Mobile Multimedia - A New Peak For The Alpine Car Stereo

We all know that brand names matter when purchasing car audio hardware. There are brands that are surely more reputable than others. When you are at the store and they offer choice after choice after choice, suddenly you feel overwhelmed on what really to buy. But you can be assured of one thing, if they offer you an Alpine car stereo you can't go wrong with it.

Alpine car stereo and electronics, founded in 1978, is a world leader in the industry of high performance mobile electronics. They specialize in mobile multimedia, an integrated system approach incorporating digital entertainment, security and navigation products for the mobile entertainment.

Alpine car stereos are a new breed of units which feature the convergence of high performance audio, video, navigation and telematics in the form of Mobile Multimedia. Navigation systems act as the resource

center of the Alpine car stereo Mobile Multimedia lineup. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), DVD players, Dolby Digital systems, satellite digital audio radio, mobile data linking and communication

through telematics devices will be fused with navigation systems to create a platform of products. Mobile Multimedia integrates Alpine's innovative audio, video, security and navigation products, as well as

its new GUI for Drivers, human interface and information communications technology.

To grasp what the Alpine car stereo Mobile Multimedia is, take a look at the IVA-D901 Alpine car stereo Mobile Multimedia Station/CD/DVD Receiver/Ai-NET Controller. The IVA-D901 has 400% more pixels than a conventional in-vehicle display, meaning that it has 1.15 million pixel elements. It has 50W x 4 built-in power and 3 PreOuts (4 volt), SAT Radio ready, a Hard Disc Drive (HDD), and Alpine car stereo Navigation. Key features include:

- 7" Fully Motorized Wide Screen Monitor

- 18W x 4 MOSFET Amplifier

- Built-in Dolby Digital/DTS Decoder

- Bass Engine® Plus

- Subwoofer Level Control

- Bass Center Frequency Control

- Bass Band Width Adjustment

- Treble Center Frequency Control

- Subwoofer Phase Selector

- Bass Type Control

- 4-Ch Digital Time Correction

- 3 Position 12 dB/Oct Crossover

- MediaXpander(TM)

- SAT Radio Ready

- MP3 Text Information Display

- Quick Search Function

- CD/CD-R Playback

- CD Text, Text Display, Text Scroll


- MaxTune SQ Tuner

- 3 Auxilliary A/V Inputs with Remote Control Input

- Dedicated Navigation Input

- Dedicated Camera Input

- 2 Auxilliary Monitor A/V Outputs

- Navigation Audio Mix

- 3 PreOuts (4 volt)

- MM Driver (Hard Disc Drive) Ready

- MobileHub Ready

- Ai-NET Control Center DVD/CD/MP3 Changer Controller

- "Digital Art" Spectrum Analyzer Display

- RUE-4190 Universal Wireless Remote Control Included

If these all seems too much for you, Alpine car stereos also have more conventional head units to offer. The CDA-9835 Alpine car stereo In-Dash CD Player/Ai-Changer Controller lets you fully customize both

illumination and sound, with a range of 512 colors and super-versatile Bass Engine functions like digital time correction and parametric EQ. You can download audio parameter settings and connect and control as many as eight amps. The BioLite display, Menu key and rotary knob make operation extremely easy.

Like most Alpine car stereo units, it is also SAT Radio Ready, giving you a much greater choice of listening options than ordinary local AM/FM radio. You can select from among a wide range of music genres, news, sports, and talk programs with digital quality anywhere.

Is Email Marketing Becoming the Marketing of the Past Because of Mobile?

Gmail: research from Return Path suggested Gmail ended 2010 with some 193 million users. This is just one email provider in the world of the internet. Gmail users may be more active, however. For example, email service provider Mail Chimp publishes the total number of emails they send to each of the major email address providers. The results for July 2011 saw Hotmail and Gmail addresses as the most "popular" in mailing lists, closely followed by Yahoo! Mail, with AOL way behind. I think the reason for this is because they are Free and you can get more than one when one of them get's to much you just stop using it.

