Version 1.2 of our Platform Now In Release — HTML.5 Audio

Over at our subsidiary mLearning venture:  http://eslAI.com, the first release of our Ver. 1.2 of the platform’s enhanced UI is now available to kick tires and also LISTEN to the sound of tires being kicked!

We’ve added pre-recorded Audio to the applications which is cross-browser and cross-device compatible (OK, there are some lingering platforms we’re still tweaking to achieve playback on), but, in general, most mobile devices are testing Positive (Android, iOS, Windows/Mobile).

Where this gets really interesting on the mobile marketing and mobile entertainment front is where we extend this to be a Sound design and audio story design to accompany the interactive text chat.   We love sound FX.  Now we can add them into the chat.

At some point we’ll also incorporate text-to-speech, but the upside of pre-recorded audio is that it carries more emotion and style to it.  So, not all segments of the ESL apps (where there is personalization) include audio; but, an awful lot of them do (nearly 100 clips are included in ESL1)

Easy listening…

Conversational Messaging and mHealth

This story caught our attention today, about using SMS “reminders” for mHealth in Kenya:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/health/16global.html?scp=6&sq=kenya&st=cse

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2811%2960783-6/abstract#

Now imagine that the health workers could query the system for instant answers to common questions?  Or, be lead through step by step simulations for circumstances they face?

We can route via SMS, but, even at the 1-cent per message, our platform would be delivering 3x or more messages than a “notification system.”  With expanded data access, there would be no per message costs, using mobile web.  There is also the capability to work through “light data” engagement such as IM platforms; including pushing mobile web pages through IM widgets.

But, the natural next step is to bring conversational engagement to mHealth to deepen the value that’s offered.

We’d welcome an opportunity to discuss this with any groups working in this space.

mLearning Simulations and Story…Encouraging Exploration…

“Precision oftentimes kills the ability of the learner to discover multiple real-life applications.”

There have been a couple of follow up blog posts to the WIRED article entitled: IN PRAISE OF VAGUENESS.

One notable blog post is here:  VAGUE STORIES HELP LEARNERS DISCOVER.

This is very consistent with the responses we’re receiving from ESL teachers that note how our ESL conversational simulations allow vague and varied responses — they don’t encourage precision and fixed responses — they encourage conversational exploration.  We allow the vague. 

Please stop by our http://ESLai.com unit and try out the simulation/stories developed with the contentAI engine. 

The articles are worth reading, here’s another quote. . .

“Sometimes, precision is dangerous, a closed door keeping us from imagining new possibilities. Vagueness is that door flung wide open, a reminder that we don’t yet know the answer, that we might still get better, that we have yet to fail.”

Does this same “wide open door” deepen user engagement for mobile marketing and entertainment applications?

We’re guessing, “yes.”

Our ESL Conversational Simulations now on APPup (Windows)

Our http://ESLai.com unit have now released their “build once” conversational ESL apps on Intel’s APPup store for Windows devices.

Here’s are the Links:

http://www.appup.com/applications/applications-ESL+AI+Conversational+Simulation+1

http://www.appup.com/applications/applications-ESL+AI+Conversational+Simulation+2

APPup appears to have a strong commitment to educational content — We’re pleased to be flowing through their channel, in addition to mobile web, Android, and NOOK.

Conversational Mobile Engagement — Think Big. Think Fresh.

We attended the MobilePortland gathering last night that addressed Mobile as a Platform for Change.

It was an unusual tech event for Portland, in our opinion, because it (a) thought bigger, (b) inspired outside of the box thought, and (c) was global in scope — local events don’t always hit those points.

But, it was also sobering.

For all of the potential of mobile, it also reinforced the notion that most people involved in mobile campaigns or initiatives are sadly lacking imagination.  The “shrink the internet” work that permeates this space was highlighted as delivering consistent failures.  The utopian advertising ideals of entirely rethinking how ad-dollars can truly add value to a brand and the human condition was refreshing…though I suspect it’s a tough road to travel.

