That would be MobileTech, a conference earlier this month in Mainz, a city near Frankfurt, famous for the Gutenberg legacy and not much else.

Since I didn’t get to the Gutenberg museum, and since Mainz looks like any other mid-sized city in the middle of Germany, there’s not much by way of atmospheric photography. Well, the clouds at dawn as we descended over Europe were pretty.

Pink dawn clouds over northern Europe

Take-aways · This was my first pure-mobile event since joining the implacable Android army, so you can bet I was all ears, and probably as free of preconceptions as I’ll ever be in this job. What struck me was:

  • The German developer community isn’t very religious; neither the iOS nor Android sessions were significantly busier.

  • A whole lot of people are super-excited about augmented reality. I dunno; my first encounter with the notion was as an art form, in William Gibson’s Spook Country, and to this day I find it more plausible as art then business.

  • I went to a few of the Android-track presentations, and the quality was outstanding; our community seems well-supplied with communicators.

  • Microsoft is cranking up to make a splash with Windows Phone 7; I expect them to have an impressive set of launch partners. I got to play with it and enjoyed the user interface just because it’s not like anything else. On the other hand, IE felt a bit shaky considering how close everyone thinks WP7 is to shipping.

    Here’s Microsoft’s Frank Fischer with a big-architecture slide.

Frank Fischer of Microsoft presents Windows Phone 7
  • I went to a thinly-attended presentation on Samsung Bada, which seems perfectly OK. Someone asked “Why are they doing this, again?” and the speaker, not an official Samsung representative, answered “Well, the feeling is that now is about anyone’s last chance to ship a new mobile OS.” OK then.

  • The organizers, Software & Support Media, whom I’ve worked with before and are very impressive, hadn’t aimed very high, only having booked space for 300 attendees. I suspect they could have drawn a lot more, because it was packed to the walls during the plenary.

Nontechnical · For me, the most interesting attendee was Ossi Urchs, mobile-tech guru, Vedantic scholar, and Euro-Rasta. He and I had several interesting unofficial talks plus an official evening “fireside chat”, which the audience seemed to enjoy. Here’s Ossi.

Ossi Urchs

I also enjoyed listening to the Zaboura Eichstaedt Experience or ZEE; they are an improvising iPhone orchestra; six players pumping out music that’s really quite listenable if a little soft-edged for my taste.

If you want to read about that chat or my opening keynote, I thought the Canoo blog’s MobileTech Conference 2010 wrap up was fair, even if their HTML squished my portrait.

The food and beer were excellent, the company good, and with every day that passes, I wonder once again at my own luck in ending up in the mobile-tech business.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: vk77de (Sep 25 2010, at 02:31)

Mainz is also famous for its carnival.

[link]

From: skh (Sep 25 2010, at 03:46)

So you missed the famous church windows by Marc Chagall in St. Stephan and all the Roman ruins.

[link]

From: BJ (Sep 26 2010, at 02:50)

I guess you also missed

* all signs of the 2000-year history of Mainz, incl. Roman architecture and boats

* the 1000-year old Mainz cathedral

* the worlds smallest bible in the Gutenberg museum

* a soccer match by current bundesliga leader Mainz 05

* atmosphere in the many wine bars (similar to beer gardens in Bavaria) in the old city center

* Schott company, supplying mirrors for very large telescopes worldwide and in space

[link]

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