Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mr. Watson, Can You Dig This?

Some news articles are easily read and forgotten. But others stick out like giant red fingers pointing the way to the future for the smart business executive.

We got the finger from four such news articles in the last 36 hours. They all pointed to one sure-fire bet in the next few years: The good old telephone, which is poised to again revolutionize business the second time around.

This article
describes why graphics chip-maker Nvidia purchased a company that makes chips and software for portable devices. The last line is the best line, as follows:

Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's boss, stakes out the company's claim for this ground: "We intend to drive the next digital revolution, where the mobile device becomes our most personal computer," he said today.

Bet on this folks – the days of a single purpose portable player (think iPod) are numbered. Why carry two or three devices when one can do it all?

Consider this article about the pending deal between Verizon Communications and YouTube, which will result in YouTube videos showing up on cellphones. The Holy Grail indeed. If a phone can hold videos, it can hold music, books and web pages.

(See the article on News Corp. looking to team up with Japan’s Softbank Corp. to offer its product via cellphones. And the one on VodaFone Group doing a deal with Microsoft to streamline the number of platforms needed to create “smartphons.”)

So how can this change business? By itself, not so much, ,perhaps, but with the new search engine muscles allowing users to capture all manner of video, consider this scenario.

Company Cool has created a hot new video game and wants to get it known to the game-playing kid population. It will certainly crank out the press releases and hope for some ink and web news space.

But it also will produce a zippy video about the game that is uploaded to all manner of sites, including YouTube. A youngster searches on his cell phone for cool new videos, finds the new game video promo and, shazaam, it is now playing on his cell phone.

From company to consumer with no human middle man.

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