Now I know why Shanghai qualifies as the Barcelona of the East - it's gorgeous and it's mad for mobile! The interest - no, make that passion - for mobile was clearly evident during the 3 days of Mobile Asia Expo here in the sprawling Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC). The noise generated by 20,000 people all going gaga over the latest mobile devices, services, and infrastructure was literally deafening! We had to crank up the volume for my presentations on the IBM Mobile Enterprise Strategy in order to rise above the din!
What was especially heartening was the full house attendance at my Innovation Lab session scheduled for the very end of the conference - 3pm on a Friday. Now that's a dedicated audience! And I saw a lot of nodding heads (with their eyes open!) which leads me to believe that the message of a broad, comprehensive approach to enterprise mobility, as communicated by the IBM Mobile Enterprise strategy, makes sense and resonates with most people who take a few minutes to absorb it.
Of course, there was a lot to talk about at the conference that was news from outside the show. The announcements of Microsoft Surface, as well as news coming from the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference, gave everybody plenty to express opinions about. But it looks like the real "rubber meets the road" moment for those mobile news items will be in the fall when the announced releases are due to become available.
One news item that was perhaps a bit less noticed was the estimate, by GSMA and Machina Research, that the worldwide market for smart connected devices will grow to over $700 Billion (yes, that's a 'B') by 2020. This market includes personal mobile devices like smart phones, plus all of the other kinds of smart "machine-to-machine" connected devices that have intelligence and connectivity built in to them via little circuit modules like the one pictured to the right. Huawei had a whole pedestal bristling with different versions of these little guys and I had some extremely interesting conversations about the possibilities that can be implemented by embedding one of these into all manner of things. The cool thing that I was looking for (and found) was that the underlying operating system for many of these modules for "smart things" is .... Android! So now I have a whole expanded field of vision to consider when deciding on the next fun project to pursue!
"Smart, connected coffee cup" anyone??