There are signs of hope eeking through.  The effort for mobile English learning in Bangladesh that was highlighted by National Geographic here:  http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/29/english-in-action-mobile-learning-in-bangladesh/ that converges a television show with mobile learning (“transmedia” anyone?) is a terrific read.  For contentAI studios, this article and the efforts in Bangladesh represent the original impetus for creating the platform — Extending television properties to interactive mobile engagement, based on the most intuitive form of mobile interaction:  short, conversational text messages.

Additionally, it ties in with he application of our  platform for mobile English language learning at:  http://ESLai.com

So:

  • 5 Billion Mobile Devices in the World
  • 1 Billion People engaged in some for of ESL learning
  • Advertising dollars shifting to Mobile which could add real value to people’s lives and support the Brand

How to tie this all together?

These are great ingredients, now it’s time to figure out the recipe.

 

 

 

Conversational Mobile Marketing – Interesting Bits from the Week

Fascinating week here.  We wrapped  the http://ESLai.com conversational apps into Android with the http://appsgeyser.com online platform.

We’re anxiously awaiting AppsGeyser to tweak their platform so that the apps can be submitted into the new AMAZON Android App Store (whatever it will be called???).  Word is “about 2 weeks.”  In the meantime, the apps are already on the main Android Market, GetJar and a few others.

The news that BLACKBERRY’S tablet will be compatible with Android apps was a fascinating development in terms of some level of standardization emerging.  We hope more OS’s will allow x-platform app access.  We still highly believe in mobile web and a build-once strategy; but, the AppsGeyser solution allows us to leverage our single build but be found in multiple locations.

Finally, we were impressed with the Vid.ly “universal URL” offering to deliver optimized video across all mobile (and desktop) devices and platforms.  Very cool.  It also has an embed feature which is the first we’ve seen for mobile (though we’ve talked about it endlessly).

Mobile Web First, But Apps as Backup – Single Build Practice

We are proponents of pushing mobile web builds and delivery.  Most content and user experiences don’t require Apps — the bells and whistles they offer are often hollow.  Plus, mobile web is increasingly capable of delivering those same bells and whistles, ideally, used well.

That said, a whole lot of people Search for Apps and with the emerging tools and platforms that can wrap a well constructed mobile web site in an App-Shell, there is no reason not to offer the single-build content through App stores as well, in native formats.

We undertook the first “wrapping” of our ESLai.com conversational apps and porting to Android by using the http://AppsGeyser.com platform.  It was a breeze. It’s a push button operation and a download (plus distribution through their App Store); this allowed adding the Apps to the Android Store as well as GetJar; where they get secondary pick-up through their affiliates.  Yes, we’ll do an iOS version too; but, we really like Android here, so it was first on the list.

Here’s where you can pick up the Android version of the two ESL conversational simulations (plus, it’s still on mobile web, where any WAP or HTML browser can access them):

ANDROID MARKET:

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.dreamstep.wESL_Conversational_Sim_Pizza

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.dreamstep.wESL_Conversational_Sim_Picnic

 

APPSGEYSER MARKET (with QR Code for Download):

http://www.appsgeyser.com/getwidget/ESL+Conversational+Sim.Pizza

http://www.appsgeyser.com/getwidget/ESL+Conversational+Sim.Picnic

 

 

Conversational mLearning Coupled with Traditional Learning

Because Kenneth Beare describes this better than we do, his recent post at http://englishfeed.com:

http://www.englishfeed.com/?p=134

Is a great introduction to our subsidiary ESLai.com platform and how it can be coupled with a Lesson Plan.  The use of a QR code is intended to add to the fun/mystery/intrigue of bridging from paper to mobile (but, Users can access the mobile web conversational simulations via typing in the URL or SMS as well).

The lesson demo can be downloaded from the EnglishFeed site and post.

As we see increased traffic on our ESLai site and the mobile web apps coming from school ISP’s, we’re excited to consider that the next step will be deeper integration with curriculum and existing learning tools, where the conversational simulations offer a unique space for User’s to practice their skills.

Oh, will QR Codes in the classroom and with kids work?  Here’s how it’s working already:

http://edte.ch/blog/2011/03/16/giant-qr-codes-in-the-classroom/