Bob: Anina, welcome to Nerd TV.
Anina: Thank you very much. I'm very excited to be here.
Anina: Because I saw your show and automatically I was completely interested and fascinated by the level of people that you were interviewing. And I, myself, was watching every single show and it's such an honor that if you really enjoy something that you can participate.
Bob: So, are you the mother of Unix?
Anina: No. I wish! (Laughing) No I don't do real creation. I'm more specialized in reinvention, taking technology and warping it to do what I want it to do.
Bob: Anina, the reason that I have you here is because of two things. First of all, many people have pointed out that we haven't done any shows with women yet and we're going to correct that. We're going to do lots of shows with women. You may be the first but by far, you're not the only. But also there's an issue that your specialty, as I understand it, is really mobile Internet, mobile web, mobile communications, which is a growing field, that for the most part, the guys who came before you in this series, know nothing about.
Anina: Really? You think so?
Bob: Pretty much. Pretty much.
Bob: Part of it is because I tend to choose old, gray-haired, fat men but beyond that, they are not all fat, but some of them are. But beyond that, they are often historical figures who have done work on standards that predated all this mobility stuff. So, you're by far, I would guess, the youngest person we've had - well, maybe Max Levchin is 29.
Anina: Yea, I thought he was fascinating. I really enjoyed what he said.
Bob: Yea, Max is cool. But I want to find about this mobile stuff. What can be done with it, where it's coming from, what the standards are and also, you know, you must have friends who are in that other world that we've generally been talking about, what is it about the mobile stuff that they don't appreciate or they don't get? You know, for me, it's the little screen, it's the little keyboard. I'm old and the font, I can't read. It's stuff like that -
Bob: That deters me but obviously a billion people can't be wrong. So, the world is headed that way. So what brought you into this interest in mobile communication?
Anina: Well, primarily it's because I'm super mobile. You know, I move all over the planet. I'm often in the middle of nowhere, doing a shoot, you know. Where's the WiFi? You're in the middle of nowhere in some little albergo and waiting to do the shoot.
Bob: The shoot? What are we talking about?
Anina: Photo shoot.
Bob: Photo shoot.
Anina: yeah because I'm modeling.
Bob: What's your day job?
Anina: I'm modeling.
Bob: Okay, you're a model.
Anina: And I have a website anina.net and basically what happened was that I saw that in the media today, models, women in general, were not being portrayed in, let's say my experience, you know models were considered to be stupid. They were often portrayed as drug addicts or used as some, you know, the nice thing on your arm when you go to dinner type of thing. And that's absolutely not true, at all. The type of women that I run into when I run around the world, they may be young, they may not have a lot of experience but they are technological, they are able to navigate and get themselves from A to B - you know from London to Tokyo. We're able to communicate in places where people don't necessarily speak the language. We're able to do business, you know, here we are like I'm 23 and I have to like go and basically make sure people - my accounting is right in the agencies, that I have to be able to make sure that everything is cool with my booker, that my agencies aren't fighting, you know. I have to manage a lot of business. And so
I would say that the first thing that happened was when I started modeling, I didn't have a computer. I just had a phone. And the first thing that I did with the phone was I started using it in every single functionality that it had. The calendar - I started using the SMS. I was like going and using it when I was snowboarding in the mountains because I was snowboarding and I was also modeling at the same time. And at one point I had to choose one or the other but I would be like for twelve days doing a shoot snowboarding, way in the middle of nowhere and then I would have to use my phone to connect to somebody's PC so that I could check my emails and make sure that I wasn't missing any big jobs worth a lot of money and stuff like that you know because modeling was paying more at that time. So, I just started using it for everything that it was worth because it was what I had. And even before that, I was using for example, PDA's, you know? I was using that to keep track of all my contacts so that I could keep in touch with photographers so that I could, you know, stay in touch with clients because everything in modeling is about you know repeat business, is about you know networking, it's about, you know, how many people you know. Who, you know, who they are talking, what they are saying about you, all sorts of things like that. So, a lot of management of contacts and people on data. So, what I started doing was I, you know, a girl's only got so much space in her purse, you know what I mean? So, I had like a camera, a PDA and a phone and I was waiting and waiting and waiting for somebody to please bring me a device where everything was in one. And that was the 7650, which was a Nokia phone. It was the first Nokia phone with a camera, with a video player, with a color screen. It was still a WAP phone and so the minute that I got that, I started going crazy because, you know, practical life situation - my agency in Spain, they send me an email saying, Anina, we need a Polaroid of you. Because clients, if they are going to book you for a job, they don't necessarily trust the pictures in your book. You know, they want to make sure that you know, all of sudden you aren't really fat or something isn't corresponding.
Bob: So is it like one of those ransom pictures where you hold up today's paper?
Anina: Yea, pretty much. They call it a Polaroid because you just stand there with your arms like this - everything straight so they can see your body shape or so they can just see what you look like naturally with out all of the make up and hair and everything that they are going to do to you later. So, they can see your bone structure clearly and so on and so forth.
