Alison Lee from Nokia Research is talking about mobility and mashups focusing on how mobile web widgets can enable more efficient and sense-making enterprise work while on the go.
Mobile widgets are very lightweight applications similar to mashups. They offer to use content on the web, just like mashups, but also content from your mobile phone such as data coming from on-board sensors, address books, messages, etc. Unfortunately mobile widgets platforms are rather proprietary and incompatible amongst the vendors. Efforts at the W3C are going towards a standard for mobile widgets which could really help towards more homogeneity.
Alison then talks about the differences between a web app and a widgets. First of all mobile widgets are highly optimized in order to be lightweight enough to run on phones, then mobile widgets do not necessarily need to be online to work. Finally mobile widgets need to be installed and can not just be used online. (Dom: now, what’s the difference between a widget and a mobile app? What’s the connection between widgets and mashups? Aren’t widgets
some kind of mashup building blocks?)
Talking about their experience, Alison presents the Mobile Meetings application which is some sort of net-meeting for your mobile phone which enables you to manage meetings and share data. Remote content access is another widget that enables people to remotely access files on office or home machines.
The Mobile Habitat widget is mashing up several sources of information (desktop data, traffic, maps, meetings and contacts) to help office workers while on the go.