10 Takeaways from Mobile Madness 2013: Ads, Games, M2M, and More

Before I even have time to thank everyone involved in yesterday’s Mobile Madness conference, I wanted to share some of the highlights that were etched in my brain.

Here are my top 10 quotes and takeaways from the day (it’s not comprehensive):

1. Jonathan Bush, CEO of Athenahealth: “We’re the best in healthcare, but we suck.” He was talking about mobile technology and its relative lack of effectiveness so far in health and medicine—a field that has huge challenges when it comes to data, silos, regulations, and inertia. Bush urged the mobile innovators in the room to “take a look at healthcare.” (This man could read the dictionary out loud and be entertaining.)

2. Mobile apps—a $15 billion industry, according to Apperian’s Chuck Goldman—are profoundly impacting supply chains, contracting, services, payments, customer engagement, and soon, healthcare. Still, what’s “good for consumers” could be “bad for society,” said Apptopia’s Eli Sapir.

3. There’s a lot of opportunity in connected devices, wearable sensors, and machine-to-machine (M2M) technology—but it’s all an offshoot of mobility, not necessarily where mobile is heading. And it will require new kinds of wireless infrastructure, though the devices themselves may be dealing in tiny data, not big data, said Highland’s Sean Dalton and Bolt’s Ben Einstein.

4. “20 years.” That was WiTricity’s Eric Giler, on how long until people don’t walk down the street staring at their phones—because mobility is all in their heads, or implanted in their bodies. Optimistic, no?

5. “This is the future,” said Gagan Puranik from the Verizon Innovation Center, when asked why Verizon is trying to form partnerships with software and hardware companies in areas like wearable computing, smart sensors, and M2M. It sounds like Verizon (and other carriers) wants to make use of its extensive infrastructure to position itself more favorably within the next wave of wireless.

6. Angus Davis from Swipely was a fount of colorful metaphors and straight talk. Eschewing the usual runway analogy, he likened a startup to skydiving—if you spend thousands of feet falling with a … Next Page »

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Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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