Devicescape and Making Digital Living Easy

Posted on June 26, 2008

Devicescape is showcasing our technologies this week at the Connections Digital Living Conference in Santa Clara, CA. This is a great location for us, since nearly ever session, at some point, discusses how essential “seamless connectivity” is to growing the digital living business – and hey – this is what we do. Yesterday, we announced our essential role in enabling seamless connectivity and how we are constantly advancing our technology to improve ease of use and access for consumers. Access to services on the internet is the driving force behind device uptake – but what is holding growth of this industry back is that access is still too hard. In the home, people need one touch set up. In the office, secure and fast connections. On the go – access everywhere. In essence, people want magic in the background – everywhere they go for everything they do. That’s a tall order – but we’re working on it. And with our partners and all the big brains like these with us here at this conference, we’ll be getting there soon.

Welcome to your Digital Life

Posted on June 25, 2008

Are you connected? Do you stay connected to the internet, your work, family and friends via your laptop, mobile phone or iPod touch? Do you watch digital TV? I bet you do – and about 1000 people in Santa Clara today bet you partake of this digital life and will do more of the same in the very near future. In addition, analysts and industry pundits here at the Connections Digital Living Conference predict that you will be joined in your digital life by many, many more people. While predictions are flying and new technologies being celebrated and bandied about –one thing from day one of this show sticks with me: Phil McKinney, VP and CTO of the Personal Systems Group at HP predicts that by the year 2010 consumer and business alike will expect and demand seamless access from all their devices. Phil talked for a while about how consumers will demand the “perception” of always-on connectivity. Imagine if you really could get connected to the internet as easy as dialing your cell phone. Imagine that information and data was able to easily stream back and forth between you and whatever internet site held the key to your desire…

Road Warrior Pain and Devicescape One

Posted on June 19, 2008

One of the things that always frustrates me when I travel is the high cost of Internet access, especially at hotels. Oddly enough, it seems to be the premium hotels that charge extra for access, while the lower end chains give it away for free. I checked into a hotel near Heathrow Airport in London a few weeks ago and noticed that they had an “Executive Upgrade” which included Wi-Fi access and breakfast for $20. When I asked about the costs for Wi-Fi alone they told me it was $30. I guess the thinking there was that executives would be so dumb they’d need big help figuring out which one to choose! Anyway, I went with the upgrade, but amazingly they warned me that I likely wouldn’t be able to actually access Wi-Fi from my room but I could certainly use it in the lobby. Now that’s great service. At least breakfast was ok. It’s long been a bone of contention for many road warriors to pay high access fees when traveling. The all you can eat cellular data and Wi-Fi plans we have enjoyed at home suddenly rack up enormous roaming fees, and we encounter high price “session islands”…

Users Want Mobile Apps and Drive Innovations

Posted on June 12, 2008

Word has it that the iPhone is encouraging use of mobile applications. This phone boasts a 90% customer satisfaction rate (according to Apple) and reports rates of mobile browsing use at a whopping 98%! Add to this that 80% of owners report using 10 or more features – and you surely have a device that is driving experimentation and innovative use. But these impressive stats don’t include the number of people who are really experimenting and being innovative with their iPhones. At Monday June 6th’s iPhone Developer Conference, Steve Jobs proudly proclaimed that Apple has sold nearly 6 million iPhones in the nearly one year since it’s launch. Estimates are that up to 10% of iPhone owners have “jail broken” their iPhones to add third party applications. If true, that’s about 600,000 people who are really experimenting with their phones and pushing new boundaries. Some claim this number is over one million. We’ve been recipients of the value this creates in the market – as have you. The value to us is fairly direct. Our Devicescape Connect solution for the iPhone has been downloaded more than 325,000 times – meaning that half of all iPhone “innovators” have found our app…

Truphone and Devicescape

Posted on June 11, 2008

One of the questions we’re asked most frequently in our forums is how to use Devicescape with Truphone on a Nokia S60 device like the N95. There are a couple of ways you can use Truphone with Devicescape on the N95, which you choose is really down to your personal preference: 1. Using the TruWizard, you can set up Devicescape to be one of your automatic connection networks, and prioritise it above or below any other networks as you want. This allows you to use Wi-Fi when you’re in range of a network that you can connect to, even a hotspot one, but fall back on your 3G network when you don’t have Wi-Fi coverage. 2. Or, if you live in an area without 3G coverage like I do, you can ignore the TruWizard completely and just use the Nokia’s built in VoIP tools for connecting via Wi-Fi whenever it is available, using Devicescape to aggregate all your Wi-Fi networks into a single Wi-Fi IAP. The Truphone installation process will set up a standard Nokia VoIP connection (a combination of SIP settings and Internet telephony settings). Once installed, the standard Nokia VoIP tools can be used to connect and disconnect…