Now this is just the start of where this will take us in the future because of mobile and how companies are racing to be the number one mobile connection and marketing portal in the world. All over the globe companies are taking advantage of the latest and greatest changes in technology that will move your business faster, more direct and to the most used media's today. The fast growing media today used to reach more people in the best way is through video. Yes ever since the creation of the television people can embrace visual and sound more than written words. This is seen just by the creation of a companies like Amazon and the marketing of Visual and audio books are the biggest sellers today. Also the creation of sites like I-tunes, and other sites on the internet that bring music, audio, video and more to the world with one click have become some of the biggest income producing companies on the planet. Just I-tunes alone has hit 500 million downloaded tune, books, and video's all for mobile devices.

In business it is becoming more common not to have their customers or their employees travel all over the world when they can have a world conference on a computer and have all of the same impact as being in the same place except for the sense of touch and smell. They have not figure this one and smell out yet but I will be somewhere in the world some technology company is trying to figure this one out.

Now for marketing for the small to average size business that do not have the large marketing budgets of the big corporations there are solutions. Technology companies realize they can make more money playing to the back bones companies of the world the small business than all the big companies combined. Simple or complex the programs are becoming more multi-tasking than ever before you can now not only send email to your customer but you can incorporate high impact and emotional pieces with video into it all without having to create a single piece of information.

The business owner today can implement a marketing campaign with just a few clicks of the button on their computer or their mobile device and now all of this can be sent to computers all over the globe or too mobile devices around the world all with one or two click. Let's take just on medium out their which we hear a lot about on the news or the internet "Social Media" I.e. Facebook, Twitter, My space, just to name a few there are actually hundreds of social media site on the internet. But let's just focus on this is the size of a country having twice as many members than the entire population of the United State of America. Today Facebook has over 600 million people worldwide and growing at around 100,000 per day at last estimate.

With the growth of Facebook and other social media sites they are all bring in two aspects that cannot be ignored today 'Video and Mobile" these two media combine the two most powerful forms of marketing ever created on the planet. Let's just take video first the third most visited site on the world is all about video. The number on part of You-tube is broadcast me which is where you can go and click with a camera and broadcast a video of you and what you are doing now. The world is now and will continue to be and instant gratification world we all want it now and we want it faster and faster than ever before in history.

When a Business owner combines Video and Print all in one and then places in on a mobile platform they transform their marketing into the fastest most visual and popular form of marketing today and it can reach more people in the shortest time frame ever. Want to see how this can be accomplished all you have to do is watch a video on some of these videos have had millions of views in a single week and the best part is once it is up there it is there for more people to watch it whenever and tell their friends about it. This is what is called going viral! Want your business to go viral or just deliver better quality content with more action and attraction than create a mobile video and tell your story to the world.

Let Marine Audio Help You Get the Sound You Want From Your Boat

Today mobile electronics aren't just for vehicles with wheels-you may instinctively think of car stereos when you hear about mobile audio shops, but many also offer marine audio to bring great sound to your boat! Whether you prefer surf the waves on a wakeboard or just soak up the sun on the deck, a marine audio system can help you enjoy great music while you're on the water.

Like aftermarket car audio systems, marine audio is usually made up of component electronics for great sound performance. Including speakers, subwoofers, decks, and amps, your boat's sound system can be customized for optimal performance that suits your listening style. One important thing to keep in mind is who will be listening to your music-especially if you tow wakeboarders, water-skiers, and tubers, you'll want rear-directed speakers so they can enjoy the tunes, too!

Marine video is even an option with today's exciting technology: whether you're interested in a GPS navigation system or a video monitor and DVD player to watch movies, your local mobile electronics shop can bring marine video to your boat.

Marine electronics have a number of challenges different from car audio, namely the presence of water! The most important thing about your boat stereo system is that it is correctly installed. While some components, such as marine speakers, can tolerate quite a bit of moisture, other parts of the system have to be kept dry. A professional marine audio installer can help design a system that ensures waterproof locations for vulnerable components as well as offering superior sound. They'll integrate your speakers and the rest of the sound system into your boat for attractive appearance as well as ideal performance.

