Author Archive: Tobias Hoellrich

Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW Beta

On Monday, we released:
Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW Beta
The release enables Flash developers to convert, test, and run their Flash applications and content on a BREW-based phone. Once deployed, Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW will create a way for developers to make money selling their content through Carrier download catalogs.
The best part of the BREW platform is that Flash Lite 2.1 can be downloaded over-the-air to the phone when a user selects a piece of Flash-based content.
So, if you have a great idea for an application or already have a great application you’d like to sell thre the BREW Delivery System, check these tools out! We’re always looking for great stuff to show off to our partners, at conferences, and for other marketing purposes, so drop us a line when you have something great to show.

Mobile Video

I have to admit, I’ve been skeptical of watching video on mobile devices.
Maybe its because I live in a city where its easy to drive places rather than take public transportation, and when I do take public transportation, its mostly underground. Its definitely not something that fits into my usage patterns. I can see why Japan and Europe find it so useful though.
However, several new services and technologies have really opened my eyes to the possibilities of video on mobile phones or PDAs:
1) Orb
Orb lets you convert your TiVo programs to video that can be streamed from your home PC to your mobile phone. The thing that amazed me was the ease of setup and that I was watching my favorite programs on my phone in a couple of seconds. I really like the transcoding and pre-caching that happens on the PC.
2) MobiTV
Why do I want to watch live broadcast TV on my phone? Well, if there’s a live event that you just can’t miss, or you happen to have 10 minutes to catch the latest news report, its pretty useful. Again, the simplicity of setup, and the fact that good quality video was coming down in seconds made all the difference.
3) Orange TV
Customers of France Telecom’s Orange TV service can watch broadcast TV through the mobile service. It servers some top content and is very powerful as one of the first deployments of a mobile TV solution. Orange has a reputation of being an innovator, and shows it here with a compelling offering.
4) iTunes Video
What can I say, Apple does it again. They’ve proved people are willing to download content for PCs and mobile devices, and en masse. Having the full end-to-end solution means they can provide a market place for interesting content and make it simple for users to enjoy.
5) Higher Quality Screens & High Speed Networks
Some of the screen technology I’ve been seeing lately really impresses me. That combined with the high-speed data networks that can serve a 320×240 resolution video stream starts to open up the possibilities of really watching quality video on decent glass.
Does it make it seem like I’m watching TV on a 32-inch screen? No way, but you can at least you can get some decent clarity of the images. I’m still not planning on watching the World Cup this way because you just can’t pick out the tiny soccer ball.
Prediction …
Video Services will explode over the next year, as people start to realize that the content is highly desired and easily consumable in small doses on mobile devices. The turning point will consist of a couple of solutions …
- Your programs, news, and sports on demand
When its trivial to call up the latest episode of 24or a hockey game already in progress, either from a service that you have to pay for or from your own DVR (like Orb), then I’m hooked.
- Sharing content or home movies
Users will want to send program to people to watch immediately, either as news clips that have relevance between two parties, pay-for content that can be linked to or gifted to another user, or just shooting pictures of your new baby and sending them to the grandparents.

BREW 2006 & Flash Lite

Just getting cozy in my hotel room before the festivities start at this year’s BREW 2006 Developer Conference:
http://brew.qualcomm.com/brew/brew_2006/
It looks like it’ll be a good showing for Adobe, as we’ll be talking more about Flash Lite coming for the BREW platform. I don’t want to steal the thunder of the announcements and show presentations, but I will tell you to watch our Flash Lite product and developer center pages over the next 24 hours:
http://www.adobe.com/products/flashlite/
Some interesting things should be going on there shortly.

CTIA: Day Two

Ok, so I’m a little late on my blog for Day 2 of CTIA. It has a good reason, but what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Hey, I don’t make the rules.
Anyway, yesterday was very productive. Lots of meetings with partners, customers, and other parties interested in what the Verizon news really means. All good stuff.
Here’s the big things discussed that stick out in my mind:
- Everyone is talking about “killer content”, but no one has found the right recipe. Spent a lot of time with one of our top Flash Lite developers, Smashing Ideas, figuring out what we can do to build the next generation of great apps.
- Working together is “in”. There was lots of talk of collaboration between people that you would have though didn’t have much in common or could be considered competitors. If you check the attendee list of our party, (and no I won’t give it to you), you’d see it had people that could have been considered competitors seeking ways to work with us on the Flash platform in many interesting ways.
- While the Verizon agreement didn’t say much in detail, people are making some great assumptions on our behalf. I can’t tell you how many people said “wow, this means X, Y, and Z for you and that’s HUGE.” Also, there was some analyst saying this validates that mobile will be a $1B business for Adobe. Gosh, I hope so, and more.
Signing off for now …
The night was also capped by a very nice, refined party put on by our team. It really went off well, and a good percentage of the crowd came up saying what a fun time they had. The food was great, the conversation was good, and it looked like everyone was having a blast.

