Tag: Barcelona (Page 1 of 2)

Barcelona, here we come (once more)

It is February, we’re still hanging in there, so we will again be descending upon that magnificent city in Catalunya that is Barcelona (which, of course, is that little bit less appealing because, together with us, there will be a ton of other mobile industry folks in town, so that taxis are hard to get, hotels hard to afford, and parties hard to get into, but, hey…). Because it is the week of Mobile World Congress

This year, I have the great honour to moderate a high-octane panel at the MMIX portion of the Mobile World Congress on a topic that I could call “told you so”. Namely, we will be discussing “Games: the new destination for brands.” I will be joined by some super-cool names in the (pun/no-pun intended) game, namely:

Alas, that is of course not enough. On the very same day and only a short taxi ride down the road, I will have the great pleasure to delivering a keynote at the terrific 4YFN (that is short for “Four Years From Now”) conference, the uber-cool entrepreneurship conference that was the ugly duckling of its big sibling MWC but is soon catching up in size (and has, of course, overtaking MWC in terms of cutting edge ages ago). I will be keynoting with a spotlight on the education sector, urging people to “Change the World: One Trillion Dollar Market at a Time.”

Following my keynote at 4YFN will be a terrific panel on the hot trends in EdTech. It will be moderated by the CEO of Emerge Education (Europe’s leading EdTech accelerator where I am a Venture Partner) and participants will be Jesse Lozano (CEO of Pi-Top), Mads Holmen (CEO of Bibblio), Diego Olchese (CEO of Crehana) and Tom Hatton (CEO of RefMe). Definitely try to attend that one! It highlights the great work Emerge Education is doing and will also expose you to some of the brightest young CEO’s in the space, all of which passionate young entrepreneurs who have chosen to go where they can effect change (rather than puttering about with the 47th something-something-platform-SaaS-something play).

If you’re around, join me for those. It should be great fun! 🙂

[Disclaimer: I am a Venture Partner at Emerge Education, an investor in Pi-Top and an investor in and Chairman of Bibblio].

Smart Citizens – Populating Smart Cities

I have recently been thinking a lot about the advances we are seeing in the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Cities. The impact on everyones’ lives will be significant and I believe – this evolves as one of my ongoing themes – that human-centric design will be of the utmost importance in ensuring that the outcomes from this will be accepted and embraced, which I am convinced constitutes one of the most important building blocks in ensuring the efficacy of the technologies we are building.

I was given the opportunity to speak about this recently at the wonderful IoT Shifts conference in Barcelona. The following are my slides from that talk. As usual, they are quite visual (which presumably made Slideshare choose them as their “Top Presentation of the Day“), so please feel free to get in touch should you require more context from me.

A few thoughts on improving learning outcomes & avoiding cognitive biases [video]

When I was recently invited to give a talk at TEDx Education Barcelona, the good folks from the Open University of Catalunya interviewed my on my thoughts on how I would think data and analytics would impact education. Here’s the result…

The full post is here: http://openthoughts-analytics.blogs.uoc.edu/improving-learning-outcomes-avoiding-cognitive-biases/


TEDx Barcelona ED – My Talk…

I did a talk at TEDxBarcelonaED on “Learning for the Unknown”. Quite daunting. Quite exciting. I think it worked. Do you agree? Watch it here:

True Interconnectedness. What gives?

I did a little talk reminiscing on what was hot at this year’s Mobile World Congress, the mobile extravaganza in Barcelona. One of the show’s highlights was BlackBerry’s hyper-connected Porsche (See here for disclaimers) of which you’ll find a video here. Now, that car makes the most of the combination of powerful mobile-connected devices, protocols like NFC or Near-Field Communication and next-generation mobile networks (such as LTE), which deliver data bandwidth by far surpassing our relatively shoddy 3G data through-puts of today.

