Our first release of videos from the V2Conference 2013 November – held at State Library QLD, Brisbane.
Follow the V2Training Youtube Channel for more videos from this event and more.
He is recognised globally as a specialist in product design, marketing, user experience and strategy for consumer and enterprise mobile platforms. His warm and engaging presentation style has seen him become a regular speaker and trainer at events locally and around the world for the likes of Apple, Adobe, Vodafone and Nokia.
I’m going to try and deliver three different lessons for the content today the first one is that mobile is actually not new. It’s nothing I guess special now and in fact the rate of change and innovation in technology is that nothing is going to stay new for very long.
My role in various companies over the last ten years has been focused around mobility and it’s only now that my role has moved away being a mobile specialist particularly because in so many ways particularly roles on the web and online, everyone is a mobile specialist now.
So this was getting into this idea of ‘mobile overlords’, they’ve come, they’ve conquered and they’re already on their way out.
That is sort of the rate of change we’ve had in technology anyway.
The population in terms of who has a smartphone now, it’s still not everybody but it’s practically everybody, even 65% you know, is allot, when you take into consideration the population. that growth in even that one little piece of technology, that’s not including tablets, or any other type of tech, your iPhone your Android, a phone that has the capability more than your feature phone platforms in terms of making phone calls and text message, I mean who would have thought, a phone that just made phone calls.
Purely just from a penetration perspective the rate of pervasiveness in society with this particular piece of technology has made huge impacts with this particular technology has made impacts for us over even the last 3-4 years, when 65% of us with a smart phone use is every single day, and within that the number is I think something like 48% have used it more than 5 times per day, so it is truly is something that isn’t new, its is well entrenched in our lives, in our Social lives our work and in our Education as well.
77% of smartphone users don’t leave home without a device, would that be anybody here, feels a bit weird walking out, keys wallet, where is my phone. There is that impact on our psyche ‘I’m not complete unless I’ve got my smart phone in my pocket’ .Heaven forbid if I have to wait 5min to see somebody at least I can check facebook, check the latest new or see how my twitter stock it going or something like that.
I think in terms of my thinking around this session in terms of mobile, it’s very much beyond that now, mobile is a pervasive technology, it’s a pervasive device, it’s made huge impacts but now we’re really onto the next things. So this idea around mobility, it’s a cautionary tale about the way that technology is affecting us socially, behaviorally in terms of our relationships, it’s certainly a tale about evolution. We’ll look at the rate of change, has anyone seen this diagram, we’re probably around 2 or 3 species on from where this illustration gets us to. It’s certainly in the realms now of mobile being very much.. that’s one slide I added in at the airport this morning. Mobile..in terms of where it’s at, in terms of its own evolution as far as, well what else can you do with a device?’ I mean, really if you’re looking at innovation, mostly you’re looking at things around screen size, resolution. You know, the new iPhone’s just a bit faster. It’s a bit thinner, bit lighter, but I mean how many more of those innovations can we go through? Where’s the rate of innovation happening within mobility? It’s not happening there anymore. It’s happening in other device classes and in other areas of technology. So all of these types of things that we now, whereas kind of five, six years ago everything was mobile, mobile, mobile, smartphone, smartphone, iPhone, iPhone, now there’s.. that’s very much passé, that’s very much, I guess par for the course, there’s a lot of other things that we’re talking about.
So, let’s just look at, I guess the evolution, in terms of, you know moving from desktop to a portable computing, mobility you can see there just purely from a scale and a form factor perspective, mobility’s what came next, tablets…anyone got a phablet? Anyone going to own up and say they’ve got a phablet? (laugh, hand up in audience) do you call it a phablet? No, he he that’s right. It’s only for nerds myself that call them phablets. Phablets are the, you know, again just the example of an iteration of a technology rather than a revolution or a really new innovation, it’s just more iteration.
After we’ve kind of like had this flood of touch screen devices, and I was mentioning to someone before, Bob, my mobile work started pre-iPhone, so back when, you know every phone still had buttons on the screen. Once we’ve now got this pervasive ecology of touch screen devices, the Cloud came along, in terms of powering applications on the internet for those particular devices. Around about the same time we’ve got smart TVs, wearable technology. If you want to talk about the next kind of, wave of innovation there’s a lot of people putting a lot of money into wearable technology, Google glass, the, you know, the rumoured and fabled mystical iWatch, if that ever happens, but you know, Samsung Galaxy Gear, watches, wearable technology not just from gadgets being bolted onto different parts of your body, but wearable being embedded in clothing, those Nike shoes, rather than the fuel band, or sorry the fuel band wrist monitor, you know those sensors just being in a pair of running shoes they capture the same sort of things. So really what comes next is, you know there’s a lot of people spending a lot of time and effort and money trying to work out what that next thing is. So the lesson around mobile being not so new anymore, very much is a lesson for us to understand in terms of where, certainly our users are if you’re talking about kids in the classroom, maybe not because of the tools they’re using within the classroom, but certainly in their lives, this is the world that we’re working within.
