ETech – Phone as platform

Clay Shirky Phone as platform.
It’s growing and will allow some of the same creativy as the PC offered in the past . Presented some of his student’s work:

  • PacManhattan, a game played on the streets of Manhattan. Came out of a big games class–to mate the urban grid with the games grid. They used a phone for two way voice (surprisingly :-). Players in a control room sends instructions to players out in a field (the phone is in the game).
  • Another phone based game called ConQwest.
  • Dodgeball, a way to rate and describe sites in downtown NY. The mobile phone is the first item since keys were invented that everyone carries. It can be an incredible way to keep social networks up to date (versus something like Friendster which you set up once and forget about). Need social software that’s embedded in our social life. The ex-girlfriend bug.
  • Mobjects is about using bluetooth to communicate things between phones like emotions
  • HeartBeat transmits SMS messages.

Tidbits – The phone is hardly fully used as a device. Only the minimum part of the platform is widespread – voice. Camera is the first tool other than SMS to get lots of usage. Even SMS is hard in the US. Not a lot of unique apps. Device manufacturers are unfamiliar with hacks so there’s not lots of development happening. Server infrastructure is key for phones. The phone isn’t a replacement for the PC, it augments the PC. Phone number is a universal foreign key.