Locative Lab

researching locative media

Textually.org: Nokia Money

Nokia today announced it will offer mobile banking to serve the basic financial needs of consumers. The service could be launched as early as the beginning of 2010. IBTimes reports.

“According to a statement released by Nokia, the Nokia Money is designed to be “as simple and convenient as making a voice call or sending an SMS.”

The service will allow consumers to use their mobile phones to send money to other people and to pay for goods, pay utility bills and top up their sim cards with credit.

To support this services the statement said Nokia is building a wide network of Nokia Money agents that will provide facilities for consumers to deposit or withdraw cash.

Nokia Money would be useful in developing countries where access to banking is restricted but mobile phones have penetrated to even the remotest of corners.

… The first glimpse of the Nokia Money financial service will be demonstrated at the Nokia World on 2nd and 3rd of September 2009 in Germany.”

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London Calling: Advertising in 2020 – a sneak peek from Ogilvy and Acision

I have just had the good fortune to be sent a brilliant white paper from Acision and OgilvOne, developed as part of their ongoing collaboration in the mobile advertising space.

You can download the entire paper or view it on slideshare below.  For quick re-tweeting, use the short URL http://tr.im/ad2020 to access this blog post.

While the title of the paper is “Mobile Advertising – 2020 vision“, I think it actually goes further and is a very brave (and I believe accurate) look at how ADVERTISING will look in 2020.

Mobile Advertising 2020 Vision

View more documents from Andrew Grill.

The paper echoes many of the thoughts and sentiments I have been expressing at various conferences and events over the last 18 months so I am delighted to promote it here.

Some of the key points raised in the paper are

1. The advertising agency will transform from one which is industry led, namely by the brands, to one where the individual is brought more into the communication process.

2. The consumers will evolve from those having advertisements pushed to them, to being able to select what information is allowed to reach them.

3. Different types of mobile operators will be formed

The paper looks at the concept of mobile directed advertising – quoting from the paper below

“Mobile advertising in 2020 will be mobile directed advertising. It is about collaboration and individual control. The mobile device will enable the individuals to decide where, when and on what screen they would like to receive their chosen advertisement.

Advertising will move away from creating campaigns which are forced upon particular consumer categories and instead will transform to engage in constant conversations, where both parties participate.”

As I mentioned in the intro, I think this paper is actually describing the way pure advertising will look in 2020.  An interesting parallel is that back in 1999 when I was working at Telstra, we hired futurist Nicholas Negroponte to speak at a large executive customer briefing.

This was at the height of the “e-business craze”.  The one thing he said 10 years ago that has really stuck was that “…in a few years we won’t be talking about ‘e-business’ – it will just be business, conducted online”.

The same is true here.  In 2020 we won’t be talking about “mobile advertising” and “Facebook advertising”, we will just be talking about advertising…or will we?

Another key concept raised in the paper is that of peer advocacy. Here the paper suggests

“There will be a greater involvement between advertisers and consumers. One manifestation of this, which will be led very much by individuals, is that of peer advocacy. This is something which has been driven by the social networking sites.

There is nothing more powerful in advertising terms as personal recommendation. One can recommend to another that something should be used, engaged with or bought as easily as recommending that should be avoided.

This concept is already gaining momentum in the online world, for instance, most people will check Trip Advisor before booking into an unknown hotel to see what other people have said about the establishment.”

This is one of my central arguments around why this paper is actually a window into advertising in 2020.  With the explosion of social media, and sites like twitter hitting the mainstream, power is being transferred to the individual.

The paper strongly supports one of my arguments that in the future the individual will decide what advertising / information they want to receive, and on what device / medium.

We will see the shift from the broadcast medium (where the same ad is sent to everybody) to a model where brands have to breach our own firewall subject to our own set of rules.  The role of our peers in discovering and recommending things we like cannot be underestimated – and this is happening already.

At a recent social media event run by Figaro Digital in London (see the tweets from this event at http://tr.im/figaro) I overheard 2 brands chatting in the break.

“…where do we begin – we need to be in this [social media] space but we have 16 agencies all doing small pieces.  We need the right person to tell us where to start – and how we listen to conversations online”.