Bob: This is the first time we've actually lost the lights. The phone didn't ring but we lost the lights.
Anina: It's okay.
Bob: This is cinema verte. Okay the lights are back on now.
Anina: Okay, perfect.
Bob: You are a 23-year-old.
Anina: yeah and so what I wanted to say was that what I was able to do was I was able to be faster than anybody else because imagine you are working all day. If you have to go then to an Internet café or a Internet point, you know, you've been on location outside of, you know Italy or wherever, outside of the city, shooting in the middle of nowhere. You come back - it's what 6:00. The agency is closed. They needed to send the Polaroid already. You know what I mean? You couldn't go to your agency and have them take a Polaroid and then scan it and send it, you know. Instead there I was on location, checking my email with my phone, asking photographer to take the picture and sending immediately the picture from phone. So I got the job. (Laughing) So, it fits a mobile persons' lifestyle and it grows out of necessity. So, perhaps you have other devices that you use or the way that you use things, maybe you're not in situations where you don't have any connectivity. Maybe you're not in situations where you can't go somewhere easily. Maybe you are not in extremely remote situations or in countries where you've been dropped in the middle of a city, and you don't know where the Internet café is or you don't know even anybody in the entire city, who you could ask. You know?
Anina: So, out of a mobile lifestyle, comes the mobile need and if you don't have any other portable device that you are using, the number one thing you are going to rely on when you see in the phone, that you see you can do email, the first thing you are going to do is say, how can I connect that up? At least that's what I did. Connecting it up is another story. Because at that point, I would go into OmniTel and I'd be like okay, I need the SMTP server - outgoing mail server information of OmniTel and the people would be like what? And I would be like, yeah here in the phone. I have to make the configuration. Nobody knew what I was talking about. Then it was one hour on the phone shouting, I'm not kidding you. I actually met a friend of mine because I was having a fit in the OmniTel shop because they wouldn't like give me the information because you have to shout and shout until they finally, after one hour, pass you to the technician and the technician goes, you know wap.smtp.omnitel.net. And you're like thank you very much. You know but like the road to arrive there is still today unbelievable. I have a project (called) 360 Fashion, where everybody is blogging in the fashion industry from the phone.
So I have to set up 16 phones. After 16 phones, wow! At SFR (a French mobile phone operator) first they treat you like you're stupid and you don't know. They try and sell you an MMS connection when instead what you need is just the direct, you know, non-proxy settings, you know. And operators, they don't want to give you non-proxy settings because they want to control where you go. They haven't yet understood that there are coming a lot of applications where you will need direct access to the Internet. And that's actually, in my opinion, the future of a lot of development for software applications and so on and so forth. So, to fight with them and say, No, I don't need MMS. It doesn't go by MMS. Finally I figured out, for example, that the correct language to get the right settings or to get the right tariff, was to say, I'm going to use my phone to connect my computer to the Internet. (Laughing) I need, you know, non-proxy settings and I need please, a tariff, which will allow me to get a good per kilobyte rate. Which still doesn't work, for example, I have with SFR, you know 50 MO for you know 12 Euro, right? But I still couldn't understand why Diane Pernet's bill was 600 Euro when she went roaming. And finally I sent the bill to Nokia and I asked to the technician, you have to help me. What is wrong? What am I doing wrong here, you know? And so we looked at the bill and he goes, Oh! yeah it's 50 MO but even if you only send 22 kilobytes, they charge you for 200 kilobytes.
Yea! So, really, nobody understands anything about how this story needs to work. And let alone, can you imagine the photographer in my project, Sonny Vandevelde, imagine. Okay, he for example, he's Australian. He lives in Belgium. And he works in Europe and he comes to France and so on, right? We cannot have - I cannot have in Europe a bank account because in France, I cannot have a bank account because I don't have a residency and I don't have all this stuff that you need to have a bank account, you know. So that means I can't have a SIM card, which is like a fixed tariff and everything. I have to have a prepaid card, which a prepaid card is nothing you can do - 19 cents per kilobyte. That's so outrageous. It's ridiculous, you know. And so, you know, he believes so much in what I'm doing and in the project and so on, that he sits there and he can actually only blog roaming with his prepaid SIM card from Belgium because the SFR SIM card doesn't allow prepaid card - does not allow for any Internet access. How ridiculous is that? I mean we're talking about mobility. We're talking about people who, for example, are in one place and they go in another place, on holiday, on vacation, for work, whatever it is. So, roaming prices are outrageous, so the natural thing to do is get a prepaid card. It's really cheap. You whack it in your phone and then you just pay the local rates to make calls and so on and so forth, right? They're from other countries. There I don't have a fixed telephone number, you know you would think the first thing the operators would think is these people need Internet. They need to have some kind of ability to connect and check their emails and so on and so forth because they don't live here. They don't maybe have an Internet point. But nobody is really thinking in that way. I really don't know what they are thinking. They are just thinking that everybody stays in one place and that's all they do, which has nothing to do with mobility to me. And the fact that they really don't understand how people need or use or will use the technology you know in the future, in my opinion. So, I'm very lucky that I'm coming into a position where for example, I'm talking to Orange and I'm saying, Hey you guys actually have the much better tariff and it works much better for what I'm doing by making direct connections, for example, to the Internet to send photos and to upload and to communicate with the blogs.
