Intel sponsored this week's Mobile Monday London and took the opportunity to bring along a host of MeeGo devices to demonstrate (see the photos on Flickr here). Among the devices on show was the Lenovo Ideapad, which transforms from a netbook into a tablet and runs MeeGo. There were also pure tablet devices, including the distinctive WeTab, which runs its own variant of MeeGo, and the ExoPC (11.1") and Tega Tablet (10"), which both run the MeeGo Tablet User Experience. It was a great opportunity for mobile enthusiasts to get their hands on a MeeGo tablet and see how the Tablet User Experience differs from what they might have seen on other devices. The night also included 17 flash demonstrations, where presenters had just three minutes to talk about something cool and then a further two minutes to take any questions from the audience. Intel used its two slots as an opportunity to tell the wider mobile community about AppUp (there are now 3,000 apps, including many big names such as Angry Birds and Tweetdeck), and about MeeGo (which included reassuring the audience that Nokia retains its commitment to developing Qt, and that in any case Intel and the foundation responsible for maintaining Qt are committed to its ongoing success). The rest of the evening was bursting with great ideas, and showed just how diverse the mobile development community is:
- Anthony from Threedom demonstrated his concept for a three-button phone to improve accessibility;
- Terence Eden from QRPedia showed how adding QR codes to museum exhibits can enable visitors to find detailed information (on Wikipedia) in their own language using their choice of device;
- Phil from Poynt demonstrated local search, organised by channel;
- The Games Creators demonstrated a game running on iOS and Bada that had been compiled from the same source code using their upcoming App Game Kit (which will also support MeeGo and Microsoft Windows);
- Taxi driver Richard Cudlipp showed how 300 taxi drivers were using Twitter to share information on traffic and fare opportunities;
- Rococo Software talked about their aim to make proximity as easy for developers to use as location is;
- Kineto Wireless spoke about their technology for turning a wi-fi access point into an extension of the mobile network, potentially increasing network coverage inside buildings;
- Nuance demonstrated a multilingual keyboard that supports voice instruction;
- Insitio presented its indoor positioning system using wi-fi triangulation, ideal for anyone who's ever got lost in Tesco's;
- The Bada augmented reality game AirAid was introduced, which enables you to shoot ghosts that appear to come at you from all directions, superimposed on your camera view;
- Natural Motion gave a sneak peak of an upcoming horse riding game for tablets with superb animation;
- Parcel Genie explained its instant gift messaging service, which enables people to send low-cost but beautifully wrapped physical gifts to others (such as chocolates) without knowing their addresses; and
- Mindings showed its digital photo frame, which pulls in data from social networks, calendars and other apps to help those without a computer keep in touch with family and get important reminders on their mantelpieces.
The whole event showed that you can find inspiration for an app or a mobile technology anywhere, and reinforced my view that mobile app development is the most exciting place to be as a programmer today. I think events like this also act as an informal support network, with developers having a chance to meet with others who face the same challenges. I'd recommend any developer to keep an eye out for similar events near them, including the series of MeeGo workshops coming up worldwide.