In his Chicago Sun-Times media column, Ted Pincus today observes that we may be entering what he calls The Age of De-Complication.
In the jump is an excerpt from his interview with Dag Kittlaus. (Who according to Ted is "a blond, baby-faced Nordic Brad Pitt look-alike, who runs Motorola's Interactive Media Solutions Group -- arguably the world's most fertile communications idea-factory"
"The consumer uses less than 10 percent of the overall utility of communications devices -- all because of intimidation and lack of know-how," Kittlaus said.
Where have we heard that before? My view is that the typical newspaper reader uses simlar percentage of the print product - so the challenges to providing intuitive iPod like interface design are more important than ever before.
Now, on to Ted and his interview of this gifted wunderkind . . .
"I felt that the next generation of mobile phones should truly build a bridge between the user and an expanding array of services," he says. "It should be the next mass market medium."
Kittlaus sold his boss (and now division president) Ron Garriques on the concept. In early 2003, he was given the green light and a major development budget, plus the talents of top designers assigned to the project, spearheaded by an imaginative young British designer, Richard Schatzberger, in Chicago and Motorola R&D colleagues in Sunnyvale, Calif., Seattle, China and Russia.
While his far flung team developed a new kind of mobile phone concept that was a breakthrough in simplification and enabled instant access to the Web, Kittlaus traveled the world to sell the idea to the cellular network operators themselves.
He immediately struck a chord with Cingular's chief marketing officer, Marc Lefar, whose support led to that firm's decision to be the first Screen 3 partner.
Last month the two launched the initial product, the new Motorola V557 cell phone, which carries Cingular's new Media Net Live Ticker service. This enables users to pre-select content such as breaking CNN or Reuters news, weather, stocks, ESPN sports.
The information appears instantly, scrolling across the bottom of the unit's 1.9-inch screen, without even one click necessary. Then, if you want more detail, you click once for a full summary of the story, and once more for the full meal.