Not to mention, you know then actually being able to use the mobile Internet okay and then I take the RSS feed and I just do a little bit of conversion to put it into mobile format, so each blog in my project is visible on the mobile Internet. So, that means again, I'm running around, I'm in wherever it is, you know, Belgium Netherlands, Diane Pernet, she just got back from New Zealand Fashion Week. You know running around the globe, she may or may not be able to go to an Internet point and see and take a look at her blog and just make sure that everything is okay. But she can just go in her phone and check it and make sure it's posting, make sure everything is okay. You know, she can even on the spot do a little marketing for herself and say like, oh yeah, I've got a blog. Here it is. And she can SMS the URL into someone else's mobile device and then they can read her blog without having to go to the Internet. You know? So, that means that you can be on the beach in the summertime and still stay connected to all the news and all the information that you really enjoy or for example, I was in South of Italy climbing Mount Etna and I needed to know when the train was back from one side of the island to the other and we were in a restaurant, and of course, small town city, the train station is closed at night. You know? So the first thing I did was like oh, and so I used the Opera browser in the phone to go to dbon.da, you know. It comes out a little bit garbled, you know. But more or less, you understand where the input fields are. I inputted information and I was like okay you guys, so tomorrow at 7 is the train. The train station doesn't open. We would never have known that so we would have missed an entire day that we would know what we had to do in actual to travel. So, I think there is a lot of situations that maybe you haven't encountered but that I encounter or that other people encounter that are really, really mobile.
Bob: Well, I am a dinosaur. (Laughing) You know, I'm encountering people with fire. That's my concern. You know, what you are saying to me, it sounds like these are the perils of the early adopter, who becomes what in the PC world we would call a super user.
Anina: A super user.
Bob: Yeah. You know that's the guy who, or gal, who answers the questions of all their friends.
Anina: Yeah (Laughing).
Bob: That's what you end up becoming is the expert. But there is a point at which you either remain content with being a super user or you move to being a developer. It sounds like you've made that jump. Why?
Anina: Well, because I'm not getting what I want. And nobody is doing it. So, if I don't do it, who is going to do it? And not only that but when I started developing stuff it was really cool on the 7650. I was like, started poking around the on the Internet late at night, you know, on my friend's computer. And I found out the whole world of applications for the phone you know that all these people had created. So I discovered the Z drive on my phone.
Bob: The what drive?
Anina: The Z drive.
Bob: The Z drive.
Anina: Yea, yea. There's a Z drive that's like hidden, you'll never go there. But you know if you get this little application on the phone you can see all the drives of the phone. So, then I can like go in and dissect it and actually see what my operating system is made out of, which is fascinating. So, then I don't know. I just started poking around and deleting things and you know - then I tried to get them off of there so that I could you know take them apart and see what they were made up of and so on. I wanted to understand what was an SMS message made up of when it wasn't on the phone, you know. I wanted to see what that stuff looked like from a code aspect. So, I don't know you just start looking at all of that in the petre dish, you know under the microscope and it just becomes a whole world of things to look at you know - macro cosmos, micro cosmos and then you start going, wow! Well I would like to be able to do this and this and this and that and it doesn't exist. So you go out and you find a tool, which is kind of similar, and then you start using the tool or at least I start using the tool in ways that it wasn't really intended to be used, you know, but in this way, I come to this sort of evolution of developing something from something that already existed.
Bob: Can you give us a specific example?
Anina: Okay. So, it's really fun and it's really great to code, you know my micro site. Okay? But I model in the day and then you know, I'm coding on my computer, doing computer stuff you know until like 3:00 in the morning or 4:00 in the morning. And then I have to sleep a little bit and get up and go to a shoot. So for example, I started looking for, you know how there is DreamWeaver? I started looking for DreamWeaver for creating easily and quickly mobile pages. Well, I found some tools but they are like archaic and don't even deal with the color aspect of anything. So, what I would do is I would use this tool to make a quick WML page and then I would take that and I would start to implement ASP code into it and then you know. So it's just like a really quick GUI to get past all of this sort of mundane stuff and then start really doing the fun stuff, which is you know, shaping what the page will look like, plugging in some cool graphics, you know optimizing the pages and so on and so forth. So, that's one example of using a tool to just sort of save time. Because if your site starts growing very large, you want to be able to quickly make pages and go to bed.
Bob: So there aren't integrated development environments for phone developers?
