On Friday, I attended the amazing workshop Digital Odyssey 2010 – Going Mobile, held by the Ontario Library and Information Technology Association. Focused on how to develop information/library services and products in a mobile environment, the individual sessions discussed augmented reality, QR code, designing for mobile, ebooks, and more. Jason Griffey, keynote speaker, discussed why the mobile world is important and why we should be thinking about it. Here are some highlights from his session:
- 4.1 billion people on the planet have cellphones.
- More cellphones and cellphone contracts than people in some countries. People are carrying multiple devices.
- 2.4 billion people in the world use text messaging on their cellphones.
- More people are accessing the Internet via mobile devices.
- People are expecting to access your organization's services via wireless connectivity.
- Modern smartphones aren't the most popular phones being sold right now, but this is expected to change very quickly.
- The iPhone is the most popular image of a modern smartphone in the US and Canada.
- Apple is an enormous force in the tech world.
- Apple is the second largest company in the US. It is worth about $226 billion (Rogers is worth about $20.88 billion).
- Canada has a low cellphone penetration rate. 61% of people have a cellphone. This is a low rate for a developed nation.
- The US has a penetration rate of 91%.
- Cellphones aren't the only mobile way people get connected to the Internet.
- Digital e-readers are becoming very popular.
- They are going to get very cheap very fast. There will probably be a $100 one by Christmas, and a $50 digital e-reader by next year.
- It makes more sense for a library to buy a $50 e-reader and put 1,000 books on it than to buy a book in print.
- Tablets will become very popular.
- The iPad is the most important tablet right now.
- Apple sold 2 million iPads in 60 days.
Jason concluded his talk with the idea that sometimes asking our users/clients what they want doesn't always tell us what they really want or need. We have to know what they want before they do because they might not be aware of important technological trends and issues.