Be on the lookout for car electronics shops that claim to install marine audio without the experience to back up that statement. You really don't want amateurs working on your system, and it really is a different application. Just because an installer can put a sound system in a car or truck doesn't mean they're qualified to install your marine audio system.

For correct, waterproof installation and the best performance, use a shop with experienced, trained marine audio technicians and marine grade components. You'll get aesthetically beautiful, functional results and a sound system you'll be able to enjoy for years!

Improve Your Road Trips With Mobile Video Systems and Other Car Electronics

Road trips can be a blast, especially if you have the right accessories in your vehicle. Adding a mobile video or audio system to your car or truck can make your future road trips safer and a lot more fun.

If you're planning a road trip, you'll need to be prepared to spend a lot of time in your vehicle. When you're on the road for a lengthy period, there's a much greater risk of getting into an accident, and there's an even bigger risk of boredom. You can make sure that your next road trip is safe and fun when you secure the right mobile electronics for your car or truck.

Ensure a Smooth and Safe Ride

One of the best electronic additions that you can make to your vehicle is a backup camera. These devices will do a lot to ensure that you don't get into an accident when you are backing out of a driveway or a parking spot. Without backup cameras, you'll have to turn around and crane to see if anything is behind you. Even then, you are likely to miss seeing some objects. A backup camera can also give you great peace of mind, as it will allow you to notice if there are any small children or animals playing behind your car. Because backup cameras can do so much to increase your safety, they're an essential addition to any family vehicle. These systems can be especially useful to you on road trips when you might have to park in unfamiliar areas and back your vehicle up.

Entertainment for Your Kids

Passing the time on a road trip can be a real challenge, and this is especially true when you have children. While parents are often able to stay focused on the road or occupied with a book, it's much more difficult for kids to find ways to entertain themselves in the car. Fortunately, this is something that a car audio video system can help with. Adding a car DVD system with a built-in video screen is a great way for you to keep your kids entertained when you're on the road. Your children can happily watch videos on your car DVD system for hours, and that will give you the time that you need to focus on your driving. If your family likes road trips, then adding a new car audio video system to your vehicle is ideal.

Securing Professional Installation

If you want to add a car audio system to your vehicle, then getting help from professional installation experts is essential. Installing these mobile audio and video systems on your own can be nearly impossible, especially if you don't have any experience with this type of work. If you want these accessories to be ready by the time your next road trip rolls around, then getting help from car audio installation professionals is the right move. Find a good mobile audio and video shop that you can trust, and get these great accessories added to your car as soon as possible.

Aftermarket Mobile Video: Options for Adding Car DVD Capability to Your Car or Truck

Looking to take your in-car entertainment experience to the next level? Whether you're interested in amusing the kids or you plan to enjoy the system yourself, adding aftermarket car video equipment to your car or truck can help you get the absolute most out of your vehicle. If you're thinking that installing a car DVD player is too invasive or too expensive, you may want to reconsider. There are a variety of mobile video options on the market today that cater to a full spectrum of budgets, styles, and viewing needs.

Ceiling Mounted

Most of these aftermarket car DVD players are what's considered "all-in-one" systems. That means the DVD player, screen, and even speakers are all combined into one unit. All-in-one car video setups are particularly attractive because installation is simple and straightforward: All they need is a power hookup and soon you'll be cruising along with your favorite movie! Ceiling-mounted DVD players provide a number of benefits including easy viewing from anywhere in the backseat, fast installation, and fewer driver distractions (over a dash-mounted system). Ceiling-mounted in-car DVD systems also have the advantage of being most similar to the factory systems commonly installed in cars and trucks today, so with professional installation your new aftermarket DVD player will look virtually stock.

Headrest Mounted

Another popular car video solution is the headrest mount. Also commonly found as all-in-ones, headrest-mounted mobile video systems offer all the same benefits as ceiling mounted equipment, with a few additional advantages. One of these is improved visibility: Some drivers dislike that the rearview mirror can be obscured by the screen with ceiling mounted players. Putting in headrest monitors eliminates that issue. The other primary advantage of a headrest system is that each headrest has its own screen AND its own DVD player. That means the kids won't have to decide on one movie to share. Instead, each headrest video player can show a separate movie.