Anina: There are if you talk about applications on the phone, of course for Nokia and all the phone manufacturers have each their individual tools for java, for all different kind of coding on that kind of level. Now there's Flash Light. Macromedia is getting into it. That's totally going to revolutionize all the applications on the phone because imagine how many flash developers there are out there. When they start making stuff for the phone, in the beautiful flash way; it's going to be great. You know?
Bob: That would just be recompiled for the phone?
Anina: No, no. Flash Light obviously, it's a much simpler, you know more limited version than Flash 7. But for example there are other technologies that take a Flash 7 file and convert it into another format, sort of an individual format, so you can make Flash 7 games and then shoop! Put it into the phone. I personally really like and believe in the Flash Light thing. I think anything that Macromedia is going to do is gonna fly. Like you have Flashcast, which is already a server side application, which allows new content to come quickly into the phone, into your Flash player or application, you know. So, you don't have to like go and request the update. Instead, it's just feeding your phone with content in the content area that you are interested. So, if we talk about applications on the phone, of course, there are tons and tons of developers out there, you know. Form Nokia has 400 developers which are Form Pro, you know, developers and then there are 2 million other developers which aren't Form Nokia Pro members.
Bob: So, there's 2 million people plus making these -
Anina: That's just Nokia.
Bob: That's just Nokia.
Anina: Yea, that are developers, you know. There is Mysimbian.com, where you can just see a whole bunch of applications, which are made for the phone. My problem is that I think a lot of these applications are made by technicians who are perhaps you know not thinking "real life applications". You know? Where my forte is is that I am at an advanced user, so I also understand the people around me. So I understand a user perspective and then I am able also to develop. So, I'm able from a digital architecture standpoint to actual understand sort of how the molecule needs to, you know how the data needs to flow and the actual steps that an average user or a normal person would take logically to go to A, B or C. You know, how many clicks or how they would logically arrive intuitively, you know, to do whatever the application wants to do. So, I think a lot of the programs and the applications that I see out there - I don't really load a lot of things onto my phone because they are not doing what I really want them to do.
Bob: Is it that they are too complex, that the interfaces are bad, that the functionality that you want is missing, they are maybe too simple?
Anina: They are kind of in a way, they are either too simple or they are too complex for a normal person to figure. You know what I mean? The average user, at least in the fashion industry, may or may not know what is you know their outgoing mail server. Probably their friend who is geeky came over and set up their mail client. You know what I mean?
Anina: So, we're talking about a lot of people who are not necessarily aware of all these hidden aspects of it, you know that are happening. I do believe that this device is completely unique because it has the ability to bridge the digital divide on many levels. Because it's a little friendly device, you know, you hold it in your hand. It's very personal, you know. You put your fonde cran, your wallpaper on it. It becomes a real part of you. Plus if you look at it, it's non-threatening in the sense of green button, red button, number keys. You know what I mean? These are all things that can be understood automatically without a lot of explanation. You know? Whereas with a computer operating system, you know how would you know if you had never touched a computer before, click the start button and say turn off this computer. How would you know that?
Bob: You wouldn't.
Anina: But you know that red means stop and green means go. Do you see what I mean?
Anina: So, it has automatically in the actual physical construction of it, buttons on the side that you can press, you know again, red button - off, green button - on.
Bob: So, there's a minimal level of functionality that's pretty obvious.
Bob: So that almost anyone can do something with a phone.
Anina: Yea. Definitely.
Bob: Now they can't do what you can do but they can do something.
Anina: Well they could do what I can do because if I can do it, then anybody can do it.
Bob: (Laughing) I don't think so.
Anina: Yea, for sure. It's just really a matter of technophobia. All 16 of the people in my project, okay, non-technical people. Iris Brosch had like the most archaic 3G Motorola phone. I was looking at it. It was completely destroyed. You know what? Within two hours because of the interface, I personally like Nokia best because I feel its very intuitive, ergonomic operating system. But within two hours she understood how to email, even though I set up her email but I explained it to her. I said we have to find this outgoing mail server and then I showed her where was the outgoing mail server and her mail client. You know? It's not that people are ignorant or stupid, it' just that nobody ever showed them. They are visual people. People are visual. If they see what they have to do, it's easier to understand what they have to click on. They do A, B and C and they know they will arrive to D. Or they know what the box looks like. They are like how do I get back to that screen, you know? How do I get back to that box, you know, that pops up on the screen? The same thing, you know you're like oh yea, where's the Blue Tooth. Oh it's in connectivity. You know what I mean?
