Mobile 2013 – Tel Aviv: a feast of interesting mobility developments
Mobile 2013 was held this week in Tel Aviv. From some 150 original companies, 20 were exhibiting and 10 were chosen to make a final short list for a winner for 2013. What follows is an eclectic selection of 8 solutions presented at Mobile 2013. It shows just how much room there is for innovation in mobility, and not just for the consumer marketplace.
To start, take two extremes. These were:
Paparazit (www.paparazit.com): this is a “social celebrity app” where the app reports online the location of a celebrity (if you see one) or where you can check on your favorite celebrity’s latest location; while I cannot think of anything quite so surplus to my own needs it is astonishing in its focus (perhaps real celebs. will pay to have this app removed but, on second thoughts, would-be celebs. will probably (sic) celebrate).
Neomatix (www.neo-matix.com) offers a stark contrast — an app which exploits electro-optic methods based on image processing algorithms for monitoring tire pressure by using the camera on a smartphone — without needing to attach anything to a tire and without needing to dirty your hands; this is definitely a useful innovation (and the app is available for free this week on the iTunes store, and available later for Android, etc.).
CellBuddy (www.cell-buddy.com) is a work-in-progress but with intriguing possibilities. It addresses the excessive cost of international data and voice roaming (where, for example, costs outside your home carrier can exceed Euros 11 or US$14 per MB of data sent or received). By adding a sleeve to an existing phone, which includes an additional unique GSM identifier, all roaming is then handled by CellBuddy at a substantially reduced cost. For travelers to many countries this could be a welcome substitute for having to buy and then use the right SIM for each individual country. With CellBuddy you buy once, set up an account and then use where you need. (Personally I could use this now and with c $45B likely to be spent on roaming in 2012 one can see the attractions for all except greedy telephone carriers.)
Navin (no URL given) is a start-up which proposes to use crowdsourcing techniques to improve positioning within buildings (given that GPS locations within a building are generally not practical). An app, downloaded to smartphones, gathers position information using a combination of signals (including WiFi, cellular, RF, magnetometers, accelerometers and gyroscopes, etc.) to send back compact data to Navin which can then provide more accurate positioning to these within buildings. It is a ‘learning’ model: the more people use it, the better the information about that building.
BrightSpots (www.brightspots.net) combines gamification and rewards for those seeking to improve brand awareness. The company seeks to make it easy to create games or reward-based HML5-based apps (for example electronic scratch-cards) that can be sent to customers or potential customers. People play the games and the reward may have to be picked up in a store or at a branded location (an event or conference or some such). By introducing gamification to smartphone users BrightSpots hopes enterprises and brands will have a means to use the modern technologies in everyone’s hands to attract the attention of customers.
BuzzJourney (www.buzzjourney.com) is similar but different to carpooling.com. The difference is that a driver can describe a journey to BuzzJourney and would-be passengers can express interest — and pay to BuzzJourney the equivalent of what public transport might cost them for that journey. The driver receives 75% of that public transport fare from BuzzJourney, with the latter keeping 25%. With 2-3 passengers a journey might pay for itself. BuzzJourney is already operating in Israel. It expects to expand beyond Israel in 2013 — and one can see the attraction.
Finally, two different approaches to security on mobile devices:
the first will be familiar from a Constellation Report and past blogs (http://www.constellationrg.com/blog/2012/02/mpv-multiple-persona-virtual… and http://www.constellationrg.com/blog/2012/02/mpv-multiple-persona-virtual…) – Cellrox (www.cellrox.com): Cellrox offers Multiple Virtual Personas on Android devices, with each Persona being made securely separate, via virtualization.
the second comes from Zimperium (www.zimperium.com) with its zCore IPS (Intruder Prevention System) for smartphones and tablets which claims to recognize and prevent network-based attacks in real time, along with pre-emptive prevention of widespread worm attacks and vulnerability patching. What Zimperium aspires to is the establishment of an essential layer of security for smartphones and tablets. Enterprises should be interested, along with Zimperium’s zAppliance — a smart security console to monitor and manage an organization’s policies.
There were plenty of other participants and well more than 500 attendees. Interest was high. But, in the view of Constellation Research, originality seems to know no bounds when it comes to mobility, and it does not matter if this is aimed at the consumer, the enterprise or a combination.
Update 2012-10-16: Zimperim won 1st Place and Cellrox 2nd Place from the Final List of 10