The second lesson is that these trends, while they’re really young have had massive impacts on our society. If we go back to our map of where things have, sort of gone from the humble desktop through to, kind of the more, the latest innovations and we just overlay there a bit of a timeline, the things that have happened, you know, kind of since iPhone is kind of like BC / AD, in the year of our Steve, kind of point in time where the iPhone came about and everything sort of changed. And for me, I really felt that, I mentioned before doing a lot of work on devices with keypads, well the iPhone came along and totally rewrote the rulebook as far the industry I was working in and that business ceased to exist, purely because of what revolutionized the mobile space. But, you know we’re only talking about in the last five, six, seven years and when you look at the before that we had, sort of..computers. I mean, computers just did what they did, and you know, monitors got a bit bigger and heavier, until the flatscreens came out, there wasn’t really a lot of innovation there. So these are very young trends, but you think of the impact that iPhone or tablets have had, or the Cloud has had on technology and innovation. You know, it’s revolutionized communication, where it’s no longer, as I said before about devices that make phone calls but you know, this is how communication is happening on these devices, in bite-sized little bursts of information that, in you know in Snapchat’s case disappears as, almost as soon as you’ve written it. It’s had massive impact on, I guess our social world, how we connect via devices whereas before it was about, you know how many names have you got in your address book?
A phone used to be marketed based on, you know how many names it could store, you know the new Nokia n95 saves a hundred names, woaw, it’s fantastic! Whereas, you know address books are kind of gone, and we talk about devices and communication and keeping in touch with our contacts, our friends, this is much more likely to be the landscape that our users are operating within. In terms of social, this was a stat that I came across which as the father of three girls, the youngest being nine, she’s definitely not on Facebook just yet, but trying to think about her along with five million other Facebook users being under the age of ten. You know, these are, this is the next generation of digital natives, if you want to call them that, but it’s starting well and truly before a lot of, I guess what we perceive as being the age that we get them and starting to introduce how technology helps with their learning, and these types of things. When they’re proficient Facebook users before the age of ten, that’s a super user of, and a super understanding of social connectivity, before they’re sort of, out of grade four, that’s incredible.
This technology’s had a huge impact on commerce, and the way that we think about how we interact with, with brands in terms of transactional behaviours, being able to go up and take photos…photos of the meat that I want to buy, not even the real meat anymore I just take a photo and add it to my cart and by the time I get home from the train station where this is located, the local store has been able to deliver it to my door and I’ve got, I’ve got that food ready to go. The incredible amount of impact and change that’s been brought through the commerce industry. That similar sort of, statistic in terms of 65% of people who have bought something on a mobile device, that, the rate of growth in that particular area alone is incredible.
So I guess in terms of talking about education, one of my I guess most immediate experiences has been with my oldest daughter, she’s fourteen, at the school that she attends it’s compulsory to have an iPad from year seven all the way to year twelve. So she’s very excited about getting her iPad and going through the, the P plate program you’ve got to complete before you get your, your licence to use a device, that, eh.. within the school environment. You know, then there’s that whole cyber safety aspect of that learning, and it’s about, you know appropriate use type of thing. But the big benefits that I’ve noticed for her is, is on some particular days, you know the bag weighed an absolute tonne. You know, she’s dragging this thing into the car and she’d hoik it into the car, and then in the last little while I’ve just noticed some mornings it’s in and there’s like, there’s nothing in it, and I say, ‘where’s, what, where’s all your stuff?’ and she goes ‘oh, all the classes I’ve got today, all the textbooks are on my iPad’. Now that’s, you know to me that’s kind of, to me a very practical outcome of this rate of change of technology. It’s certainly starting to bring into focus, you know a lot of various areas of impact, particularly within the education environment, not just from ah, well how is content delivered, or how do I consume content and how do I create content for assessment and that kind of thing, but it’s really affecting the students’ lives.