So, there is a lot of things about the mobile device, which endear it to you and make it that automatically you are much more likely to approach it. You know what a calendar is, you know. It's got a little button in the middle that makes it easy to navigate. You know. It's not even like a mouse, you know. There's a couple of things that they didn't know. They didn't know that the little pencil key acted like a mouse but the minute that I showed them that you hold down the pencil key and you center click and it check marks everything so you can multiple, you know, mark all. But then even in the operating system, even if you Options, Delete. You know. Yea, you could just do a short cut and press the C key, which would delete it. But you can also do the logical Options, Delete way, you know what I mean, which once you learn that you can just press the C key but everything happens in a very, what I call, viral way. You know, you show somebody and it's easy to show somebody. It's not like you are lugging a computer around and then you have to open the computer, boot it up, wait a little bit, have a tea. You know, especially if it's an old model and you wait a little bit longer. You know, instead you are at a party. You're like oh I want to Blue Tooth you my composite. You know and they are like, everybody's like uh Anina, where's the Blue Tooth. I'm like give me your phone. You see this little red arrow and blue arrow with the two phones, that means, you know, exchange of information. Click on that. There you go - there's your Blue Tooth. Turn it on. They are like wow, I never even knew that. And in a matter of two seconds they are up and Blue Toothing. They didn't even know before that it existed. They just needed somebody to show them.
Bob: So you have 16 people that you are working with on this particular project. They have a variety of technical levels of sophistication.
Anina: I would say they were all pretty at zero, except -
Bob: They're not at a variety of levels. They were all very primitive.
Anina: Well except for like the photographer, you know, Sonny, for example. He uses a lot. You know, he's working in PhotoShop. He's already very savvy.
Bob: How have their lives been changed by coming to understand their phone?
Anina: Oh, that's wonderful. Again, Iris Brosch, she's shooting on location somewhere, her agent calls her and says I need you to take a look at this you know, email or I'm sending you for tomorrow's job, the details. She can go, connect to her phone, see the details, call immediately back her agent, say Okay, I got them. She doesn't have to wait till she's home, hope that she got the email or call, generally her five assistants are with her, you know. Call back to her office, say can you check my email. You know, everything is speeded up and happens a lot faster. For example, journalism, Diane Pernet, she now has a really strong, in the fashion world, digital presence but imagine as a journalist in the fashion industry, with all the, you know, fashion events that happen worldwide, okay. She would have to wait. She would go away, then she would have to wait until she got back. So that would be what? A week that she'd be gone and then she'd have to spend hours and hours and hours updating her blog with all the pictures that she took in her camera and this and that. Now, she can just take the picture and send it and people can follow her in real time. So, her life has been made easier, you know. She can go to bed a little bit earlier. She can hang out with her friends. She can promote people that she just bumps into. You know what I mean - that she really believes in their work. You know. She has a much stronger voice then she would have say that you know, you don't see a blog move for a week, you may not come back. You know if you see a blog moving all the time, and now she's got other authors and other people who write. She's got full on, you know, online magazine you could call it. And there's a lot of digital information in there.
Not only that, but because she is creating it with the phone, uploading it with the phone and then she has a digital, you know, micro presence on the WAP or on the mobile Internet then that means that already all that conversion process that you have to go through, it's already done because you created it already with the device. So that means that when people go to her blog on the .NET portal, it's already there. You click, you watch a video. It's already in 3GP format. You know it's not like she went with the camera, she edited it, then she had to convert it. Then she had to upload it. Then she had to know what a server was. She had to know you know a lot more information. She probably didn't know that information, would have to then ask somebody or pay somebody to do it. You know she's saving time. She's saving money and she's working faster and she's gaining a large audience, which can lead - you know more hits you have can lead to, sort of in the Internet world, your value. (Laughing) Right?
Bob: Except for NerdTV, the more hits we have here, the more broke I am. But that's okay. Now I want to talk about platforms because everything that we've been talking about sounds to me like it's in a specific platform. And there competing platforms in the mobile space. You know, we hear about WAP, we hear about the entity know as I-Mode. There are applications that use J2ME, which is available on I-Mode and presumably other platforms as well. There is the Symbian operating system. Can you describe the landscape and why you've chosen the ones that you've chosen?
Anina: So first of all, I have to clarify. WAP is a very commonly misused word. I even misuse it because when I say it and most people when they say it.
Bob: It's an Italian person, right?
Anina: No! It's a you know, it means wireless access protocol.
Bob: Wireless access protocol.
Anina: So, it's actually not a protocol. It's that these wise old dudes, got together in the WAP forum and they created these, basically they outlined, they said okay, we are going to do it like this. We're gonna all agree that we're all gonna use this standard and we're all going to basically get along. And so they created these basic standards which would allow them to then sort of cross information and work together. Not that one was way over there and the other one was way over there and the other one was doing something over there. And that means that I can't send SMS because I'm on a GSM system and you know, America - Verizon is CDMA. It's so annoying. I cannot send SMS and I cannot receive SMS from my friends, you know. That means that what do I have to do? I'm roaming charges, I have to phone them because that's the only way I can talk to them. I can do email but you know, email, there are delays. You know, it's not really like SMS where it's like, you know, very fast.
