Brough Turner (CTO at NMS) highlights the step function change mobile context-aware communications will create as devices come on-line. Using Skype and China’s Tencent QQ current usage rates of between 6-9% of registered users on-line at any one time, what happens when that number doubles or triples in the next 24 months? From Brough’s post:
"Recently, Skype broke two records. At the very end of March, they reached 6 million users simultaneously on-line and then at the end of April, they reached 100 million registered users. Skype had 6.27 million on-line yesterday mid-morning (EU afternoon), so their on-line users are running just over 6% of their registered users.
Tencent’s annual report (pdf) gives statistics on QQ. Tencent Holdings is a Chinese company whose stock trades on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Their QQ instant messenger service runs on PCs and on mobile devices, mostly within China. As of December 2005, QQ had 493 million registered users, 202 million active accounts and 18.4 million peak simultaneous on-line users. That’s about 4% of total registrations, but 9% of active accounts.
What’s going to happen as mobile devices become richer communications tools that seamlessly combine context-aware availability with live, or near-real-time messaged, voice, text, photos & video sharing? Think the best combination of VoIP services like Skype and mobile phone interfaces like those I discussed in my March Spring VON presentation."
What (and when) is the tipping point for Context-Aware Mobile Communications and Collaboration applications?