The day’s opening speaker was Ian Smith of Intel Research Lab in Seattle (I snapped this photo of him in the hallway afterward). He tackled the burgeoning field of social mobile computing. Some highlights:
“A good place to dig for gold are social mobile applications.” There will be a lot of entrepreneurial activity in this space in the next few years.
A few members of the audience nodded as Smith said, “Laptops are nomadic devices — they’re put-down devices and not truly mobile.” His research lab focuses chiefly on mobile phones.
He asks the audience: How many of you have ever bought an application for your phone? Four people raise their hands. One shouts out, “I wrote one!”
Smith holds up his mobile phone: “Most people don’t even think of this device as able to run new software. They don’t think of that for mobile phones, and that’s really really weird. You can retire to Jamaica if you figure out (how to create a business model in that space).” Ringtones and screen backgrounds for your cellphone aren’t really software applications. “I’d argue there’s no piece of software that’s driving this platform today.”