This was the subject of the second afternoon's sessions in Track B. Closing with a panel discussion on the subject of interactive mobile messaging.
First up were Atos Origin and Swiftpass talking about mobile ticketing for the UK rail industry. The system they were developing had had to overcome, and was still overcoming, several major hurdles in terms of handset support, forward locking of messaging and payment processing but it presented a tantalising vision of travel ticketing in the future. If they get it to work, all credit should be due, it will have been a long and arduous journey.
Incidently, the European travel industry seems to standardising on the 2D Aztec barcode which presents an exciting opportunity for single ticketing across Europe, or at least a big piece of the jigsaw.
The opportunity is really put into context if you look at the Japanese experience. Apparently this is the first year ever that the Japanese have had less physical money in circulation. The reason, mcommerce. The phone as payment, ticketing and identification device is so far ahead in Japan, people just don't need to carry as much money.
Michael Kowalzik of TynTec followed this with what I can only describe as a thinly veiled sales presentation under the title 'Examining the Growth Curve of Corporate Message from a Global Viewpoint'.
Enter Alex Meisl of Sponge to give us a lift before we broke for coffee. He's an accomplished presentator who also benefited from some great material. Basically he gave us lots of examples of interactive mobile campaigns that they'd been involved with.
My personal favourite was the Audi R8 campaign that involved 28 billboards in central London with an instruction to text in to hear the car. Send your text and you would receive a sound file of the car starting up and driving off. As I'm sure you can imagine the R8 sounds like beast.
I missed the next presentation after coffee, catching up with emails, but was eagerly waiting for the panel session. Unfortunately very few people stayed for it, I think there were 2 operator representives one from Telenor of Norway and the other from KTF of Korea.
Erik Rosén from Ericsson was outspokenly gobsmacked that this session wasn't better attended by the operators. This was, in his view, one of most important sessions of the event and represented where the growth was going to come from in messaging in the coming years.
So we all agreed that the operators should be doing more and were missing a trick, except in Norway and Korea of course.