Monday, October 1, 2007


The business world today is a fast-paced environment. In order to keep up with changing trends and technologies while being creative and competitive information must be circulated and shared in the fastest way possible. A new startup called Mobio is bringing fast and relevant information to its users in real-time.

What is Mobio?
Mobio combines multiple web services to directly connect people to the information they want while bypassing web browsers. Mobio collects useful data from around the web and puts it all onto a user’s phone. Mobio’s first product is a suite of free “widgets” that users can download onto their mobile phones.

What is a widget?
Widgets collect real-time information from different web services and combine them into a simple program on a cell phone. For example, a user wants to go to a restaurant so he types the name into his phone. Right away information from an online reservation service is collected into Mobio’s server and combined with other services like directory listings and online maps, and downloaded onto Mobio software. Mobio’s suite has nine collections of fifty widgets.

What can Mobio offer businesses?
Mobio can bring better and faster resources to employees. It can be used to compare the market, stocks, prices, company information, etc. at real-time with updates. This can be useful in staying on top of everything that affects your business including knowing what competitors are doing, and being informed of new trends as they emerge. Employees can get constant updates from their bosses and coworkers no matter where they are so they know what they should be doing.

What are the disadvantages of Mobio to businesses?
If Mobio becomes a function that everyone has, people will be expected to produce information even faster than before. Instead of giving information to someone by hand or e-mail, it will become increasingly popular to share via cell phone. This could create problems in the quality of information and reliability since it is easy to lose a cell phone and it is also harder to manage the flow of so much information onto a cell phone. The widget function may create an increasing concern within organizations because when customers search for something, that company may not appear on the widget search. As Mobio becomes more popular, companies could lose business because they are not deemed a leading product. Also, communicating via cell phone is convenient, but it also decreases the quality of a conversation and thus increases the risk of misunderstanding.

Augmented Reality

A new cell phone advancement in augmented reality has been developed but not yet adopted by any mobile providers because they have not decided if people will use it in their businesses and everyday lives. Augmented reality can increase knowledge and information, but it is also a confusing tool that has potential to decrease productivity.

What is augmented reality?
Augmented reality is a function that can retrieve information about the location that the user’s cell phone is in. Using data from sensors, the phone can calculate the location of any object its camera is aimed at. Each time the phone changes location, it retrieves the names and geographical coordinates of nearby landmarks from an external database. Then, the user can download additional information about the location from the web (as seen in the image to the left). For example, if a person aimed their phone at a building, information like the names of businesses in a building, the cost of visiting that building, and its hours and menus would be retrieved. Another form of augmented reality takes the information from the location it is being aimed at and then produces a see-through video virtual model that is projected onto an object.

How could businesses use it to their advantage?
Augmented reality can improve the customer service aspect of a business. For example, augmented reality could be used in a museum to provide a guide for tourists on their cell phones. As they walk through the exhibits with their phone, the system would determine which exhibit the person is looking at and present related information on the phone’s display. This could improve the business because they do not have to hire museum guides or make accommodations for tourists who speak foreign languages. Augmented reality could also be useful to customers by providing product information to their cell phones so they do not have to call the company for help. Augmented reality could project an image, for instance, of how the customer can properly assemble a product along with written instructions.

What are the disadvantages of augmented reality?
Some engineers believe that augmented reality functions are too complex for a commercial application. They also believe that since cell phone cameras have low image quality and hardware limitations, having the system on a mobile phone would be impractical. If people in an organization adopt augmented reality to their phones but have trouble using it, problems in communication could surface. Relying on augmented reality functions as sources of information can also create problems because there is a higher risk of system errors. Also, if businesses replace, for example, a customer service hotline employee with augmented reality information, customers who have problems that their phones could not provide answers to would be unhappy with a product. Lastly, augmented reality could invade the privacy of an organization because anyone, including customers and competitors, could access all the published information about the business.

The future of augmented reality?
Nokia has already began working on real-time image-recognition algorithms in hopes algorithms will eliminate the need for location sensors and improve their system’s accuracy and reliability. Augmented reality is nearly ready for the market but wireless mobile carriers like Sprint and Verizon are not yet convinced customers will pay for these functions so it may not be launched for a couple of years. At this time, augmented reality will probably be more practical because cell phone quality will be improved. If augmented reality on cell phones becomes simpler to use, it could be useful in accessing immediate information and increasing the knowledge of workers and customers.

