Many cultural organisations I know are struggling to think about their content and how it might be experienced on mobile – because the screens are too small, and the so the quality of the experience too compromised. The Met’s HD content – perhaps the best currently digitally recorded – is a great experience that can be enjoyed via DVD with a large PC or laptop screen and good speakers, but on a mobile, it’d be just – well – small, and not the HD quality which makes the difference. And it gets a bit annoying to watch for a long period of time. Of course, in the cultural sector, we always worry about the things we don’t need to worry about – in this case, the medium.
The technology industry has now passed the point where it just makes technology for the sake of the technology. It now makes technology for the sake of the user. Infact, a number of phone manufacturers are currently forming partnerships with the providers of tiny projectors. These “Pico” projectors will be embedded in mobile phones and will project a picture up to the size of an A4 sheet of paper (or laptop screen). 3G services mean that downloads of video/digital content can be DVD quality, – so the small-screen picture magnified will still be excellent quality. Last month T-mobile announced VOD Plus – the first service that allows users to swap between platforms (eg. PC and mobile) and resume viewing where they left off. Its getting easier for the user, and the experience is becoming more enjoyable as the quality improves: hopefully the Met will be on my mobile soon!