Fully Installed

If you're a major car audio fan or you're looking to create a showstopper, you can go all out. Skilled mobile electronics installers can hook up video screens and car DVD players in almost any part of your vehicle: dashes, seat backs, doors, ceilings, trunks... These systems can include any number of monitors, source inputs, speakers, and even components like gaming systems. You name it, and they can probably do it. Working with a local car audio video shop, you can create a fully customized video entertainment experience for your ride, have it professionally installed, and be on the road to out-of-this-world car video in no time.

When it comes to in-car video, the sky's the limit. However, that doesn't mean you have to take your mobile entertainment system to the extreme. With all-in-one options available for ceiling or headrest installation, there are affordable, attractive solutions for adding a car DVD player to your car or truck without going overboard. To learn more about specific product offerings or to get started on adding in-car video to your vehicle, visit your area mobile electronics shop today.

Enjoy Superior Entertainment Where You Want It With Customized Home or Mobile Electronics Systems

Customized car or whole-house audio and video systems let you enjoy music, media, and more with the flexibility and high-quality sound and visual performance that you want. Call your local home or auto electronics specialist today to get the entertainment system of your dreams.

Everyone has their own taste when it comes to entertainment, from movies to television to music. When you are a true entertainment connoisseur, it's important to have systems in place that will allow you to enjoy the media of your choice in the best way possible. This means having access to your chosen entertainment in the precise location you desire and also having high definition delivery systems that make the listening or viewing experience truly exceptional. Whether you want to be able to enjoy movies on the go by installing an in-car DVD player, or you want to hear your music from any place in your home with a house audio system, your local audio and visual electronics specialists can help you take your entertainment experience to a whole new level.

A generation ago, a car DVD player would have sounded like science fiction. Today, though, it's a hot accessory that can make long car trips seem like a luxury. From occupying restless children while on the road to meeting your own personal entertainment needs, mobile video systems are a great way to take your favorite entertainment with you when you're on the move. If you have not purchased a vehicle that has this DVD capacity, getting a custom-installed system may be just the ticket. Mobile electronics experts will work with you to determine exactly what type of system, screens, and controls you want and can create a unique setup for your vehicle that will function optimally to meet your needs and desires. You shouldn't have to leave your favorite entertainment pastimes behind when you're away from home, and, with the help of your local mobile video professional, you don't have to.

When you are at home, it is just as important to have a great sound and visual system in place to let you enjoy music, movies, and more. Being able to engage in your entertainment activities anywhere in your home is a major aspect of a great system. This might involve installing outdoor speakers or house-wide audio so that you'll have access to your music no matter where you are. You might also be looking for an actual home theater where you and your friends can relax together without dealing with crowds. A custom entertainment system specialist will talk with you to find out what type of audio installation, home theater installation or other entertainment elements you're seeking and will design a system for your house to make those dreams a reality. With their help, your home entertainment experience will be as full and as comfortable as you could have ever wished.

Custom electronics specialists can help transform your car or your home into an entertainment destination. Individually designed home audio and car DVD systems let you enjoy your favorite movies, music, and other entertainment in high definition no matter where you are.

Free Video Conferencing

What is video conferencing?

Video conferencing is the two way video communication where presenter or presenters can chat with the audience through live video and audio streaming with the help of a camera and streaming server. It reinstates the need to meet in person with the geographical dispersed audience and reduces the amount of travel required.

Components of Interactive Video Conferencing

Video conference consists of:

  • Live Video And Audio Streaming - Two-way video broadcast is one of the fundamental features of interactive live video conferencing. It allows multiple presenter and each presenter can have the complete control of the session. Not just audience can see and attend to presenter(s) speeches but presenters can also view and interact with the audience, if necessary. This two-way audio/video streaming increases the effectiveness of content and knowledge being delivered.

