clam-shell Blackberry rocks your world, more power to you. And the new Blackberry does have quad-band support so it’s a world edition too.

I also had a fun time in the Yahoo booth where I got their new voice search application downloaded to my Blackbery. It’s a lot of fun to play around with, although it can’t always make sense of what I say (and that’s probably not the application’s fault), I can easily correct what appears in the browser. For the free download, go here.

QuickPlay Media is all about trying to make the mobile internet experience successful, says vp of marketing Mark Hyland. “Our CEO Wayne Purboo’s vision was that networking speeds were going to get faster and that broadband wireless would be big,” he says. “We believe that you can’t take a PC web browsing experience and cram it on to a mobile device. Mobile is very location and context specific. It makes a difference where you’re using it.”

At CTIA 2008, the company began beta-testing a brand new service for media and entertainment customers to cheaply, quickly and easily publish video to the iPhone. “And ultimately to all video-enabled devices, but we’re focusing on iPhone first because of the interest,” says Hyland. “In 5 minutes you can take existing videos in any format and create a full video site for iPhone.” This new product is expected to be released by Q4 2008; the price is not yet set.

I checked in with Nokia‘s Kamar Shah with regard to Ovi, the company’s entertainment and media sharing service, as well as the company’s future plans in the entertainment space.Once again, the mobile Internet came to the fore. “From my perspective, in the area I work in, I want to show relevance of Nokia within this market in the Internet world,” he says. “I would justify that two-fold: we’re not taking the Internet and putting it on the mobile device. We’re redefining and evolving the Internet experience. That is based on what the consumer wants. Social networking makes up 20 percent of user time – after search and mail. It’s a phenomenon. We want to take that further and make it relevant to the consumer. We also have to make the advertising relevant, we have to get it right. There’s a very low tolerance for spam on the mobile phone.”

Referring to filmmaker L.M. Kit Carson’s “Africa Diary,” which he is shooting with his N95 camera, Shah also noted that this year Nokia partnered with MTV to supply N95s to the network’s journalists for Super Tuesday; content was streamed to MTV sites. Stay tuned to MobilizedTV for more news about Nokia and the entertainment world.

UIEvolution is an answer to the cacophony of mobile’s competing operating systems, devices and networks.”Mobile phones are so fragmented in terms of operating systems,” saysKeith O’Neill, vp, business development. “The thin client technology puts a layer of frosting that gives a seamless system so you can develop on top of that without worrying that it won’t work. We can work with PCs, STBs, consumer electronics devices , and automotive audio systems.”

UIEvolution's Keith O'Neill

UIEvolution's Keith O'Neill

Fragmentation prohibits growth and innovation because it becomes cost prohibitive for content creators without deep pockets, says O’Neill, and to that end, UIEvolution is rolling out Blender, a new web developer tool and service that takes web content–text, graphics and video–and mobilizes it. The business model is based on a revenue-sharing model. The web content creator pays a set-up fee, and then splits revenue with UIEvolution, the percentage of the split depending on volume. “For all that, we host and cover all the on-going device support.”

DeviceAnywhere was another interesting destination. Any content developer worried about making the video playable on the hundreds of devices out there can do so…remotely. DeviceAnywhere is an online service that provides access to hundreds of real handsets, on live worldwide networks, remotely over the Internet for developing, testing and porting. Once again, a great solution for web creatives who want to mobilize their content without becoming computer/wireless geeks.

Thumbplay launched Thumbplay Open, says president/CEO Are Traasdahl. “It gives the ability for any content creator to sell their content to 250 million wireless users across every carrier, operating system and handset,” he says. “It’s been hard for anyone creating content to get distribution because it’s beeen very carrier controlled. “The wall is down. Now it is one big happy garden.” The challenge has bee to build a platform that works not just across handsets and operating systems but across all billing systems and video codecs. “Our system is built so it automatically detects what handsest is trying to access the content and it converts on the fly to whatever the handset requires. Our system will convert to 2,500 different handsets and it’s all seamless.”

So far, the system is launched for visual artists and musicians, but will expand to video. Click here to try it yourself.

Once the content is uploaded into Thumbplay’s system, the content creator can distribute and sell the content (the system only accepts uncopyrighted material). The system allows you to create a widget which you post to your MySpace, Facebook pages. Or you can get your own URL and sell your content from that site. “You pay nothing to put your images or music up there, although we are evaluating if there should be a fee,” says Traasdahl. “You have to pay to consume the content, either per download, which costs $1 – 3, out of which the artist gets $.50. Or you join the Thumbplay service which is $9.99 a month. Any time someone signs up for the service through the artist’s page, that artist gets $5 to 8.” (Tay Zonday of Chocolate Rain fame made $10,000 in three months but, says Traasdahl, “he’s a very smart marketer.”)