Adobe and Verizon to bring Flash to the U.S. mobile phone market

As you may have seen yesterday, Adobe and Verizon announced an agreement to bring the Flash platform to U.S. mobile phones on the Verizon network. Read all about it here:
Adobe signs first Flash deal on U.S. mobile phones
As the product manager for Flash Lite, the product that will help deliver rich content, engaging UIs, and exceptional experiences with the information you care about most, I’m incredibly excited to see the beginning of what should be a long line of successes with Flash for operators that really want to take their business to the next level with an eye towards engaging and delighting the consumer.
Verizon’s commitment to Flash should signal a change to the industry, away from bland, static applications and UIs, to a more exciting, dynamic environment on the mobile phone. I’ve felt like Howard Beale, from Network, when he said “I’m as mad as h___, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” (Listen here). That’s how I felt about applications and UIs on mobile phones. :) I’m sure many of you shared my frustrations.
Anyway, just wanted to give my thoughts on this topic and let the rumor mills run rampant with what this means in terms of products. There’s not much I can say at this point, but stay tuned. We’ll hope to have some exciting things coming as a result of this deal.

CTIA: Day 1 – Arrival & Parties

Yesterday, I arrived at CTIA (Cellular Technology Industry of America) conference in “Sin City”, Las Vegas. Here’s my initial reactions and what I’ve seen:
1) Not much …
Not much yet, to be honest, since I arrived around 2:30 pm and went straight to meetings
2) Focus on business of mobile …
The focus this year seems on the business of mobile, and not so much the technology. Many companies announcing relationships, partnership, agreements to develop content, services, and better capabilities for mobile phones (see the Adobe announcement on Verizon here). This is good news, because sometimes these shows get bogged down with “cool tech” that you loose site we’re here to build a strong industry that leverages great hardware and software for the benefit of consumers.
3) Most meetings happen impromptu or at parties …
There was no less than 6-10 parties tonight, and there was no way you could make it to all of them. However, its critical to plan your party strategy because its where a lot of business gets done. My two stops of the night were at the Motorola mixer featuring John Legend (don’t ask me who he is, I’m not that cool to know) and the Motricity & BET “over-the-top, out-of-this-world” blow out featuring Doug E. Fresh and Busta Rhymes (ask me who he is, because he kicks some major booty). Much fun was had by all, and that’s all I’ll say. :)
For Adobe, the key take-aways were …
- You’ve hit a home-run with Verizon, and everyone is talking about it
- Mobile companies are scrambling to figure out how to have a story involving Adobe products
- The U.S. market will arrive for Flash Lite, and it will not be televised, it will be mobile ;)
- People, thankfully, expect the level of execution that Adobe has already set a precidence for, but it shouldn’t hold off our intensity to exceed expectations
That’s all for now, more coming on Day 2 soon ..

Recovering from 3GSM, Preparing for CTIA

Its a great time of the year: hitting the slopes, sipping hot chocolate by the fire, anticipating a beautiful spring, and checking out all the latest in mobile technology.
Last month began a busy season for those of us in the mobile industry …
* 3GSM, Feb 13th, Barcelona – The biggest mobile industry show, attracting something like 70,000 people and taking over the size of a small village
* CeBIT, March 9th, Hannover – European techno-showcase, often lots of mobile stuff shows up here
* CTIA, April 5th, Las Vegas – Largest US-based mobile show, previously held in New Orleans and now in Las Vegas, seems to always end up somewhere *fun*
* Golden Week, April 29th, Japan – The time of the year when the Japanese mobile industry unveils new products
Read on for my take on 3GSM, and what I’m anticipating at the other shows …

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ACM Interactions: Open for Business – The Business of Betas

Starting in the latest issue of ACM Interactions, a magazine focused on practical HCI & Usability in high-tech, I will be writing a column called “Open for Business”.
The first article was published this month, and talks about “The Business of Betas”. If you’re an ACM member, you can read the article online here:
The Business of Betas
Coincidentally, there was another article on the subject posted at TechCrunch:
TechCrunch � Don’t Blow Your Beta
I can’t underscore the importance of a planned and organized beta release for software products. Adobe Labs is a good example of how this can be done well, and Flash / Flash Lite are great technologies for prototyping and beta testing interface ideas for applications, the web, and mobile.

Pick of CES: Skype Hype

I’ve been looking for a post to sum up what I think was the biggest set of announcements at this year’s CES, and the best I was able to come up with is Jeff Pulver’s post:
The Jeff Pulver Blog: Skype Announcements @ CES 2006: A Year Too Late?
Personally, I believe the Skype Hype was in full-effect at CES this year, and its nothing but good news.
Read on for my analysis …

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“Your (micro) Ad Here”

As an inagural post, I thought I’d discuss the state of mobile advertising, as it seems to be a “hot” topic these days.
Basically:

  1. “Micro” Ads are coming
  2. The will be married to relevance and location with what’s going on around you
  3. There will be more of them in comparison to print or video
  4. And they will be more intrusive into your life (if you let them in)

Read on for more analysis …
UPDATE: In the latest Fierce Wireless, there’s another article about Google getting a patent for wireless advertising. Point proven – the market is heating up.

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