So, what I want to say is that there was the WAP, which was basically using a standard, which was UDP packet with a WAP gateway, which would then translate all that information to TCP/IP. So, even the 7650 was still a WAP phone. Okay? But nowadays, most of the phones are like minicomputers. They make direct connections with TCP/IP to the Internet. That's why you know the WAP got such a bad rap, that they changed it to a mobile Internet. Because now we have color screens, now is really when the whole thing, the party can get started because now we have 3G, we have larger bandwidth, now we can actually show something more than just working in black and white. So first of all, let's talk about you know, mobile Internet, then I-Mode. I-Mode is basically another form of mobile Internet but it's working with, as I understand it, with the Qualcomm systems. So again, like Qualcomm is very strong in America. It's also strong in Japan but what you are going to see is that pretty much everybody will be moving to GSM because I don't know I think it's advanced platform or advanced system, an advanced way of doing things but I can understand Americans, you know. CDMA it's an American technology. They want to continue to propagate it. It creates a lot of jobs here, etc. GSM networks don't have a lot of coverage because it's just starting and growing. But if we speak about becoming a global, you know, planet, we're talking about real mobility. I really think that speaks, you know, that says GSM all over it.
Bob: You know, in the U.S. GSM is singular and T-Mobile, yea. The others are all CDMA.
Anina: Tmobile - Verizon.
Bob: But my understanding, you know I'm an idiot about this stuff, so I don't know. But my understanding is that the advantage that is claimed for the I-Mode stuff was that you didn't have to customize your website to have it be accessible to the phone.
Anina: Yea. That's true. You had to just add a little bit of code to your already existing website. I'm not really familiar with I-Mode because I specialize in the GSM -
Anina: Technology, but from what I understand, it never really - it didn't really catch on. You know, it didn't really offer a rich media experience, whereas for example XHTML, you know, you can really start to do a lot of cool stuff. You know you can really start to paint your mobile Internet site and really customize it and make it look you know cool and do a lot of cool stuff. So, it never really caught on because I think it's limited in what it can actually deliver.
Bob: Well, those Japanese people would disagree with you but anyway. Now what I wonder about here, though, is we seem to have divergent platforms. In one sense, you've described a replacement for the PC for the mobile person and that makes sense. But there's still a PC somewhere in that picture though because you talk about, I go at night on my friend's computer and I learn things and I hack code and that's what I have to do. Sure it makes sense but what's the direction things are going. Where will they be say, five years from now? And does this take the PC out of the picture completely or are there going to be divergent development paths?
Anina: Well, I see it as an augmentation. It's a small screen. You know, basic fact. When you talk about a person who wants to have a 21-inch screen or speaker, you know, no question, we're not talking about it replacing a computer. It's more like an augmentation for when you don't have your computer. You always have it with you. You may not always have your computer with you. It's a larger piece of equipment. But you may be somewhere, in a nightclub or something like that and you may bump into somebody who's useful to your business in some way. That's typically what happens in my industry, you know. I'm chatting next to some photographer, you know, very sly move. Turn on his Blue Tooth, Blue Tooth him a composite. Next day, he looks at his phone, my face is his fonde cran and he remembers me, you know. There's let's say a lot of -
Bob: People are always doing that to me.
Anina: (Laughing) Really? Someone just sneaks you in some Bluetooth material! But I think you will see, like a PDA, you know, that people when they don't have their computer with them, they will start to use the phone to either control their computer, you know. One of the things that is coming out is this, from Microsoft, the media center. You will be able from the Microsoft phones, to go log on to a optimized page and record and set you know, your PC at home to record whatever TV show you wanted and this and that and you are at work. And you may not be allowed at work to go log on to the Internet and surf around, you know. But you can from your phone because it's your personal device. So, I see it as an augmentation, at the same time, when Flash hits this phone, it's gonna start to basically become stronger than television. By 2010, as a media channel, as a new market channel, it will be more powerful then the television. Because, I believe, we already are talking about, you know, TV in your phone. We're already talking about culture; we're already talking about services, which make your life easier provided by the operators, you know. And we're talking about even fun and games. We're talking about multi-player, real time games that you can play on your phone, with your friends, during your lunch break or whenever. You know? So we're really talking about a device, which is always, always with you. I even use it as I'm sure you do, as an alarm.
Bob: That in fact is the only additional function I know how to program on my phone. But that just says something about me.
Anina: But as for back to the platform question, you know. For example, you've got this BREW, you know this technology that for example is working on the Qualcomm systems and so on, I've seen a lot of really cool stuff come on the Qualcomm phones. And I'm really impressed with what they can do. I think everything is just a tool and when you have a need, you can execute a service, a application or you know, a device to suit your needs. More it's the question of how do you use it, how is your lifestyle, will then lead you to the correct tool to meet your needs, you know. But what I want to say is again, the mobile device has this incredible value in that it can really bridge the digital divide. You know, if we talk about when I coded my mobile Internet site, I wanted it to be as available to everyone that it could possibly be and that means even if you think about my micro cosmos fashion world, you've got the most powerful head editors, who've got like a 3360 ancient, you know data call, WAP black and white telephone, you know. And these women are just now learning because they are older, they are more mature, they are just now learning to do email, they are just now learning to, you know have a phone. The concept of having a mobile phone with them.