Mobile VoIP

Posted on June 10, 2008

As with all technology – its what it does for us and not what it is that matters. In an effort to focus on what it does, this month we will be examining mobile VoIP – or voice over Internet protocol. In this installment, we’ll look at what Mobile VoIP is and a provide a quick overview of the industry and environment. Future installments will review how you can use mobile VoIP on your devices. What it is: Mobile VoIP is simply VoIP access via a mobile device. The power of VoIP is that it allows inexpensive or even free calls to be made over the internet. Now with Mobile VoIP, you can take the freedom and flexibility of VoIP with you wherever you go. There are numerous VoIP clients for mobile devices including ones from Skype, fring, Gizmo and Truphone. There are many other VoIP providers, but all of these mentioned have clients for smartphones and/or Internet Tablets. Four technologies are required for mobile VoIP: a device, client software, a wireless network and a VoIP service. Industry and Environment: VoIP itself first came on the market in the early 1970’s (pre-history I know ;-). According to VoIP Monitor, revenue…

iPhone Gives Birth to the Next Generation Device

Posted on June 9, 2008

The importance of the iPhone to next generation devices is profound and therefore the importance of this device to us at Devicescape is likewise monumental. By all accounts, the iPhone recorded sales of 5.4 million devices in its first 10 months. Some say this is equal to the number of devices Nokia sells in a week, so why all the hub-bub about iPhone and not Nokia? The iPhone isn’t just a mobile phone. It’s in a special category of “smartphone” – and it charged out of the gate and captured 28% of the smartphone market within 6 months of launch. That’s a pretty spectacular market share for a new entrant into a fairly well established market. And the iPhone isn’t just stealing away existing marketshare – its expanding the market for smartphones and increasing demand. This smartphone market had been largely aimed at business and enterprise users and the iPhone is really aimed at traditional Apple markets – cools and creatives. This has opened up the smartphone market to new audiences that have not previously been targets. Called the “iPhone Effect” by industry analysts, ABI Research now predicts that the smartphone market will grow from around 10 per cent of…

Device = "computer power" not computer

Posted on June 5, 2008

Sometimes with advances in technology, people assume the use patterns of a previous system on the new. This happened with cars – which were referred to as the horseless carriage (and we still talk about horse power in our cars today). It happened with films – which were originally shot only in the framing of the proscenium arch. (It took DW Griffith’s Birth of a Nation to shift to shots of close ups, jump cuts, and tracking.) And it’s happened again and again in the tech industry. It makes sense why this happens. People look for patterns and always want to compare something new to something known. But understanding the true value of new technologies often requires breaking free from the paradigms of the past. Today’s Wi-Fi and internet enabled devices are an excellent example. Today’s devices have more processing power than the Nasa computers that originally put men on the moon – but they are not computers. What a consumer wants from their handset or smartphone isn’t a computer. They don’t want to have to wait while it boots up, they don’t want to have to log in and enter passwords and they certainly don’t want to have maneuver…

Starbucks+AT&T Sign Up

Posted on June 3, 2008

For those who have registered their Starbucks card and signed up for the 2 hours of free access and got your AT&T username, here’s how you can get your Devicescape account set up to use it automatically: From the My Wi-Fi page, choose AT&T Wi-Fi as the account type to add. Enter your new AT&T Wi-Fi user name with added after it (so, for example, mine would be the user name AT&T had assigned me was devicescape_john). Enter the password for your Starbucks account. Check the roaming box, and add the account. And that’s it. You should be able to log in automatically next time you visit a Starbucks location. Note: if you have another account type that works on the AT&T Wi-Fi network, such as Boingo Mobile or an AT&T DSL account, you will be better off using that and not adding a Starbucks AT&T Wi-Fi account since you are limited to just a single two-hour session each day with the Starbucks account (and remember you need to use the Starbucks card at least once every 30 days for it to stay active).

How Devicescape Is Used

Posted on June 2, 2008

Sometimes you feel used and it’s a bad thing. Not so for us these days. We initiated a pretty cool contest allowing our members to partake and celebrate our being embedded in the hot new Slacker Portable Internet Radio by giving them a chance to win one. All they had to do was enter (you have to play to win) and tell us how they use Devicescape. We got some pretty hysterical answers, one or two really weird (OK Wi-Fi fans may be on the edge) and a smattering of bawdy. But, mostly they were simply fabulous. Here are our TOP 10 favorite answers with some direct quotes from our members: 10.   Traveling on Business: Roberto S. tells us he travels over 75% of the time and he sent a list of 15 countries he visits regularly.  Like many of our business customers he says, "I use Devicescape to connect in hotels, airports, coffee shops, restaurants and client offices everywhere I go." 9.  "On the Move":  Many people wrote about using Devicescape walking in cities, across campuses and even on buses and trains.  Madison G. says, "I walk through downtown without needing to log in or hit accept on…