ReMix09 @ Brussels

If you do not know what this post is about- ReMix09 is a marketing event from Microsoft.

Why did I attend?

Well, I had attended technical conferences on major new technologies for a long time, just to see the evolution of both the technology and the technologists.

But this time I was curious to see how convergence and competition are shaping the market.

If you want, you can jump to the conclusions

Otherwise, a short preamble.

Convergence? Yes, that white elephant that you probably saw in Minority Report, The Fifth Element, Johnny Mnemonic, and a ton of other (good and bad) sci-fi movies.

If you want- moving beyond the simple “triple play” advocated by new media companies.

Well, as I did for the post-i2010 conference, I will now even try to summarize my minutes.

Instead, go and see for yourself the minutes that I took today, built using an OpenSource Mind-Mapping software.

Where? here.

If you have comments: @robertolofaro.

You can download, modify, print out, re-assemble: whatever your feel like doing.

I clearly marked in my minutes my own comments: are between brackets ([ and ]).


My conclusions

It is nice to see a technological conference where (but I was probably lucky) 50% of the time is devoted to the social aspects and impacts of technology.

The most interesting item was the approach in designing- and the logic behind the interaction between the user and the system.

As discussed in the last session that I attended, it does not apply just to videogames.

Products as diverse as a potato peeler and a car are designed to enhance the experience, i.e. no real value added, in economic terms

Except for the seller, who can add “an order of magnitude to a technology that has been around forever” (more or less verbatim what the speaker said about the peeler: 10 USD vs 1 USD).

But if you examine the current product crop, the “feel good, feel cool factor” moved from alcohol and 1950s big tobacco to the social arena.

Pity that Microsoft Surface has still currently a price tag way beyond the typical mass-marketing campaign.

But when it will be moved to “intelligent paper” or other mass-produced devices, as the disposable printed phone shown in a recent sci-fi movie, it will become almost impossible to “see” technology.

And, as a writer said long ago, when science is sufficiently advanced, the distinction with magic ceases to exist.

Just today I had a couple of dozen of ideas on how the Surface and Silverlight could actually be embedded in everyday business applications- and used to bring pervasive computing to some old applications.

But the hardware must become a commodity.

With these new technologies, it is the late 1970s again.

Perhaps the best approach to speed up the process could be to do something akin to what the airplane industry and General Electric did for their own customers: re-engineering their business relationships around a new business model.

Or do you believe that Ryanair would have been possible, without the innovative financial models that removed the need for massive upfront investment?

Read the minutes, make up your mind, and maybe you will have ideas on how to apply some of the concepts from this conference.

The main ideas? Approaches about how people interact with technology. With a really interesting taxonomy.

No, not on software development- on other business and non-business activities.

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