I also had a meeting with the good folks from Adidas who used their miCoach in-shoe chip to do some nifty stuff with the data so produced (video here). Adidas takes this one step further in that the performance of your chosen player in an accompanying mobile game. For the time being, this has to make do with a clunky accessory to your otherwise oh so smart phone. But, alas, these days are numbered thanks to the next generation of connectivity coming up right now. Apple’s latest (both phone and tablet) support the next Bluetooth standard, which would be version 4.0 (as opposed to “new”), and that is actually a huge step forward (considering how ickle it all is) and has understandably got its fair share of press recently. Here’s why:

Bluetooth 4.0 (full specs here), which comes as a “system in a package” has no noticeable impact on battery life of peripherals, which means you could effectively run your external keyboard or, perhaps more importantly to some, heart-rate monitor, on the same battery charge for the lifetime of the device. Oh, and it always handles NFC on top. The new standard handles up to 26 Mbps data throughput (compared to 2 Mbps for the older standards) although this is lower in the above-hailed low-energy mode.

All this put together creates potential for solutions that may not make for head-turning cool gadgets at tech conferences but they are things my mom might use: Just pair your phone with WiFi by touching in using an NFC chip (she could not find the settings for this if her life depended on it), use it for any type of fitness-related stuff, hook up any type of wireless device with the settings of, say, your car (probably with seamless handover of content, preferences, playlists, etc, too). Last but not least, the full range of healthcare all of sudden becomes a whole lot less geeky and a whole lot more accessible to normal people (which often was the problem with “modern” stuff: they worked well if you had an engineering degree or an unhealthy appetite for anything that smelled remotely geeky but was utterly unusable for anyone else). And for the geeks of you, there will always be the under-counter coffee-making faucet that you could then arguably also power using the hyper-connectedness of the brave new world.

So, interconnectedness is just about to enter the mainstream and that, dear friends, was the news of the week for me in Barcelona.

Conference: Mobile 2.0 Europe – Open Ideas (Barcelona)

The ever industrious Rudy de Waele and his team are staging the next version of Mobile 2.0 Europe in beautiful Barclona on 16/17 June 2011. Last year’s version was awesome but this year they seem to have upped the ante significantly again. Staged in Telefonica’s mindblowing R&D centre Diagonal 00 (just look at the picture, for heaven’s sake!) and boasting a speaker line-up that should everybody get going!

It’s a developer conference, so none (or little) of the usual preaching but you will get more hands-on workshops on everything from app store marketing to HTML5 development. And all this in summery Barcelona! Go on, sign up here!

And if all that is not enough, here’s a selection of the people that will speak with you, work with you, talk to you (a full speaker list is here):

  • Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio (yes, he, the Mighty Eagle of the “Angry Birds” guys)
  • Daniel Gurrola, Orange
  • Sanyu Kirulata, Blackberry
  • Reimund Schmaid, Nuance
  • Carlos Domingo, Telefonica I+D
  • Jose Valles, BlueVia (Telefonica)
  • Lucas Allen Buick, Synthetic (they of “Hipstamatic” fame)
  • Matthias Sala, Gbanga
  • Andy Goodman, Fjord
  • Caroline Drucker, Soundcloud
  • Vincent Hoogsteder, Distimo
  • Andreas Constantinou, Vision Mobile
  • Tom Hume, Future Platforms
  • John Roberts, Quostodian
  • Yes, and yours truly will also be there 🙂

See you in the sun very soon! 🙂


Where Next?

First of all, a wonderful, inspiring, innovative, exciting and successful 2011 to you all!

With lots of conferences (and corresponding travel) coming up, I thought I’d let you know where you will find me in the next few weeks:

The list will certainly fill up some more really soon but, so far, that is some of the confirmed bits. Oh, and I plan a week of skiing in Andorra… 😉 So if you want to catch up, learn more about Scoreloop or just connect, give me a shout.

And, apparently if you are so inclined, this year you shouldn’t forget to follow the (white) rabbit!

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