  • Online Chat And Speaker Rooms - To cater audience questions presenter can allow live chat or speaker rooms to allow different speakers to interact with the audience through text based chat and live discussion facilities. Speakers rooms are the innovative segregated chat rooms that are built based on the speaker or presenter's area of expertise to connect audience and multiple speakers more effectively and minimize noise.

  • Hands-Up Or Q/A Features - Hands-up feature is a dedicated question/answer feature that allows individuals to raise questions through voice and video enabled chat during the session and participate interactively in the presentation.

  • Interactive Surveys/Polls - These user centric assessment and engagement are used in video conferences to gauge the comprehension level, aptitude, or audience feedback on certain topics before, at some interval, or after the conference. Presenter can post question(s) during the sessions at different intervals - MCQs, True/False, or Descriptive - to understand audience requirements and know grasp on the knowledge delivered.

  • Document Attachment - Presenter can attach and distribute documents such as PDFs, Word Files, Excel sheets, Images, and PowerPoint Presentations, etc. during the live conferencing to increase comprehension on different complex topics and assist through supporting resources.

  • Real-Time Desktop Sharing - Real-time desktop sharing allows presenters to communicate and present documents, videos, animations, software simulations, graphs, and Web pages right through the computer and interact live with the content presented.

  • Instant Recording - Presenter can make instant recordings of the session or a part of it for Web distribution, edited publishing, and future Web cast.

Types of Free Video Conferencing

Omnipresent free video conferencing is available in different modes and formats. It facilitates communication and development in almost all verticals including but not limited to healthcare, education, retail, government, and manufacturing industries. Free video conferencing tools can be categorized as follows:

  1. Social Media Platforms With the advent of video features on social media sites such as Facebook Video Chat and Google+ Hangout, video conferencing is anticipated to grow further and faster - in corporate as well as community or social communication. Google Hangout is getting considerable attention in the market and turning out to be a useful communication and collaboration application to connect with an audience worldwide to demonstrate upcoming and new products/services, present ideas to the like-minded professionals and peers, discuss educational topics with the students, or have fun with online friends and relatives.

  2. Web Messengers Web messengers such as Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, and Microsoft Windows Live Messenger have played a significant part in revolutionizing and evolving video communication on the Web. Windows Messenger is one of the earliest adopters of interactive live video conferencing and has a noteworthy contribution in advancement of peer-to-peer video communication. These Web messengers are available free of cost and engage audience with no substantial cost through an internet connection.

  3. Mobile Applications Communication is getting mobile. Free mobile video conferencing applications are the next big thing. Cutting-edge video applications such as iVisit, ooVoo, and Fring, etc. are getting popular every day. The advancement in mobile communication is influencing video chat, conferencing, and streaming on advanced 3G/4G phones such as iPhone, SamSung Galaxy Phone, and Nokia Fusion phones, etc. to evolve and improve faster and become accessible for the users of these phones. Development and resourcefulness of applications - be it live conferencing or a plain video chat - are becoming trivial in competing mobile market and for the success/failure of certain devices.

  4. Live Streaming Facilities Beside the advancement of video conferencing solutions on mobile and Web messengers, online live streaming platforms such as YouTube Live Streaming, USTREAM, and are still the most widely used and appreciated video conferencing solutions worldwide because of the ease of use and flexibility these software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications offer.

Improve Your Mobile Electronics Business by Connecting With Other Likeminded Companies

Mobile electronics is a high-end, specialized industry, and so it can sometimes be difficult to find the same networking and business opportunities that are available in other sectors. However, organizations exist that bring together mobile electronics companies to provide resources and information that can improve both business practices and performance.

Membership organizations for car audio video and vehicle security manufacturers, vendors, and installers provide crucial services to these mobile electronics businesses. Unlike other industries that have long-established industry structures, businesses specializing in mobile electronics have been in a somewhat isolated position because the industry is fairly new and serves a niche market. With the advent of unifying groups, though, these specialist companies are able to engage in the same networking and business opportunities as their counterparts in other fields. If your company is part of the aftermarket car audio, video, or security customization scene, it is well worth your while to research what membership organizations are out there and to take advantage of the many services offered through joining them.