We talk about, you know some of the plusses of this innovation and rate of change within technology, and you know, certainly the access to the knowledge that the internet provides is fantastic. These devices allows us to, they’re very adaptable to our modern life, so if I’m, if I’m on the go, if I’m home, if I’m just needing to do something quite quickly if it’s on a smaller device right through to other devices, they’re very adaptable. And they allow me to do things pretty much wherever I want them to do. That’s the whole, sort of, you know the dream of a wireless world. A lot of people, though, sort of I guess in terms of some of the downsides of what technology and innovation has done, particularly, you know, I guess with, with younger people, you know, you could argue, and you guys probably know this, you know well either know this or can dispute this quite well, but, you know certainly people’s perception of there being a shortening of attention span, because we’re now conditioned to, sort of just consume information and interact with people in very short bursts. You look at the time of engagement on mobile apps and websites, it’s a lot lot shorter than if you’re sitting down at a destop or a laptop. So people are performing tasks, communicating with each other, being engaged with whatever that might be, in blocks of, kind of ten to thirty seconds and then putting the device away and then going and doing something else, or as my daughters quite often demonstrate, they multi-task. They’re doing their homework and their snap chatting with their friends and eating their dinner or whatever that might be.
Privacy certainly become something that, you know has become thrust more and more into the spotlight as these types of devices have evolved, in terms of not just the information that we post about ourselves, that we share about ourselves, but, you know that right through to the, kind of like the prison program, NSA, spying controversy that’s out there and that, you know Current Affair have got no shortage of stories about how your photos are geo tagged and people can work out where your kids go to school and that type of thing. So there’s a lot of questions that have been thrown up, and in some cases, not a lot of answers provided, because the powers that be within that technology and innovation space are much more interested in just making sure you buy the next device than actually answering some of these fundamental questions that get raised.
Does anyone know what FOMO is? Tim – the fear of missing out. It’s kind of like in that, you know y’all know you only live once, they call them FOMOs, the fear of missing out, that’s why you check your phone every 15 seconds. Has someone emailed me yet? Has someone responded to my post yet, how many likes have I got on that photo? You know, you’re pulling it out. You don’t even wait for it to beep anymore. You don’t even wait for the, for the alert to go off, you’re just pulling it out and checking it. It’s actually a.. you know, that’s a social change that has come about that didn’t, well certainly wasn’t as prominent in years gone by, but even away from devices, the behavior of wanting to stay in touch with everything that’s going on, and wanting to know, it’s actually being driven by some of this technology.
An of course, language, and again, my daughters provide an endless number of stories and references for talks like this, but, you know the fear around text messaging was that it was going to destroy the English language because people were typing lol, and that type of thing, and whether it’s destroyed it or not, I don’t know, I think it’s spawned off a whole new, certainly whole new parts of the dictionary but, you know when you see devices and that’s purely a technical, or a technology-driven change to something as fundamental as the way that we speak and the words that appear in a dictionary are there because somebody decided that an sms was only going to take 160 characters, or Twitter decided that you needed to squash that down into 140 characters. So (there’s) some fundamental social changes coming out of some of this technology.
Right, so my last lesson – it’s all about the kids. And I see this becoming more and more part of, particularly here in Brisbane the digital strategy that the City of Brisbane has put together over the last year and is now implementing in various different ways. There’s a lot of focus on the kids and what they’re doing and leveraging those guys within this, this new world. Who’s actually driving this bus, this technology and innovation bus? Is it these guys? It used to be. It used to be that they were, kind of the gatekeepers of technology and certainly the, the connectivity that those devices relied upon. But those guys are no longer in control. Is it these guys? For a large proportion of it, yes. They’re the ones who are developing the services, who are building some of the fundamental building blocks that live behind the, some of the services that we might be consuming and enjoying. It’s actually running on technology, or running on services that these guys are, are putting into the actual underlying infrastructure of the internet. But these guys will find it harder and harder as well, to be in control. A lot of people think that it’s these guys and certainly for a large proportion of, of the population they are very much front of mind. These are the guys who provide me with the tools and ways to communicate with my friends, to know what’s going on, they’re very, very influential.
Certainly the media, in terms of promoting where things are headed and what are the right things to be using, you know I think this movie was actually sort of, The Internship I don’t know if anyone’s seen it one of the best pieces of product placement I’ve seen in years. Forget about, you know the star of the TV show firing up his new Windows 8 phone to make, to dial the police in the TV show, you know, this was product placement at its, at a super high level. Again, to influence the generation that are making these decisions. So yeah, I do think that a lot of it is about kids, and this term that techpreneur, so an entrepreneur within the technical world. You look at the age of these guys that are coming down, now I was talking with a couple of my mates before over lunch, talking about, well you know Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, you know they’re my age – not my age, one of the guys I was speaking to, ‘they’re my age and look what they did, because they were in the right place at the right time’. Guys who are my age just exited, well just IPOed Twitter and made themselves three billion dollars overnight and they’re my age – look what they’ve done. This guys sold his company to Yahoo, for like 60 million or something like that, he’s only eighteen.
