Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mobile Monday Boston Highlights

Last night I attended any mobile maven’s favorite monthly event in Boston - Mobile Monday Boston. A short walk to Ned Devine’s from our State Street officemy colleague and I head over early to network and prepare for the event. We met interesting people, doing cool stuff in the mobile gaming, mHealth and mobile ad network spaces – pretty much who you’d expect to be at an event like this. One company I met is doing something really cool in mHealth that I’m eager to learn even more about. They’re creating a means for patients to speak with physicians in real-time to talk about health concerns, dietary adjustments, exercise needs, etc. I’m one of those who doesn’t make it to my annual check-up every year, so I can say for certain that I would find value in an app like this, knowing that I’m still on my doctor’s radar even if I don’t make time for a visit as often as I should.
Kicking off the demos for the night was TalkTo - hands down my favorite technology of the night. How often do you call your friends, family or significant other? For a lot of us, it’s probably not as often as you text them. So why shouldn’t we do the same for businesses we connect with? TalkTo provides and app that lets you text any business a question and they’ll respond to you via text. Seems unlikely that every business you interact with would be on board with this technology, right? Then you type in the business, send the text anyway and TalkTo will call the business for you and send you the response via text. Much easier than waiting on hold, or waiting till business hours to get your question answered. Obviously, I had to try this app out, so I downloaded it on the spot. I made up a fake question – sent a text message to our neighbors at the New England  Aquarium to ask what time they open  today, Oct. 2. Sure enough, I got my response back within five minutes (the average TalkTo response time) – they open at 10:00 a.m. I highly recommend you check this app out, I was definitely impressed.
There were definitely other cool technologies there, including gaming apps like Owlchemy Labs and Summer Camp Studios, but TalkTo was certainly my fan pick of the night. Timbre was another favorite 0f mine, considering I love live music. Timbre lets you find all the live music that’s around your current location so you can check out local bands.
What was missing from the night? Industry insights. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing demos of start-ups who are doing innovative things or things that just make business sense. But these people were here to pitch their products. It would have been  interesting to hear more about insights into the industry and where these mobile savvy professionals think the next big thing is. As people interested in mobile, we all have an idea, but I would have been interested in hearing what other people think, even if it was in the form of a debate. The event sponsor Kinvey talked a bit about how difficult it is to build an app, and why they now concentrate on the back-end of apps, but in general there weren’t interesting trends that were discussed. As passionate as I am about mobile, I wish I could see a little more than the latest app and hear what the industry thought leaders are saying. If you are demoing at the next event, be sure to take your presentation into the next level and discuss what you’re seeing in the market and why your app/demo helps to solve a problem. If you’re into mobile start-ups and networking, definitely check out the next monthly event.
If you attended Mobile Monday, what was your favorite technology that was demoed? Let me know in the comments, or Tweet at me @BostonMarki with the hashtag #momoboston.
A version of this post originally appeared on prSPEAK, a blog from PAN Communications. 

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