Adapting smartphones to senior users

I took this picture when queuing up for a museum a few days ago. A senior person had added some stockers to his android phone.

The stickers are replica of the button. Apparently this person was struggling in seeing the button as they light up only when one touches them.

Senior customization

Senior customization

Senior people are not comfortable with unapparent features.

Nevertheless, this person in his 70s was using perfectly the device: doing searches on the Internet, checking emails, etc.

Adapting a smartphone to senior people is not just a question of interface. The whole user experience including hardware needs to be adapted. Fujitsu and Doro are struggling hard to seduce this new customer segment. But can it be done with a few stickers ?

Firefox browser promoting FireFoxOS

I was a bit surprised this morning when I opened my FireFox browser. I had this vibrant animated picture promoting FireFox OS.

firefox home

Mozilla is pushing hard its new mobile OS. But the value proposition, even for people in the business is a bit foggy. An entry level smartphone OS to compete with Android …

We already have S40/Asha which is doing a very good job and of course cheap Android devices. We can now get a 3″ / 1GHz processor Android as cheap as 60€. Let’s the battle begin…

NFC creeping into our lives

NFC is setting foot in our everday life. First use case seems to be advertisement on each side of the channel. Clear Channel in London is pairing its posters with an NFC chip so one can get more information on the product or service displayed.

Public display with NFC

ClearChannel embedded NFC chip

In Paris, Dacia has launch  a poster campaign with a NFC sticker sending your mobile on their website to discover where the closest store is.

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Dacia poster in Paris

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NFC sticker on the poster

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Landing page of the NFC

  Interestingly, both NFC systems are backed up with a QR code. NFC isn’t a streamline feature yet but I don’t think it will take long before it will replace for good QR Codes. Just look at the latest Lumia phone range. All but one have NFC.

An Android phone or a Samsung ?

Samsung has a problem : it depends too much on Android

Google has a problem : it depends too much on Samsung

Android accounts now 70% of smartphone sales and Samsung devices accounts 70% of Android. Google is trying to push other manufacturers not to say it is pushing hard its device device arm Motorola.  On the other side, Samsung is not betting on Windows Phone and has dropped its proprietary Bada platform. So what’s cooking? Samsung will apparently launch a few Tizen phones on the marke thi year.

And what is Tizen? Don”t be mistaken, Tizen is not a Samsung proprietary OS like Bada. Tizen is the merge of Intel efforts (previoulsy Meego) and Operators works (LiMo) in a fully open source initiative. Unlike Android, there won’t be one company in the driving seat but Operators (Vodafone, NTT, Orange,…) and Manufacturers (Intel, Samsung, ZTE, …).

> Tizen association website

We can imagine Samsung will customize its Tizen devices with the same Touchwiz UI it is using on Android. Hence consumers will hardly notice the difference.

Tizen screenshots

Tizen screenshots

Samsung with operator backing sounds very promising. Google seems to have now a bigger problem. Now the question will be on the application side. Will Tizen have enough applications to compete with the other platforms?

2013 : the moment of truth for Windows

I was invited to a Microsoft event recently and it started very odly. The guy from Microsoft started with a comparison of the cumulative shipments of Android devices and Windows devices. The Guy was chespounding that there were more than 1,5 billion Windows device in use compared with as little as 500 M Android devices.
So the real threat for Microsoft isn’t Apple but Android. And when you look closer and start to do some forecast there is a serious risk for Microsoft to be outnumbered by Android device in not a so distant future.
Here is forecast, I have cooked up aggtregating numbers from different sources.

Android vs Windows shipments forecast (M units)

Android vs Windows shipments forecast (M units)

As there is very little growth in the PC segment, the Windows growth will come from 2 sources : smartphones and tablets.
Next year 2013 will be a truth moment. If Microsoft Windows 8 or if Windows Phone fails, Android devices will outnumber Windows devices and will become the dominent computing platform.