Also new from Thumbplay was the announcement of a partnership with Comcast to provide the cable MSO with mobile entertainment services include ringtones, games, video, and music.

Last but not least, I met with David Danon of SonicBoom Media, a company that launched “Name That Tune,” a mobile music game in 2003 (which has a great back-story too long for this report). The company, says Danon, is now a leader in creating “the bridge between Web 2.0 and mobile.”

“We reach out to people in their social networks, so they feel comfortable upgrading their web experience to the phone,” he says. “It’s more profound to share an experience on the mobile that your friend has sent you from the web.”

Danon is also a big believer in the future of user-generated video content on the mobile platform: and he isn’t just talking about YouTube. Speaking to that belief is the company’s product Videomaker, due out the end of the year, which allows the user to make long-form movies from 15- to 20-second clips taken with the mobile phone’s video camera. The clips are arranged along a timeline and then connected via transition effects. The result can be sent to a mobile phone as an MMS or to a website as Flash. Also on SonicBoom Media’s agenda is the Hot America mobile beauty pageant completely on cell phones. Each state will have a competition and send its winner to the national contest. This launches in late November and the first winners will be declared in Summer 2009

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Targeted Advertising: Is Mobile the Holy Grail?

There are those who think the subscription model for mobile content is the way to go. There are others who think content will largely be free and that advertising will be the predominant revenue model.

For those of us who are in the second camp, one of the compelling reasons that advertising is alluring on the mobile platform is that it’s the only device that is always on and always with you. And, unlike the fuzzy metrics of a “household,” the mobile phone user is a single individual, who drinks Coke or Cabernet, likes NASCAR or knitting. The mobile phone is the ultimate platform for targeted advertising, a way to address ads to a more granular audience and the Holy Grail to the cable and broadcast industry.

The mobile phone may be ideal in its form factor and shape for addressable or targeted advertising, but still has a long way to go to be a practical player in the game. One of the main reasons for this is that most mobile users still don’t consume video and, for those that do, the experience can be slow and trying. I spoke with Adrian Hall, CMO of Bytemobile, about his company’s work in making the mobile phone a friendlier platform for video and, thus, for serving targeted advertising.

Hall says that their customers report that 30 to 50 percent of their data traffic is video and multimedia. (Group deployments of Bytemobile’s products include T-Mobile, Vodaphone, China Mobile and Orange, among others). The main product is the Media Fidelity service, which enables video on phones with no additional technology or extra clients. “It’s all done from the server within the network we have. we have a software-based platform with multiple different services, from web adaptation to video adaptation, and even a service that filters content,” he says.

Click here for a demonstration of Bytemobile’s Media Fidelity product.

“Most mass market phones can’t cope with video’s intensive, big files,” adds Hall. “Because of where we sit in the network, we can change the format to something the phone can accept. We look at that device and adapt, whether it’s video or web to the limitations of that device and serve the right amount and type of data.”

Of course, using a solution like Bytemobile’s Media Fidelity service means that a carrier can offer new data services without asking customers to swap out handsets or download software. “The chances of signing up for a data package rather than just standard voice are massively increased,” says Hall.

The end user also doesn’t see how Bytemobile adapts to the inconsistencies of the network itself. “We dynamically look at the speed of the network and we will measure and change the amount of data that can be accepted, protecting the integrity of the video,” says Hall. “Even on a slow link where there’s no way to send video, you can and it’s extremely viewable. It makes the mass market phone look like a more sophisticated smart phone.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean that smart phones can’t use a boost.

Click here for a demo of Bytemobile and the iPhone.

Now, back to the topic I started wtih: targeted advertising. What role does Bytemobile play in this?

Bytemobile sits within the networks of the 92 carriers it works with and has access to all of the subscriber data passing through, which means that it has the ability to deliver relevant and personalized ads based on contextual, behavioral and demographic targeting.

Click here for a Bytemobile demo on mobile advertising.

“What’s very exciting is that advertising is one way carrier can fund its overall model of much higher bandwidth networks,” says Hall. “From an end user perspective, we won’t accept a bill that’s ten times higher. Advertising is a palatable way to make this affordable.”

Not everyone agrees with Hall’s assessment on this, but he points to a survey Bytemobile did that revealed that 80 percent of users would accept advertising if they could get a video for free.

