Keynote: Past, Present and Future of Mobile


  • Andrew Yu, Modo labs

The Mobile Born Generation

  • Andrew shared photos of his two young sons (2 years and 4 months) playing with mobile devices

The Changing Environment

  • In 2007 MiT worked on building their mobile web.  At the time, their CIO cautioned that “the iPhone can’t do it all.”
  • There was no app store for the iPhone until 2008
  • In 2008 everything we did was mobile web; only 1% of the traffic to the web site was from mobile.
  • 1st Gen:  Transit Module
  • 1st Gen:  Mobile Analytics
  • Student Reactions to our first app at MiT were very positive!
  • There’s often a BIG difference between what people are looking for on a university web site versus what’s actually there
  • First mobile app class was a big success, but joining with the Sloan Business school the second year made it sustainable and brought big and positive changes.
  • MiT president saw Stanford’s “iStanford” app and told us:  “we need an app”
  • We need to deliver an iPhone app 1/2010
  • We set up push notifications for transit
  • We set up a lot of custom features!
  • Covering all the bases at that time was not easy; smartphone penetration was only about 30% .  So, we had to use methods like shortcodes for SMS messaging to reach people with non-smartphones.
  • Target:  Mobile Experience in 2010 – you could not know if the product you were looking for was in stock locally.  Today, not only can you access stock “in-app,” it’ll tell you where it’s located in the store.  Target now has “you are here” signs up all over the store.
  • We’re very close to a “walletless” experience, where you can use your mobile phone for pretty much everything.
  • Video broadcasting anything:  Periscope, VR, short-form video like Vine
  • Snapchat:  gesture based UI; use of QR codes for reporting maintenance / housekeeping issues
  • 2014:  “Mobile is Dead”  Matias Duarte
  • The concept of easy needs to translate into everything that we do with mobile:  i.e. get info without opening the app (widgets, live tiles, etc.).


By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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