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Mobile Experience 2.0 - Seamless Convergence of Media Content, Applications,
Devices and Networks

by Dr. Rajit Gadh

Keynote Abstract

After years of dialog on mobile convergence, what has actually converged on the mobile platform is the high quality experience, spurred by innovations in Media Content (Video, Music, Movies, T.V.), Applications (software, Operating Systems), Device Technologies (micro-processors, touch screens, system on chip radios, motion sensors) and Networks (GPRS, CDMA, LTE, WiMAX, WiFI).

Media content has grown with consumers watching TV and movies, playing games, listening to music, getting their news, or, getting directions, all from their cell phones. Innovations in digital rights management, media file exchange capability, business partnership models by Hollywood-based entertainment firms, media-store-and-forward technology, P2P, etc., has resulted in such consumers now expecting all the above forms of media content on their mobile device. The creators and owners of content have now a better grasp on revenue models with the device and network providers. This sophisticated advancement in the business of media content in combination with the technology has started to create convergence and success in mobile entertainment media content generation, distribution and consumption.

Applications, tailored specifically to mobile devices, are now being developed at a pace never before seen. The success of Apple's App Store which resulted in 500 million downloads in 6 months of its introduction shows that there is a pent-up demand for mobile applications if the entire experience ranging from developing to buying to distributing to using it is painless. If one considers the App Store to be an enterprise operating system, it takes the meaning of the operating system to a different level. On the flip side is the open operating system, Android, from Google, which provides a relatively unrestricted environment for development or distribution, and opens the mobile platform to any kind of consumer or business applications developer. With the opening up of segments of the 700 MHz spectrum, an open operating system offers yet another alternative towards more advanced applications. Even though these two operating systems are very different, ranging from the open architecture style of Google to the walled garden style of the iPhone, the resulting experience for the user seems to be converging towards a common style of interface, device form factor, usage modality, network connection, etc.

Device technology, such as touch-screen, motion sensors, high speed 3G networks, miniaturized GPS, miniaturized stereo audio, or, integrated radio chipsets, has spurred a phenomenal increase in the complexity and capability in a new generation of devices every year. With the increase in the pace of innovation in new technologies has come the ability to integrate entire systems, such as integrating system on a single chip, thereby allowing a rapid convergence in the hardware itself, resulting in hardware mobile terminals converging and becoming increasingly similar at the high-end.

Networks, whether GSM-based, CDMA-based, WiMAX-based or LTE-based, are steadily converging towards 3G and 4G. They are tending towards a generic I.P. framework which allows transport of media content and applications in the same manner as the Internet and allows WLANs such as Wi-Fi to be seamlessly integrated with them. This Wireless Internet will continue to become more dense, flexible, more cost effective and efficient and with constantly increasing bandwidth. Eventually with multi-band radios, software-defined radios and multi-protocol transmission, it will not matter which network a device is on.

The future of the mobile experience will continue to add more device technology - such as ultra high performance computing, low power displays, and, voice recognition - driving new and unique applications. Convergence will allow such technologies to be assimilated and integrated rapidly into the existing devices and infrastructure. This presentation is about a research platform being developed in UCLA called MobiME and a unique mobile community-based web 2.0 converged media application called MobiSportsLiveTM which is being tested in the UCLA athletics department on UCLA Bruin Games. This research platform should reveal user behavior in mobile convergence.

Dr. Rajit Gadh (UCLA)

Dr. Rajit Gadh is a Professor at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA, and he is Founder and Director of the Wireless Internet for Mobile Enterprise Consortium ( WINMEC is a UCLA-based university, industry, and government collaboration Center with the objective to advance technological and business research and to educate its members on the state-of-the art in wireless and mobile industries and showcase applications in various industries including telecommunications, entertainment-media, healthcare, environment, retail, manufacturing, supply chain, aerospace and logistics. WINMEC has been supported by major enterprises including Boeing, Broadcom, Computer Associates, EDS, Ericsson, ETRI-Korea, France Telecom, HP, IBM, ITC-Infotech, ISMB-Italy, Hughes Network Systems, Intel, ISMB-Italy, ITC-Infotech, Lockheed Martin, Lucent, Microsoft, Motorola, Northrop Grumman, Oracle, Precision Data Corporation, Qualcomm, Raytheon, RF-Code, Siemens, Sprint, Sun Microsystems, Symbol Technologies, Tata Infotech, TCS, Verizon Wireless and a host of others. To date, over 100 organizations have supported WINMEC. In addition the technology companies, WINMEC works with the Hollywood entertainment industry on Mobile Content delivery, DRM, storage, distribution research topics via its UCLA Mobile Entertainment Media Forum which has on its advisory board Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal Music, Viacom, Warner, etc.

Dr. Gadh’s research interests include Mobile Media content delivery, digital rights management of content, web-service architectures for wireless internet of artifacts, wireless grid infrastructure, mobile web services architectures, heterogeneous sensor-wireless interfacs, RFID-based software platforms, wireless sense-and-control for smart grid (distribution), middleware/edgeware architecture issues in mobile networks.

Dr. Gadh has a Doctorate degree from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), a Masters from Cornell University and a Bachelors degree from IIT Kanpur all in engineering. He has taught as a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley, has been an Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was a visiting researcher at Stanford University.

He has won several awards from NSF (CAREER award, Research Initiation Award, NSF-Lucent Industry Ecology Award, GOAL-I award), SAE (Ralph Teetor award), IEEE (second best paper, WTS), ASME (Kodak Best Technical Paper award), AT&T (Industrial ecology fellow award), Engineering Education Foundation (Research Initiation Award), and other accolades in his career. He is on the Editorial board of ACM Computers in Entertainment Publication and the CAD Journal. He has lectured and given keynote addresses worldwide in countries such as England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, Korea, Belgium, Japan, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and, China. Most recently, in 2008, he was named the William Mong Fellow by the University of Hong Kong. Dr. Gadh serves as advisor to over half-dozen startups, and, is co-founder of two startups.