Bytemobile has the capability to insert a pre-roll or post-roll. “What’s fascinating is that because of where we sit in the network, we see user behavior,” says Hall. “If you like sports, the carrier can start targeting ads of interest to you rather than something completely irrelevant. Then, therefore, the amount of dollars attributable to click-through rate is higher, which helps the industry fund the new business model.”

In this regard, carriers and their partners face the same spectre as do cable and broadcasters: privacy rights. Hall stresses that the data it sees and uses is the carrier’s data, and that the carrier is charged with abiding by privacy laws. “We enable the carrier to use the data that they see anyway,” he says. “That’s a really critical point. We’re not taking data out of the network, but enabling carriers to use it more effectively within the legal constraints.”

Though the reality is that wide-spread adoption of addressable advertising for the mobile phone isn’t going to happen tomorrow, it’s just too good of an opportunity for advertisers to ignore. Even–or perhaps especially–for broadcasters and cablecasters developing advanced advertising strategies, the possibilities of targeted advertising on the mobile phone will be too enticing to ignore.


Filed under Advertising/Marketing, Devices

Are you ready for a 3D mobile phone?

If the answer is, not quite, you’re in luck: they’re not quite ready.

But that doesn’t mean that you won’t soon be consuming 3D content on your mobile phone. So says, Chris Yewdall, president/CEO of Digital Dynamic Depth (DDD), whose 3D chips will be embedded in next-generation 3D-enabled TV sets from Samsung and a range of 3D PC desktop monitors from Hyundai.

Right now, the wrinkles still haven’t been ironed out to create momentum for the 3D experience in the home theatre. But we’re not too far from that reality, says Yewdall as well as many other 3D experts. SMPTE (the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers), which brought the industry together to create a single Digital Cinema standard, is already engaged in similar work related to 3D TV.

When it comes to improvements in functionality for the mobile phone, Yewdall is a believer in the trickle-down theory.

“The mobile phone market is an adjunct to [Digital Cinema],” he explains. “Cinema is driving content into home consumer market, initially on TVs. But devices like PCs and mobile phones have to try to keep current to deliver a competitive experience to what people are getting on their TV screens.”

If you live in Japan or Korea–or are just following the mobile news there–you know that Sharp launched a 3D mobile phone on NTT Docomo in Japan in 2003 and Korea’s SK Telecom launched a 3D phone (from Samsung) a year ago, in July 2007. Yewdall reports that DDD licensed to Samsung for that application, which was capable of turning any number of 12 TV channels into 3D on the handset, on the fly. The Samsung mobile phone was indeed 3D without glasses. “There’s an extra layer of optical technology that is manufactured into the display screen,” he says. “It can be switched on and off electronically. When it’s switched off, you see 2D. When it’s switched on, the software reformats the images and you see 3D.”

Mobile phones have another, intrinsic benefit. Rather than the multi-viewing of TV, where many viewers are jostling for the “sweet spot” where 3D’s two images converge, the mobile phone generally involves a single viewer. “So you can’t have three or four people gathered around the phone,” Yewdall says.”3D imagery works very, very well-–if you’re dealing with one viewer. The sweet spot is pretty forgiving on high-res mobile displays.”

So, back to the adventures of 3D mobile phones in Japan and Korea: What happened? “The big challenge is there wasn’t enough content, and no automatic 3D conversion [from 2D to 3D],” he says. “It was very popular with consumers, but didn’t drive data revenues for Docomo.

Ah yes, the challenge of actually monetizing something as potentially cool as 3D on the mobile phone. If we’re still embroiled in figuring out ways to monetize 2D content, is 3D realistic?

Yewdall’s answer is simple. U.S. consumers will soon have not only 3D-enabled TV sets but 3D content. The next year will see the release of nearly a dozen 3D films, including James Cameron’s Avatar and offerings from Disney and DreamWorks. Those studios will want to market those 3D films…in 3D, whether it’s a display in a movie theatre lobby or, say, a mobile phone.

“The most enlightened scenario is with what Samsung and Mitsubishi are doing with TVs, that mobile carriers will want to add mobile to keep it relevant and competitive,” says Yewdall. ” I see that as the key driver.”

“There’s a real possibility of 3D in the next generation of mobile phones, driven by 3D displays and more powerful processors,” he adds. “The key here is that some of the more sophisticated high-res displays combined with 3D optics gives a higher quality image and larger sweet spot.”

The “wow” factor will also be appealing to carriers and handset manufacturers, he says. “This is a way to deliver that experience, cost effectively,without glasses. The interesting thing is that the application doesn’t have to be very sophisticated to get that wow factor. It can just be wallpaper jumping off the screen 3 or 4 inches.”


Filed under Content, Devices