So, let alone to talk about the Africans, you know and what kind of bridging the divide that's happening there. Last night I was talking with a South African and for example, he has a nanny that takes care of his son. She is completely illiterate, lives remotely away in the middle of nowhere and yet she knows how to use a phone. She knows that she can call on a Sunday and check what his son is doing. And she calls and she says, oh what is my child doing, what is my friend doing? And she calls up but she also knows okay, that on the backbone of that device, she's got the operator infrastructure and he was telling me that in South Africa for example, the operators have started to implement for example, a lot of medical help so that if somebody is, I don't know, having a baby, you can call a number and they will actually arrange transportation to get you to the hospital. You know. So automatically without knowing how to read or write, she has this backbone of infrastructure, which can aid her in a way that, you know, no PC can do.
Bob: It's like the telephone.
Anina: yeah (Laughing). You know, and for example, people who want to stay in touch, you know, that their children leave and go to live in the city, African culture is a very rich culture in the terms of song, dance, visual communication, so they actually understand a web cam concept. They understand a phone concept but they may or may not understand how to read or write or you know, any kind of other technology.
Bob: You just met Bill Gates a while ago.
Bob: How long ago?
Anina: Three days ago.
Bob: Okay, so several days ago. And clearly Microsoft wants to be a major player in this area. You have this sort of native speaker's sense of what the mobile space is like and where it is headed. You saw what they want to do. Do they get it?
Anina: Well, I was actually wondering if they did get it. I think they got it. The mere fact, this meeting that it was, it was 99 of the top companies in France and me. And Bill Gates was speaking and speaking about where convergence, where Microsoft was going with convergence. They were talking about the Media Center and one of the questions that I had had in my mind was, you know, will there be mobile access with the Media Center. And absolutely there was. Even now if we talk about, right now, a hot topic is voice over IP. If you've got a Windows mobile device, you can put Skype on it and you can go to a WiFi spot and you can phone for free to all the people in your contact list. You know? So that has it's limitations, you know voice over IP, I don't think is anywhere near where it's going to be because when the operators get involved, then we add the roaming aspect to that because right now what? You go stand in a WiFi spot and you know, you're tied to that. There's a lot of other problems involved. You can't call 911. You can't call, you know, who's not on your list. You know, nobody not on your list can't call you. There's a whole bunch of sort of Skype issues or voice over IP issues. But when the operators get involved, everybody will benefit.
So, for example, instead of building a base station inside a building, which is incredibly costly, so that you can have coverage inside the building, you can use the existing wireless infrastructure to have connectivity with your mobile device and then as you walk out of the building, out of the WiFi spot, it would like automatically connect to the closest base station. So, you would have continual talk time. Whereas, now you walk out of the WiFi area and you're not talking anymore. When these technologies start to converge together and operators start using them and getting mobile, everybody is going to win. In the sense of, you know, what he was speaking about and he spoke a lot about mobile devices as being the big booming, an important aspect of what is happening right now. From MP3 players to PCs which are moving around, PDAs to mobile phones to you know, cameras, you know if you think of the larger picture of mobile device, then the convergence happens when you have a center and you can access that center through different channels. So, the way I sort of see it is that it doesn't matter then the shape of the device, what you really want is your information inside. You know? I use Plaxo. Now I understand that this phone, I have like 4,000 contacts all over the world, you know, they don't fit in the phone. The people don't understand my industry and how it works and what kind of relationship that we have.
Bob: You have to do contact triage. I'm sorry you aren't important enough to me.
Anina: yeah right! It's more like I can't even decide who goes into my phone when I sync it, it's just like phone full. You know I can't even decide. Take this one and not that one. But now for example, Plaxo has this mobile service, so I've now got this extension to my phone, which allows me then to access all of my contacts and save them to the phone and so on.
Bob: That leads us then to this whole web services idea and you're saying that they are extending the mobile platform in the same way that they are also extending the desktop or home or office platform.
Anina: Oh yea. Internet web sites and how they are built nowadays, at least the ones that I build for example, my web site, it's actually made now out of a conglomeration of other people's services that look like my website but I didn't sit there and code that from scratch. Instead what? I just linked to a blog. Put my information like that. I link to Café Press. I integrate it into my site. If you actually looked at the digital architecture of my website, you would see that it's actually made up of a whole bunch of other people's services. So, in exactly the same way, you know. The PC is there. It's a structure but there is a big extension to it through the actual backbone of the Internet. And the same with the mobile device. The services of the operators extend the functionality of your phone but not only that, the really exciting thing is that operators are becoming the new media channels. You know, streaming, TV all of that allows now for new creative professionals to create individual content that maybe you can't get it on TV.
