I met Eduardo, Will and Steve from Protohaus / Protomobl when I was in Santa Monica in September. Smart guys doing stuff with mobile UIs and I wish had the chance to talk with them more. Here’s an excerpt from their blog post Owning the Networks: Part II:
“A user interface that is designed for mobile social networking should focus on aggregation and basic common facilities between networks. Give people access to their friends and their stuff and they will embrace you.
And who owns the user interface? Well, for any socio-centric user interface to be successful, it has to work cross platform and cross carrier – because the social networks are formed ad-hoc and regardless of hardware or data network. The interface in basic form will inevitably be free to the user – but for a fully integrated user experience, the most prepared handset/carrier partnership will lead the way. By installing optimized social-centric user interfaces on customized devices, and supplying targeted services, they can gain revenue from the transactions they enable. Social networks shift and change, they are self generated and respond to being fed and stimulated. Even with user generated content and fully integrated user interfaces, the high value networks of the future may never be fully ‘owned’. It’s a question of trust; Who do you trust? Brands and friends. But not in that order.”
Check out GearOn! I’m dying to get something like this on my phone.