First and foremost, a membership organization for mobile electronics specialists is an indispensable networking tool. From giving you a way to simply know who else is out there in your industry, to providing opportunities to share knowledge, experiences, and stories, these organizations facilitate the networking process in a way that's simply impossible without their help. Networking is a specific term for building relationships, and that's exactly what these groups encourage. Through in-person events, online forums, and regular conference calls, they allow manufacturers, vendors, retailers, and installers to all connect to each other, often for the first time. At minimum, these practices generate excitement about the industry and create a sense of solidarity among the different members. And, in the best cases, new business opportunities can grow out of such connections, which strengthen the individual companies and also the industry as a whole.

In addition to the networking angle, membership groups in the mobile audio, visual, and security field offer specific business tools and opportunities to participating members. These include professional development programs, such as the training of new members in sales and marketing tactics, and business analysis of past and current company performance. Because these membership organizations have a vision of the field as a whole, they're able to synthesize the best business practices, choices, and models, out there and share the resulting knowledge and information with their members. Individual companies have neither the resources nor the perspective to do this, so it is up to the membership organization to make these training and informational services available to the respective mobile electronics companies in the group.

Businesses that are in the same industry need to know each other and to have a place to pool their common knowledge. Mobile electronics membership organizations provide the framework in which to do both of these things, and thus serve to strengthen and advance this sector as a whole. If your business is involved in car audio, video, or security systems, joining a membership organization can help make your business more visible, more informed, and more connected.

The Mobile Goldmine?

The predictions are that mobile content - pictures, audio, video and games - will be a massive market within the next few years. What are the opportunities and threats for developers of that content? Mark Brill from Ping Corporation Ltd looks at the issues for mobile content, and what the future may hold.

The Opportunities

All of the research shows that mobile content is going to be massive in the next five years. Screen digest estimated the value of this content to be £5.46bn a year by 2011. A 2006 Gartner Survey estimated that mobile content would be worth a less conservative $78 billion within the next 5 years.

We have already seen a 'first wave' of mobile content, largely dominated by ringtones and backgrounds. However the predicted 'second wave' of mobile content is almost upon us and it is expected to generate greater revenues, with a longer lifespan than the first wave.

What will bring about this second wave?

The growth in mobile content will be driven by improvements in technology such as higher resolution screens, better software and improved data connections, such as 3G. Handset technology is converging with internet technologies through the introduction of devices such as the I-phone and the impending Google Phone. The line between phone, music or video player and PDA is becoming seamless.

At the same time the mobile phone operators are reviewing their pricing policies for data. Until recently, the cost of downloading was a few pounds per megabyte. This was a major barrier to downloading content. Most of the operators in the UK are now offering a flat rate for data, following a similar model to home broadband.

Premium SMS offers a simple revenue model allowing micro payments to be taken quickly. Identifying a phone number through SMS also allows for easy user and age verification with content restriction to unregistered phones. The growth of 3rd party developers will continue. Many industry observers regard D2C (direct to consumer) as the most likely area to succeed with the most engaging content and the best user experience.

With over 3 billion phones worldwide, mobile technology is in wider use than PC-based internet access or television. As such it has the potential to become an enormously powerful tool for selling and distributing content. A goldmine for mobile content providers.

Selling onto mobile

Typically the route to market is as follows:

* Content is created - pictures, video or audio

* The content provider sells through a distributor - such as Player-X or direct to the consumer via a platform such as immedia24.

Distributors will generally work with operator portals, such as Vodafone Live or T-Mobile's T-Zones. This is always operated on a revenue share - the content is not bought outright, but the revenue from Premium SMS is shared between the portal, distributor and content developer.

A D2C platform, such as immedia24 offers considerably more control over the content and a larger revenue share. Potentially it has a higher audience than the operator portal simply because many operators insist on exclusivity for content. The disadvantage is that there is no existing mobile customer base. D2C works well where there is already an audience through the web or other media, or where there is an advertising budget to see the content.

