Isobar and Yahoo released a new study looking at the mobile web and it’s impact on our lives.
Some interesting things to note here:
I agree that mobile isn’t ready for primetime. The study mentions bandwidth and long download times. While I think that is certainly one hurdle, I think the interface challenges are probably even greater obstacles. The screen and the keyboards are just too small to lend themselves to a satisfying user experience. We have to have a better way to input our information into the device, and a more compelling way to get the information out. For example, a reliable voice interface and a heads up display built into a funky set of glasses..a wearable mobile device. Now, that would be cool, although I shudder to see what an airport would look like with everybody talking into their phones and wearing strange sunglasses. On second thought, that’s pretty much what airports do look like.
Probably the more interesting tidbits from the study had to do with the respondent’s attitudes towards mobile advertising: too boring, too irrelevant, too irritating. I think this marks a really interesting turn in attitudes towards advertising. We are expecting advertisers to be smarter, by knowing what we want, or at least serving ads relevant to the content they’re being served with. Customers have been conditioned by search and behavioral targeting to expect on target delivery of ads, and anything less just irritates the hell out of them. Hallelujah…it’s about frigging time marketers start getting that message.
On a tangential but somewhat related note, I read last week about a Phillips patent that could force TV viewers to sit through commercials without being able to zap them.
Columnist Dave Evans thinks this is a good thing, as it can provide viewers with two choices, either a free model supported by advertising, or a paid model without ads. At the first read of this, I was raging, with visions of Alex in a Clockwork Orange, his eyelids clamped open to force him to watch scenes of extreme violence.
Now, I’m somewhere in the middle. Like Evans says, this technology could be used to help enforce consumer control, but I fear the temptation will be to use it for less altruistic goals. Regardless, I think this is a continuing shift towards holding advertisers accountable for delivering relevant advertising, that actually adds value to the consumer experience, rather than detracts from it.
Phillips was quick to say it has no plans to use the technology. This is simply a IP protection issue. Yeah..right!