Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The future of commerce in India - the Mobile way?

(Originally published on my w2forum journal on 22nd aug 2006)

India seems to be abuzz with new m-commerce initiatives. There have been a few news items recently:

- NGPay an offering from JiGrahak got $2.2 million from Helion Venture...

- PayMate India got around $5 million from Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner...

- mChq a VERY old time entrant, though I wonder why it is not so prevalnt.

- Atom Just found it today.

A few Qs:

1. Is this a trend unique to India?

The reason I ask this is to understand whether the cultural uniquenesss of India has anything to do with it. Unlike in US or Europe, Indians are known to live on their savings rather than on credit. Also India appears to be much more 'mobile savvy'. So what investors might see is a sizeable chunk of a 111 million (current subscriber base) strong potential mobile payment users! - Sounds good and sounds easier to reach than the same number of credit card users.

2. Is anyone really addressing / is concerned about the security and audit aspects of these transactions?

3. What happened to / could anyone throw a light on how PayPal's mobile payment service is doing?

4. And finally - is the future of commercial transactions going to be mobile? Will the mobile be the sole wallet that people will carry around?

Going by these trends, I think countries like India are well poised to use m-commerce in a significant way unless some disrupting technology comes along to challenge it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

B2BC - the ultimate future of communications.

(Originally published on my w2forum journal on 3rd aug 2006)

This might sound a bit too far fetched, but I have been a firm believer in a concept that the future of communications, mobile communications- to be precise, is going to be device form factor agnostic , ubiquitous and pervasive.

I am amazed by the advances in man-machine interfaces and in the knowledge that we are on the threshold of graduating to a higher form of interface - neural. In the future, we will no longer be using key-pads to dial in numbers or even play games! The screen itself will be redundant - we will 'see' in our mind. I call this B2BC, brain-to-brain communication- almost telepathy.

I am imagining a few typical use-cases:

1. Just think of whom you want to communicate with, close your eyes(?) and you would be able to communicate at the speed of thought. Perhaps, even see through the other person's eyes, and even feel the other person's emotions!

2. Or, say you suddenly fall ill. All you have to do is think of your doctor! And the doctor gets a sense that you are in distress and more importantly - can feel your pain! Diagnosis will be real-time and probably the paramedics would already be on your door-step before you can realize.

3. Immersive MMORPGs. Most youngsters of that time will live most of their lives 'in' a virtual world - Matrix style ;-). The 'gaming' experience would be as close as it gets to reality. Many people would need special therapies to help them differentiate between what is real and what is not.

Check out these links to get a feel of what I was ranting:

1. CNN Money. Surfing the Web with nothing but brainwaves.


2. CNN Money. Google on your brain.


3. BBC News. Brain sensor allows mind-control.


4. Cyberkinetics neural interface system.


5. Cyberkinetics brain-computer 'platform'.


What do you feel about these developments?
What about ethics? Who controls what?
Do you think this is the ultimate future of communications?