The Threats

In spite of some great opportunities, there are still many problems with creating and delivering mobile content.

Mobile Internet is accessed by only 23% of mobile users in the UK. Although at over 15m people that is still a considerable market, it is not as ubiquitous as SMS.

Whilst there are many people who can create great mobile content, the route to delivery is problematic. The mobile operators have generally regarded themselves as the key providers of mobile content, assuming that most people will want to download through their portals. However, it has been shown that the mobile users do not regard their operator as a trustworthy content provider. Operator Interference The operators have tried to restrict 3rd party content in many ways. Unlike an internet service provider, the mobile operators' online connections are made via their portals. Not only do they restrict which sites can be accessed, but they often alter the content itself. Ostensibly this has been under the guise of formatting the content for mobile, however there are examples of operators altering the display of 3rd party sites to remove much of the functionality and ruin the user experience.

Poor User Experience

The problems with poor user experience also relates to both the handsets themselves and the route to delivery. Whilst screen resolution, memory and functionality have improved on many handsets, usability can still be poor. The I-phone for example has been plagued with problems - everything from the battery life to high data charges. In the UK the I-phone will be locked to the O2 network. So if you want to change networks you will simply be left with a £400 brick!

At the point of download user experience has been equally poor. For example 3g in the UK is not as fast as broadband and is not always available. Poor pricing policies have compounded these problems. High profile Premium Rate rip-offs combined with confusing charges has resulted in many mobile users steering well clear of anything that may involve a premium rate SMS for downloading. Although flat rate data pricing is common place in the UK, the charges for accessing data abroad are still over £7 per megabyte.


A variety of operating systems, screen sizes and screen ratios make delivery of pictures, video and audio somewhat problematic. This is largely a technical issue for developers rather than the content creator. However the fact that there are few standards in mobile operating systems means that in the end the user will suffer. One poor experience with mobile content can put a user off for a very long time.

Low Premium Rate SMS Payouts

Whilst Premium SMS (PSMS) offers some great opportunities for both micro billing and non-credit card billing systems, the payouts offered by the networks are very low. For a £1.50 PSMS that the user pays (£1.26 after VAT), the operator and aggregator will take over 30p. This figure can be much higher on some networks. This leaves little over 90p for the content provider, creator or developer.

It means that the content provider can be forced into a position of charging considerably more for mobile content than when it is delivered though credit card billing on a web-site.

The Possibilities

With all these draw backs you may be thinking that there is little point in pursuing the Mobile Goldmine. However the potential of the mobile content market clearly exists. The issue, as with any new information technology, is to ensure that the needs of the user are understood and clearly met.

The convergence argument suggests that as we adopt more I-phone style handsets the line between mobile and web will disappear. Simply put, there is no need for developers to worry about mobile content specifically as we will all have the web on our phones.

Looking at the threats outlined above, it is clear that a division will remain between the internet and mobile. Inevitably small screen sizes and keypads will always create a different experience for the user. If I look at my own usage of mobile internet, I will acknowledge an email, but not write a lengthy reply. Whilst I may search for a film showing time or check an address on my web connected phone, I would not use it to book a flight or make a bank transfer. That is, as much as anything else a practical consideration of what it is possible to do with a small keyboard or screen.

Understanding the Technology

The key to accessing the Mobile Goldmine is to understand the relationship between a user and the technology. For example, we relate to our TV quite differently to our PC and the web, even though these days the technologies are similar.

What is the relationship between a user and their phone?

* Primarily it is for SMS (over 4 billion are sent each month in the UK) and phone calls

* It is a means of storing phone numbers - over 60% of people use their mobile as their main, often their only address book

* It is a means of killing time - playing games or sending messages while waiting for a bus, train or friend

* The phone is linked to personal identity

This last point is significant. For many people, the phone that they own, the ringtone or the background are all statements about how they see themselves. It is a highly personal item that is with them almost of the time. We have seen this in our studies with teenage mobile users, where their phone is now more significant to their peers than the clothes or the trainers they wear. Two years ago the Motorola Razor was the best selling phone, even though it performed the worst in usability tests. It was sleek, flat and came in bright pink. These factors were more important than the practical considerations.

