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Is that a server in your pocket?

In his ever-informative BankerVision blog, Lloyds TSB's James Gardner reports back from the latest TTI Vanguard meeting on technology trends in Canada. He was particularly struck by a presentation that posited the transformation of the mobile phone from a communications device to a smart personal server.

During the presentation, a linux handset - bought over the counter - was used live. It was running a media server, a file server, a web server,  and a frame buffer server all on unmodified hardware. The basic idea is that your entire digital life can be captured, stored and manipulated on your personal handset, which in turn will make use of other devices it finds in its environment to provide a desktop class experience. Everything subordinate to the handset.

"Now I won't pretend to have thought through all the implications of that, but it is a very, very significant shift," states James. "It will change the way that banks activate their customers. And it will certainly change the way that customers choose to interact with banks"

Unfortunately, the presentation was given under Chatham House rules, so James was not at liberty to  divulge the identity of the presenter.

I wonder what prolific Finextra blogger Dean Proctor makes of all this?


Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 01 May, 2008, 12:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

"It will change the way that banks activate their customers"

Is it me or does that sound sinister? Something straight out of Dr Who.  

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 01 May, 2008, 15:48Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Far be it for me to remain silent on a mobile issue...

I have in various nom-de-plumes been suggesting for some time that mobile phones be the center of our universes. I have long lamented the lack of a barcode scanner and TV transmitter in the phone. I have a phone with 8 gig in it, which is enough to hold a movie, but short of taking the memory card out and putting into a slot in the TV it isn't much use. That's why I liked the idea of a low powered TV transmitter to transmit our home movies, pictures and what have you onto any of the plethora of TV screens everywhere we go. I know the gadget guys will say that I can buy a new blue tooth or wifi equipped telly but unless I carry it on my back, there aren't lkely to be a lot of them for a few years yet. A simple transmitter and I can project onto any telly. I already use my phone as the 'TV remote I can't lose in the couch' because unlike the telly remote, I can call my phone up to find it. If Nokia decide to make one I'll expect a couple for free.

The barcode scanner is because my wife is forever asking what I would like from the supermarket, usually when that's the last thing on my mind, so I never actually tell her what I 'really' wanted. Give me a bar code scanner in my phone and I'll scan my goodies as I use them and then just bluetooth the Mrs next time she asks. Presto.

As for the web server, well it sounds a little complicated for at least half of the population and I'm a 'Keep It Simple Stupid' kind of guy. That is why I come back to the reason I have a mobile in the first place - talking and maybe text. If any of the other new-fangled features interfered with that for a minute I'd be back to luddite land with the most basic model. I assume most people are the same. You survived ok when the Blackberry network went down, because you could still make calls.

I do want my mobile to be more useful with the things I do every day and I'd like them to enable me to things I don't yet do, but I want a phone first and foremost. There's one thing that an education and vocabulary is really good for and that is getting on the phone and getting some poor call centre person to give me the exact result I want quick smart, and I wouldn't give that up for quids. I like to speak to a human when I have a problem. All we have to do is make it so there are less problems and the few which do crop up can be answered by happy call centre staff who speak my language.

I still don't actually 'like' mobiles but I hold out great hope that they'll win me over by becoming really useful for more than talk and text and taking photo's.

Paul Penrose
Paul Penrose - Finextra - London 01 May, 2008, 16:13Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes A call centre agent who actually sorted out your problems? Now that would be revolutionary!
Paul Penrose

Paul Penrose

Head of Research


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06 Oct 2006



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