Individuals are becoming empowered by social media tools to get information from their own trusted advisors – their friends, family and followers. In fact is this a new phrase – the “3F’s of recommendation?”

While the paper does not directly say it (given Ogilvy are one of the world’s largest agencies in the world they can’t say this), what I picked up is that advertising as we know it, and hence the ecosystem of brands and agencies will also change forever by 2020. 

The paper uses mobile as the proxy for change, but I firmly believe that it is social media driving the change and starting to set the agenda. 

To test this – the temperature around mobile advertising seems to have changed over the last 6-8 months.  Brands and agencies now realise that mobile operators are the ones in the way here – slowing progress.

Social media is a hotter topic because a brand can get better value by interacting via social media than via mobile alone.

Better value because they get an immediate insight from what individuals are saying about their brand (and the rise of social listening tools from companies such as Radian6, Techrigy, Scout Labs and others will help facilitate this – look out for a separate post soon on this topic).

Better value because they can identify and understand the influencers of a brand, product and service and work to provide them with the best possible information – allowing them in turn to promote the brand through their own trusted networks.

Better value because they will be able to shorten development cycle times as real time information about a product can be fed back to the brand, rather than conducting lengthy primary market research behind one way mirrors…

I think we are starting to see a trend where individuals get their “news” and information from multiple trusted sources.  Indeed, one of my morning rituals while on the tube into work is to browse my twitter feed, saving interesting links offered by my followers to delicious or instapaper for later reading.

In fact I cannot remember the last time I responded to or bought something as a result of a “traditional” ad in the mainstream media.  I can however point to multiple examples of products and services I have bought (and continue to buy) as a direct result of a recommendation from an online friend or follower.

So If I am doing this as an innovator, it cannot be too long until more and more people turn to social networks for information and filter out traditional advertising.  Brands know this shift is happening (and this is why at the Figaro event 180 brands and agencies were turned away – such was the demand). 

In contrast, mobile advertising conferences I have attended recently have struggled to get between 60 – 100 people maximum in comparison.  The other problem with mobile is that everyone keeps talking about what has to happen, but the brands are not convinced because the operators make it too hard, and consumers don’t want mainstream ads on their mobile.

The Acision / Ogilvy white paper backs up this claim –

“According to Informa Telecoms & Media, Proctor & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser, believed to be spending around USD 6 billion on advertising in 2008, has a meagre USD 10 million allocated for mobile advertising. That is only 0.17% of its overall advertising budget

A quick summary of the rest of this excellent paper tells us

  • The transformation from brand led advertising will be driven by individuals selecting what brand information is allowed to reach them.
  • Each individual will have a digital cog which matches the needs of the individual to their brand affiliation in their vaporframe.
  • We will see individuals identifying brands which match their own needs or interests and granting them permission to reach them.
  • Successful brands in 2020 will be those which collaborate with individuals, include them in communities and rating of their products or services.
  • From a mobile advertising point of view, brands/advertisers are yet to come to the party. Within their budget for advertising there is no separate line item for mobile.
  • With the establishment of industry agreed metrics, the next development along the way to 2020 will be that reach will be overtaken in terms of value for advertising measurement.
  • In order to achieve this transition from reach to value it is essential that more is known about the audience. Here we will see a greater reliance on preferences.
  • Facilitated advertising –  the greater the understanding about individual’s preferences and way of life will translate into a deeper relationship between the brands and the individual.
  • Peer Advocacy – Peer advocacy in the future will develop to include monetizing these recommendations. It will progress beyond good citizenship to share recommendations or cautionary notes into a mechanism which is rated.
  • Network influencers will be incentivised through financial rewards, for example, where they have clearly contributed towards a converted purchase.

One of the best quotes in the paper was

“Going forward, people’s buying behaviour will be driven not only by the effectiveness of the advertisement but by the peer advocacy surrounding that particular item or brand.”

Powerful stuff!  Don’t be put off by the title of the whitepaper. If you are a brand or are involved in advertising of any sort, you need to read this paper today to see how your industry will change.

The new social networks I believe will be the real catalyst for change.  Mobile is helping to drive the change, but not on its own.

Well done Acision and Ogilvy for this thought provoking and challenging look into advertising in 2020.