Thus the key to successful mobile content is to develop specific content that meets the needs of the user. The first key to success is good usability. It is estimated that for each additional click required to access content, the provider will loose 30% of it's potential audience.

It should then engage the user in a way that supports their identity. In some areas, such as music or sport it is quite straight forward to engage at this level. In sectors such as the film or television, it may prove to be harder requiring more creative skills and ideas. It is also important to view mobile content not as an end in itself, but as a tool to enhance the user's experience across many platforms, such as the web, television or cinema. There are numerous examples where the web has successfully been used to enhance and support more traditional media and mobile may be used in the same way.

Ultimately the best approach to developing mobile content is not to be driven by the capabilities of the technology, but rather to understand the user's relationship with their phone and produce clever and engaging content.

© Mark Brill, Ping Corporation Ltd, 2007.

This article was written to accompany the Own-IT seminar, The Mobile Goldmine?, in October 2007.

Ping Corporation is an independent company providing solutions for mobile messaging and content delivery. Mark has worked in the sector for five years, having previously developed web applications since 1994.

How to Choose Mobile Electronics for Your Car: Add Convenience, Safety, or Entertainment

Interested in upgrading your car or truck with mobile electronics but aren't sure where to start? From car GPS to car alarms, there are lots of great options out there, but it's easy to get overwhelmed when you're considering the full array of aftermarket electronics for your vehicle. Should you get the remote starter first or opt for the car audio system? Would it be better to install a car alarm before or after the car DVD player? Here are some of the most popular aftermarket car audio and electronics selections broken down to help make your tough choice a bit easier.


Installing mobile electronics on your car or truck can help make your life a little simpler. Two favorite options for adding a bit more convenience to your daily routine are:

GPS navigation systems. Providing directional guidance and point-of-interest mapping, car GPS systems help keep you from getting lost no matter where you're headed. GPS navigation systems are a great investment if you frequently drive in unfamiliar areas, have a knack for making wrong turns, or even if you just need to minimize travel times between errands or appointments.

Remote starters. Enabling you to turn on your vehicle from a distance, remote car starters allow you to preheat the engine and warm or cool the passenger compartment (depending on the season) for optimal comfort from the moment you get in the driver's seat. You may want to consider installing an automatic car starter if you hate the extreme temperatures of chilly January mornings or steamy July afternoons or if you're concerned about the wear and tear of driving without preheating your engine.


Every little bit counts when it comes to safety and your vehicle. Among the more popular options for increasing the safety of your car or truck are:

Car alarms. Car alarm installation is a practical choice for any driver who wants to safeguard their car or truck by preventing theft. And remember, if you're planning on installing other mobile electronics, you may want to put in the car alarm first so that your vehicle security system will be in place to protect your other components once they are installed.

Bluetooth integration. Helping you keep both hands on the wheel by making calling hands-free, installing a Bluetooth system in your vehicle adds both convenience and improved safety. Bluetooth installation is practical whether you make business or personal calls, and with this hands-free technology, you can also get additional features like voice texting and on-screen caller ID that make driving and chatting a breeze.


Of course, when people think about mobile electronics, what comes to mind most often is entertainment. Leading choices for improving your entertainment experience when you're behind the wheel include:

Car audio. From speakers and amps to new head units, you have virtually limitless options when it comes to upgrading your vehicle's car audio system. If your current car stereo is seriously lacking or you spend a lot of time on the road, installing a new car audio setup can help you make your driving experience a whole lot more enjoyable.

Car DVD players. Bringing the enjoyment of movies to your car or truck, in-car video is a favorite way to provide optimal entertainment for children and adults alike. Ideal for everything from long road trips to errands, choosing to install a car DVD player makes sense if you're looking to diversify your mobile entertainment options beyond car audio.

No matter which car electronics choices you select, you're certain to love the convenience, safety, or entertainment they provide. So happy driving! Contact your area car audio video shop to learn more or to get started on your installation.