Bob: So, the operators in this case, you mean, the mobile phone companies?
Bob: Okay, and so something like TV might be able?
Anina: Yea, it would be wonderful. Not only that talk about all the people that you address, are people who are early adopters who are using mobile devices. You know so they are cruising around, they are running around wherever they are, you know, maybe they want to download and have in their phone for reference purposes even that they are not - I can't imagine a real super geek away from his computer but you know, maybe he wants to show it to somebody else. You know maybe there is a different way to use the information.
Bob: So let's think of it in another sense. Let's think in terms of Moore's Law, which says that about every 18 months the power and a computer at the same price doubles for the same level of power decrease by 50 percent. We're willing to pay the same amount for a phone so that means 18 months from now, the phone that we would buy and I know I talk to phone company people and they say basically a life span of a phone is about 18 months. So people they lose it or they drop it or they get bored with it. After 18 months, they want a new phone. So they get a new phone and it will be twice as powerful as the phone before and the next one will be twice as powerful as that one. So eight times as powerful, is that right? Four times? Whatever. It goes up at a very fast rate. So if we think about where we'd be three, four, five generations from now, suddenly the phone is the equivalent of say a two-gigahertz processor. The limitations that I've always seen have been input and output. Tiny screens, lousy keyboards - last week we had Avram Miller who said that he didn't want to be 70-years-old, going like this. And of course, the viewers won't know what that means but you can do it for - go 70 years, going like this. That's right. Okay.
Anina: Actually I'm just like this.
Bob: Well see, you're an advanced life form. But what if we go, what if we have real voice recognition or voice input that is like eight times as intelligent as it is now? What if we have a retinal scan display that attaches to your glasses if you wear them, which you don't but I do, and suddenly you are looking at a 60 inch screen in full color projected onto the retina of your eye. If you do that and you have these back end services, do you need a PC?
Anina: I would imagine sincerely that the PC is such a fundamental thing, that people will always, even for nostalgic reasons, you know. I mean who's to say, I guess if I could call up my PC and go (sound effect) then you know, like they do in the movies and they go like (sound effect), well you know you won't even need your wallet anymore then because you'll just have these little chips on your finger and you'll scan it, you know when you go to the supermarket. I can't really say if you will ever never need a PC. I think it's an individual thing. Like I said, the device fits the lifestyle, fits the individual. You know? I'm sure that somebody who is 16 in that year, they won't need a PC. Someone who is 89, will be still attached to that. You know what I mean? The same thing, mobile Internet, it's going to have a lifespan because higher screen resolution, better phones, you know other formats, like you just said are going to replace it.
So, eventually we will have just the straight Internet on the phone, I think. But there will always be people, you know, who have a lesser phone, you know who have a more limited phone and what? Should they be excluded, you know because of that? Should XYZ, underprivileged, impoverished person not be allowed to access mobile Internet or have the ability to go for example to a telecenter? You know, homeless people, there are telecenters in France made by Microsoft, which I go there and I donate time and I teach people how to use the Internet and stuff, you know. If you are homeless, you can't store papers. You don't have a PC but what you do use is you use the Yahoo services and you save all of your documents in your Yahoo account. You know, you've got a calendar there. So, maybe they won't need their own PC, but maybe they'll need an access point. Be that from their phone, be that from a device, be that from their glasses, be that for whatever because again, it's the information that you want inside. It's not really the size or shape, you know, some people's fingers are more fat than others. Some people are hard to see.
Bob: Anina, you are a geek aren't you?
Anina: I like to know how things work. (Laughing)
Bob: Okay, Anina, you're 23 years old, which is not old, believe me, not old but you won't be modeling forever.
Anina: Who knows?
Bob: You might be. Some people do, but have you thought of continuing this technology stuff after modeling?
Anina: Well one of the things was is that I decided at a certain point that what is the point of being highly visual, if it doesn't mean anything? So I decided to start to use my persona, my physical presence to become sort of a role model so that when young women would see my picture in the magazine and they would put it up on their wall, it would mean more than like, ooh I want Anina's hair. It would be like oh, Anina has a website. And Anina has a blog. Anina uses her phone. She codes. Huh? Maybe I'll take a computer class. Maybe I can take that too. I really want not just for women, but for all non-technical people, to be able to say that if I can do it, you can do it. It's just a matter of showing and so I wanted to use my identity to bridge this technophobia.
Bob: Are people responding?
Anina: Absolutely, I taught 16 people in the fashion industry who didn't even know how to do anything, how to do every single thing with their phone. It's pretty cool, huh?
Bob: Very cool.
Anina: I think it's cool, not to mention, can you imagine you know what you could do for elderly people or for like I mentioned the telecenters, with homeless people. You know, talk about people who really need mobility, who really need to understand how to use this are people who are far away from their families and who are highly mobile.
Bob: Thank you.
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