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Mobile Internet SIG: Mobile User Experience

Last week we attended the monthly held Mobile Internet SIG: Mobile User Experience at the ACCESS building in Sunnyvale. The event started at 6:30 pm with pizza and free T-Shirts and it was our first mobile-oriented event here in the Bay Area.After 30 minutes of networking with quite some interesting people, e.g. Dr. Paul James of Nokia Inc. (Nokia also sponsored this event), the presentations started. The first one was held by Sergei Krupenin, Director of Business Development at ACCESS. Sergei showed some interesting innovations which we will soon see in upcoming versions of the NetFront mobile browser:
  • Smart Swing Navi: By using the captured image of phone camera, you can scroll or zoom contents by tilting phone vertically and horizontally.
  • Visual Bookmarks: Visual bookmark helps you to select bookmarks by showing page thumbnail together with page title and URL.

NetFront also supports web standards for web applications. They developed a widget framework that supports the creation and use of dynamic Web applications based on open standard Web technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript/Ajax - sounds familiar, but they actually showed a widget in action on a windows mobile device. It was quite impressive to see how the widget was launched from the top menu bar and then became usable on top of the currently open application. In this case an excel sheet, just like a widget should work. Here you can find some more info and pictures of the NetFront browser in action.

The second presentation was held by Deborah Johnson, Technology Manager at FrogDesign. She introduced her company and their Celltop technology, which enables users to access, manage and organize a wide range of information already available on their Alltel Wireless phones. Celltop is only available on Alltel phones, free-of-charge and features 10 “cells” that come pre-installed and via download. Each cell is a category- specific half screen comprised of graphics and text that provides shortcuts for wireless users to navigate through information and applications including: call log, weather, news, baseball, basketball, football, rodeo, stocks, text messaging inbox and ringtones.

Both talks were very interesting and caused a lot of questions. It is very interesting to see how slowly data plans grow in the US. Mobile internet still seems like being in its early stages to some extend around here. Also if you compare the numbers of visitors (it were about 30) to the ones of Web 2.0-centered events like geekSessions, you get this impression.

After all it was a great evening in a nice location and hopefully there will be more of those - thanks to ACCESS and SDForum!