In addition to Terry Kramer, Regional President of Vodafone America’s, keynote, Vodafone played a key part in the mHealth focus at Mobile World Congress through the work of the mHealth Alliance – the initiative that the Vodafone Foundation helped establish together with the Rockefeller and United Nations Foundations – which organised the mHealth stream and exhibition pavilion.
So I was a bit surprised to find within Vodafone’s Courtyard Hospitality building a mHealth demonstration under the umbrella of “Consumer Innovation” alongside Vodafone 360 and MPESA as an example of what was referred to rather oddly as “power to you your friends, families and at home”.
The researchers were demonstrating a NFC homecare application. Simply touch the NFC enabled Mobile Phone on the image (with embedded NFC Tag) of the food you’d like (multiple taps = extra portions):
Then simply touch the phone to the picture (again embedded with another NFC Tag) of the person you’d like to send the shopping list to:
And your shopping list appears on your carers mobile:
I would have been impressed if this was 2005 but in 2010 Nokia has killed off its NFC Phone and I think it’s for a good reason. Smarter services like those which can leverage Cloud Based Voice Recognition (check out Eric Schmidt’s demo in his MWC Keynote) and Mobile Augmented Reality can do all of the same with lower cost, less need for technology that has low market penetration (ie. NFC Mobiles and NFC Tags) and supported by a more flexible developer platform.
Thankfully the researchers also shared with me some more details on the extended work they are doing in this area. This included the Persona Project which is an “Ambient Assisted Living” 42 month, €11 million project which concludes in June 2010. Involving 21 partners including Vodafone Foundation, ITAC, Vodafone Omnitel and with 3 pilot sites (Odense (Denmark), Borgotaro (Italy) and Valencia (Spain)).
Some very interesting insights into the potential for automatic management of the home environment.
This blog post is part of a series of mHealth reviews from the Mobile World Congress 2010. Click here to get the full review.