If you liked this article, please feel free to sign up to my RSS feed, follow me on twitter via @andrewgrill, drop me an email via my contact page or just leave a comment below. 

Perhaps I will see you at an upcoming event –  I will be speaking at ad:tech London in September.

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Send a Text Message to Planet Gliese

070424_gliese581c_02.jpg Australian Science Minister Kim Carr will today send an interstellar SMS to Gliese 581d, a planet outside our Solar System, which at a distance of 20 light years, or 194 trillion kilometres, away is the closest Earth-like planet that could support life. The Australian reports.

quotemarksright.jpgThe message, to be sent from Canberra’s Questacon to mark National Science Week, will say: “Hello from Australia on the planet we call Earth. These messages express our people’s dreams for the future. We want to share those dreams with you.”

If there are aliens out there, they will need a dish to receive the message, which will not arrive before 2029.

It is believed to be the first attempt to make contact with the planet, which astronomers believe could hold abundant liquid water, necessary for supporting life. The planet, whose “years” last just 66.8 days, was discovered in 2007.quotesmarksleft.jpg

Australians can send text messages to the planet via www.hellofromearth.net. Here are some samples of messages sent:

All your bases are belonging to us

Launceston , Australia

Can you take me away from this god aweful place. thanks in Advance!

P Linsay

Brisbane , Australia

No idea how you’re supposed to be able to read English so good luck! hopefully this finds something out there, greetings from Australia!!


Gold Coast , Australia

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Universal Phone Concept for both blind and sighted people


The Universal Phone, by D Seunghan Song, is designed for both blind and sighted people. How does it work? Thousands of micro pins dynamically raise and lower forming a tactile surface for all to get touchy with. Sighted people get the elusive tactile.

[Yanko Design]

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The Box

BBC News is following a container around world for a year to tell stories of globalisation and the world economy – track the BBC Box on a live updating map as it travels the globe.


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le chasseur

a wifi thriller in dislocated parts
this is the trailer for our geo film project
the chasseur or the hunter was filmed for and on location in buttes chaumont park in paris

the film will be viewable via a locative aware device in the park itself

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Map/Territory by Timo Arnall

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Apple Streams First Live Concert to the iPhone


Friday night Apple produced its first-ever live event streamed to the iPhone: a concert by the electronica band Underworld.

[via NewTeeVee]

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40 Augmented Reality Projects Sure To Blow Your Mind … Or Just Blow


Before every great leap in technology and entertainment, there are baby steps, and right now, Augmented Reality (AR) can barely manage a crawl. Remember though, to arrive at Halo there had to be Q*bert. The Internet needed AOL for a while. Baby steps? What we’re seeing today from Augmented Reality is the stuff of embryonics. But it will get better, and perhaps sooner than you think.

What exactly is Augmented Reality? According to Jeff Crouse of the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, “AR is where you have a special symbol on a physical object that a computer can recognize. So when a camera looks at that object, you can superimpose other things in 3D space around that symbol.”

Or to put it another way, Augmented Reality lets you see things that aren’t really there, but only through a lens (currently your webcam or mobile phone).

It’s hard to describe to people – one of those ‘you gotta see it’ things. But make no mistake, whatever the ‘thing’ is, it’s coming, and it’s going to create an entertainment and marketing tsunami that will make the Internet look like a pond ripple. The key shift will likely occur when the lens becomes wearable. Invisible even. Contacts or glasses that look just like the ones you wear now, allowing you to cross into a 3D interactive world seamlessly transposed onto your reality. To quote Keanu Reeves: “… Whoa.”

We could go on forever about ‘How Augmented Reality Will Work’ in the future, but that’s not why we’re gathered here today. We want to look at current Augmented Reality offerings, see which ones might have value as storytelling tools and, at the very least, distinguish the impressive from the forgettable.

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Who Ya Gonna Call? NYC Announces Ghostbusters Walking Tours

Narrated by actors Julianna Margulies (“ER”) and Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket), the first two available tours focus on movie and TV scenes shot in Lower Manhattan. Featured locations on the tours come from such acclaimed movies as Ghostbusters, Sophie’s Choice, Annie Hall, Enchanted and Men In Black.

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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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