So the, so where the innovation and the thought leadership is coming from in terms of, in terms of innovation and technology is coming from a group of people where they’re, where the average age is starting to, certainly starting to shrink. So it’s really these guys, that we’re, that we’re looking at now in terms of understanding well, this idea of well this idea economy, who are the people who are coming up with that..that next idea, who are the people who are deciding, ‘look it’s great that I can do that particular task in that way, but I really want to do it this way? So how do I do that? Cause if I can work out how to do that, then it’s going to make my life better’, and for a lot of these guys they say, ‘well it’s also going to make a lot of other people’s lives better and I can make some money out of that’. I don’t think it’s quite these guys just yet, but it’s not going to be too,.. they’re certainly starting early.
One of the great initiatives in Brisbane that I’ve been a part of has been a thing called CoderDojo, has anyone heard of CoderDojo? Yeah, so it’s, it’s kind of like Code Academy that was mentioned before, but, kind of face to face. So as part of Brisbane City Council, or Brisbane Marketing’s digital strategy for the city of Brisbane, part of it was to run free clinics and workshops in various council libraries and they would get mentors from the industry to come in and work with kids between the ages of six and fifteen, and teach them how to write code, but teach them in a way that, you know they were making games, or they were, they basically sort of gave them the tools and said, ‘well what do you want to build? What would you like to do?’ and of course some kid says ‘I want to make Facebook’. But they want to, you know they start of with a maze game, you know and they, there’s some tools that they’re able to, sort of put in front of them, things like Scratch from MIT, that allow them to, to sort of explore the idea that ‘I’ve got something in my brain, how do I get it out onto the, onto the screen or onto phone. And they’re some of the fundamental building blocks of code and programming. So one of the great things was, you know within the crowd, you’ve got these guys from industry, in this particular photo you’ve got entrepreneurs, you’ve got game developers, programmers, IT managers, all giving up some time on a Saturday to have these kids come in.
But the really cool part about CoderDojo was that, the next crop of kids that showed some real, kind of talent and some real interest, they became the mentors as well, they got a CoderDojo polo shirt, and the next week they came along, it was about kids teaching kids. So they were the ones that were empowered, so from their perspective, you know, there’s some, there’s some great development being made for them personally as well as from a, from a technical perspective. But the whole idea of CoderDojo was to inspire kids to write some code, but then get kids to teach kids. So that was a great example, we had some guys come in, local game development studio here called Halfbrick made a game called Fruit Ninja, which I know a lot of people here will know, we’ve got access to people in Brisbane who can come along and really inspire our kids to, to go to the next level with their learning in this new idea economy and giving them the right tools.
So, just to wrap up, the future of technology is moving towards us more quickly each day, ‘mobile’ has already been left behind the future of technology is moving very, very quickly to the extent where, originally I was going to talk to you about mobile, but then I realized, you know what? Mobile’s kind of done. We’re past that. It’s here. It’s very much here, but that rate of change is happening very quickly. The changes that it brings impact in greater ways each time, so, yes, mobile impacted us immensely, Cloud in many ways, many unseen ways has impacted us in even greater ways. You think about something like wearable technology, how is that going to impact us as people? So the change that each of these waves bring impact us with greater scale each time.
I think it’s really important that we watch and learn from the natives who are part of this idea economy, these change natives who are growing up extremely used to change. I look at my, my parents and how, my, you know my Dad worked for the public service for 40 years, got his gold watch, you know I’m the next kind of, one along the line, at least I went and studied and got a degree in something and I’ve, sort of stuck in the one industry area, but you know, I’ve I’ve sort of changed jobs every, I don’t know, three years or something like that. You like at my kids, well I look at my kids and 80% of the roles that they’re going to be applying for, that are going to be available to them, they don’t even exist yet. In terms of..she’s in high school, by the time she finishes university, 80% of the jobs that will be in that’ll be, you know that will be in her sphere of interest, they don’t even exist yet. So those change natives are really important for us to, I guess hook into, in terms of how they’re learning, what they need to learn, what they would like to see and how they can utilize their own ideas from their experiences with technology to, to bolster that. So I think listening to their ideas is critical, watch and learn. Thank you very much.