EQO Communications

All business organizations have the same goal: to maximize profits. However, it is unlikely for a business to sacrifice efficiency to lower expenses because it will hurt the business in the long run. Thus, organizations are always looking for the most affordable ways to expand their business.
In the business world today, the distance barrier has been overcome. Organizations from all over the world can connect to each other to collaborate ideas and increase their market. It is now possible for retail companies in North America to have low-costing factories in Asia because they are easily connected. International advertising companies can compare emerging trends from different countries to expand their consumer base.
Since it is so important for organizations to be constantly connected no matter how geographically dispersed they are, telephone expenses are not something to cut back on.

In May of this year, an emerging technology in mobile phones called EQO Communications was launched. EQO Communications is an amazing asset for businesses because it allows its workers to make all their long distance calls for extremely low prices.

So what exactly is EQO Communications?
EQO Communications is a new service that allows its users to make long distance calls, text messages, and instant messages at local prices. Calls from one EQO number to another are free no matter how far apart the users are from one another, and other international calls cost only five percent of what normal wireless carriers would charge. It is extremely easy to use, and users do not have to change their existing phones or wireless plans to use it since it can be downloaded right onto any phone with any contract.

How does this service work?
When making a long distance call, users who have EQO Mobile will first dial an internet number. The software downloaded to their phone will connect the call to a local EQO number. Next, the server converts the user’s voice into data packets and sends them over the internet to an EQO server in the country the user is calling. From there, the EQO server transfers the call back onto the wireless voice network where it is received by the person being called.

How will EQO Communications improve business organizations?
EQO Mobile makes international communication more affordable and convenient. Not only will workers in a local organization be connected; they will also be just as connected to their international partners through calling, emailing, texting and web updates. EQO Communication users will use international calling more, and thus global businesses will be way more organized and connected than before. Calling internationally does not need to be for important or formal purposes only. Employees in a research company based in Canada and England can connect daily to compare their findings, exchange resources and improve the quality of their work with diverse information. Thus, each business will have more opportunities to expand their empire internationally with increased feedback, resources, communication and information while saving money on phone bills at the same time.

What are the disadvantages of EQO Communications to organizations?
EQO Mobile is an obvious threat to the wireless cell phone industry. It is impossible for these businesses to compete with EQO’s international calling prices, so as more and more people begin to use EQO Communications, the wireless carriers lose money. However, EQO Communications will not make them lose that much money because EQO Mobile is a function that collaborates with the user’s existing wireless carrier. EQO Communications will continue to update its functions and expand, so it may produce more competition for the wireless cell phone industry in the future.
Another disadvantage is the quality of the international call. Since the call is transferred from a wireless phone network to the internet and then to another wireless network it is more likely to have connection problems. In a busy international organization, it may be a problem if their only long distance phone plan is not working; thus the quality of communication would be lowered.
Also, when sharing so much information on an international basis, there is more room for error because workers will not be able to meet personally and cultural differences could lead to misinterpretation of the information.

The future of EQO Communications?
I predict that EQO Communications will be adopted by the majority of business organizations. International calls will not be as big of a deal because they cost the same and are as easy to make as a local call. Organizations will save money on phone expenses as well as other expenses previously used to connect people. (For example, flying internationally for business meetings do not have to be as frequent because conferencing and immediate updates via wireless mobile internet will become more common). New functions will be developed to further enhance international communication, and the global business community will become more connected than before. However, more time will be spent to make sure both parties understand the information being shared, and the reliability of the call transfers will remain a drawback or be improved.


Introduction to Mobile Phone Technology

Technology is constantly shaping and chaning the flow of information in today's society. As new advancements in technology emerge and are adopted into mainstream culture, business organizations will have to choose one of two ways to react: they can either ignore them by continuing to operate in the same way, or they can update their business to incorporate new technology and take advantage of what it has to offer. The problem businesses may have with technology is knowing what should be incorporated and what should be left behind. Will this new advancement appeal to consumers and workers on a long-term basis? Will it be a dying fad? Or will it never catch on? These are the questions organizations must assess and answer by weighing the pros and cons before making any decisions.
Cell phones have become an increasing necessity for people all over the world. There is a huge competitive mobile market that is being updated constantly. Many new technologies that have been added to cell phones have improved the business world on different levels. As more and more mobile technologies emerge, which ones will become popular and useful?
Cell phones can revolutionize a business as a whole by changing the quality of:

  • communication
  • organization
  • networking
  • competitive forces
  • employee, manager and customer knowledge
  • the flow of information
  • resource availability
  • product appeal

How will a business optimize productivity? How can a group do the best job possible? Workers have to be connected and equally part of the processes to complete a task. Mobile phones are an easy way to connect people at any time anywhere with constant updated information which yields effective collaboration. However, too much reliance on cell phones may take away from the quality of the work environment because it is less personal and reliable than face-to-face interaction. All the above listed factors can increase or decrease work quality depending on the mobile technologies organizations choose to adopt.