SMS is the new black

A review of mass market mobile apps

Posts Tagged ‘Movidilo’

Interesting companies at Mobile World Congress

Posted by Admin on February 27, 2009

I didn’t try and see everything at the show (I would have needed more than a week) but I did try to find a few smaller companies that were doing interesting things in Barcelona. So here’s a very quick summary of some of the ones I thought were cool.

I’ve talked about Movidilo before (here), but I got chance to see it in action in Barcelona. It looks as good as it sounds and is a great way to access information from your mobile without having to 107 different automated voice recordings telling you to ‘Press 1 for …’

To be honest if I’ve phoned up to speak to customer services at a company I pay good money to (my mobile operator for example), I expect some service. The voice recorded menus are annoying because they force you to fit your query into their system and sometimes it’s not that easy. Also, if they give me a long list of options I’ve forgotten them by the time I get to the end.

Movidilo lets you avoid that by allowing you to search under your own search terms and also to receive relevant information visually on your mobile screen. I think any company that uses call centres should look into this as a great alternative for some (maybe not all) of their customers.

A company I saw for the first time that looked quite interesting was Dial2Do. They offer a voice automated system for the user to do a range of functions on their mobile. So taking it way beyond just dialing someone by saying their name, now you can send an email or a text message, update Twitter or find some music files.

It looks great for road warriors who can now sit in the car, with their bluetooth headset in and be far more productive than ever before.

Talking of bluetooth headsets, novero is a German company that is trying to make headsets more fashionable and chic than the existing choices. The first product is called, appropriately enough, The First One and it certainly looks a lot better than most of the other options around.

I also bumped into a Canadian company called Mob4Hire, who I thought were quite interesting. They offered a solution that helped application developers test their applications cheaply and more effectively.

One of the problems of mobile is that there are so many different handset models, languages and operator requirements to resolve for each application. A Nokia handset in the Czech Republic will handle an application in a very different way to a Sony Ericsson will in Denmark. Previously developers would have had to have all the different handsets themselves and either set up expensive ‘lab’ systems to replicate the operator requirements in the Czech Republic or Denmark, or go to those countries themselves. Expensive and timely.

Mob4Hire aggregates all of that testing by having testers available in different countries, on different handsets and different operators. Now to test your application in Poland, Greece and Italy on 12 different handsets, just get Mob4Hire to organise it all for you – including final reports and feedback. Hopefully this will allow developers to create new applications that can target specific niches that have previously been too expensive to contemplate.

Posted in Industry | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Technology that gets in the way of consumers using it is a bad thing.”

Posted by Admin on January 15, 2009

I like it when people starting talking like that to me, as that is pretty much the ethos behind SMS is the new Black. So I quite enjoyed the recent conversation I had with Martin Gossling, Vice Chairman & VP Business Development at Movidilo.

Martin has been around the industry longer than most, yet he is still passionate about developing technology which enhances the consumer experience and doesn’t confuse it. And that’s what he’s trying to do at Movidilo.

Movidilo is a newish company that has grown out of its Spanish parent company Ydilo and is focussed on creating ways for consumers to easily and simple access information stored in databases, from their mobile. What that means is that they can access their bank records, or the information from their gas provider; or maybe it’s about ordering something from a catalogue, or finding out the train times.

All of these services uses databases to store the information and all of them can currently involve numerous drop-down menus or examples of ‘press 5 for …’ How Movidilo solves this is through a combination of voice capture and recognition, as well as visual menus and information.

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The voice capture is what the parent company specialises in and is now very sophisticated. It can understand the context of what is said, as well as just the words. For example “I need to get to the airport urgently” would be treated with relevant priority.

However, for mobile users, sometime it’s just easier to select from a simple menu, or to see rather than listen to the response. So Movidilo also presents relevant information in text format.

Movidilo sells to companies wanting to provide additional customer support, but has worked hard to make sure that it is simple for consumers to access. As the customer calls customer services Movidilo will capture your phone’s details and push the client back down to you. All the customer has to do is press accept and the next time they dial the customer services number the Movidilo service will jump into action. As Martin said:

“As long as you can turn your phone and know the number to contact the organisation, and maybe your username and password [you can use the service].”

The first implementation of the service was with Telefonica early last year and they are now looking for UK companies that want to provide their customers with a great way of accessing information from their mobiles. Obviously there’s lots going on behind the scenes with this and they expect to tell us about live UK customers later in the year.

All sounds good to me, all I can do is wish Martin luck and ask him to update me as things progress.

Posted in Enterprise, mobile banking | Tagged: | 1 Comment »