Mark Robinson (a.k.a Productdude) has designed and managed a wide variety of mobile and advertisement products for both consumer and enterprise markets. Here are a small number of them:
Verizon’s Next Generation Messaging (NGM) For Android and IOS (2011)
The First Carrier Android and IOS Messaging Clients
In 2008, the carrier messaging market began a fundamental shift. SMS and MMS revenue with carriers began to decline as a result of new, data delivered (over-the-top) messaging services.
Buongiorno, (later spun off into Lumata) developed a Next Generation Messaging (NGM) client aimed at enabling carriers to retake the messaging stack from OEMs and providing a launch platform for other, revenue driving services. In a joint venture with Verizon Wireless, NGM was launched, resulting in the 2nd highest rated application (almost 1000 five-star ratings) in the Verizon’s android offering and service delivery to the largest mobile audience in the United States. An IOS client was later introduced to the Verizon audience.
With dozens of unique, well-integrated features such as location integration into messaging, integrated search and group messages, NGM is off to a promising start in the Verizon messaging portfolio.
Aspira Networks’ Location Based Contextual Targeting System (2010)
The first user intent targeting system.
In 2009, the mobile ad market was focusing much of its efforts on developing location-based ad systems. There were a number of market studies around that time stating that a large number of users develop their own intent to purchase and that those people tend to make their way to various retail sites on their own.
The Aspira Networks system was designed to influence a user’s intent to purchase by providing them with additional options as they are making their way to a retailer’s website. This was accomplished by detecting where a user is going and what they are likely to purchase when they get there, and influence their purchase with coupons and promotions specifically targeted to their intent. This targeting mechanism was augmented with specific location information as well as user profiles. The result was an extremely high conversion rate (ranging from 2-18% depending upon the brand recognition).
Aspira Networks’ Rewardfinds.com & Lilideals.com (2009)
Consumer cash back reward sites designed to test user intent and market programs.
In order to test additional marketing programs, a series of retail websites were established. The most popular were www.lilideals.com and www.rewardfinds.com. Both sites were designed to offer cash back rewards for consumer purchases made through the sites. Over 1400 affiliate relationships were established to support the effort.
Kadoink Branded Campaign Management System (2008)
The first integrated branded ad campaign engine.
In 2007, Kadoink was focused on text and voice blasts to consumers on Facebook and Myspace. By 2008, it was apparent that there was an opportunity to move to branded ad campaigns that brought together web, social media, email and mobile messaging (integrating all of these elements into a single campaign system). The Kadoink Branded Ad Campaign System was developed to address that opportunity. It was launched in December of 2008 to improve the brand recognition of the David Letterman show and The Associated Press. Response rates for the initial system hovered around 2% but grew steadily as additional targeting mechanisms were added.
The system was capable of targeting around user profiles, geography and the context of the publishing and advertisements. Targeting based upon emotional context was also considered and designed but never pursued.
Kadoink Branded Mobile Applications and Social Networking Widgets (2008)
The first audio and SMS blasting applications on Facebook and MySpace.
In support of the campaign management system, a number of mobile applications and social networking widgets were launched. These could be re-skinned using a central interface to support the branding of any of Kadoink’s partners. This was popular with performing artists such as 3rd Eye Blind, Jordan Sparks, Boston and Jenifer Lopez to reach their fans as well as more traditional news organizations such as The Associated Press.
Mobile Clarity Advanced Image Compression (2006)
The most efficient image handling in the mobile space.
To facilitate the success of our products and establish a clear competitive advantage, I worked with my engineering team to design a derivative of JPEG2000 codec to eliminate up to 94.5% of the size of an image with no appreciable reduction in quality. The compression rate is determined by an evaluation of the individual image characteristics or by a standard for quality that the mobile operator or handset manufacturer wish to establish. This key technology enabled all of our client products to operate in bandwidth constrained environments.
Kyocera Push-To-Talk Device Portfolio(2003)
The first Push-To-Talk devices outside of Sprint.
I was the corporate sponsor of the Verizon and Alltel Push-To-Talk (PTT) initiative within Kyocera resulting in the specification and delivery of the first PTT enabled devices on both networks. Millions of units were shipped over the project lifetime and the core technologies from the United States market were used to expand the Kyocera’s product line in other countries such as Japan.
Kyocera Mobile Devices (2003)
The first slider form factor, the first FOTA enabled device and the first Palm enabled mobile device.
Kyocera mobile devices ship throughout the world with as many as 54 mobile applications and supporting 5 application platforms (Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, Brew, and Java). As head of product management at Kyocera Wireless, I was responsible for all mobile applications shipping across the entire portfolio of devices including messaging, browser, provisioning, FOTA, Camera, voice and gaming applications (to name a few). Hundreds of patents were filed in support of the software applications and contributed $100s of millions in revenue.
Openwave WAP Ad Engine (2002)
The first ad targeting engine for WAP pages.
In 2001, WAP pages were being widely deployed by publishers but there was little they could do to monetize them. Ads started showing up on the pages but these needed to be hard-coded which left little opportunity to target appropriately.
I designed a simple ad engine capable of targeting consumers based on their UAProf, the context of the WAP site and a developed user profile. The system tied into an SMSC & MMSC enabling a series of back and fourth communications to a users interests in an advertisement. This engine was the first of its kind in WAP and was operational until late 2004 (replaced by more conventional systems).
Openwave MMS Client (2002)
The very first XHTML MMS client.
Designed for the emerging camera phone market, the Openwave MMS client was the first of its kind in support of the multimedia messaging protocol. It was developed as an extension of the browser in order to expedite its development and stay ahead of competitors. This client shipped on over a dozen phones before its stand-alone MMS cousin was introduced.
It was initially launched in Europe for the Spanish market and then pushed into over a dozen countries. It was the second client product introduced at Openwave to enjoy localization in over a dozen languages on its release date. Openwave MMS client was the first MMS client on the scene.
It was developed and released in a record 90 days.
Openwave Firmware Over The Air Solution (2002)
The first FOTA solution in the mobile space.
To round out our mobile client software portfolio, I formed a small team of engineers on the development of the mobile industry’s first Firmware-Over-The-Air (FOTA) solution. This solution utilized a special protocol to update the firmware on mobile devices. Overtime, this evolved into diagnostic system as well. This developed into $20 million per year business and following my departure from Openwave, it was sold to Innopath in September, 2005.
In the day of the iphone and android devices, we often take for granted this “not so simple” process that had its start at Openwave.
Because of the necessary focus on quality, this took almost 2 years to bring it to market.
Openwave Mobile Browser (2000)
The first GUI browser shipping on a mobile device.
Originally designed for KDDI’s network, the Openwave Browser became the world’s premier mobile internet experience. It was originally designed around the WAP standards and later modified to handle HTML. The browser shipped on 1000s of models of feature phones, to over a billion users and was supported on over 70 mobile operators.
It enjoyed a global launch in over 30 different countries and went on to drive over $160 million a year in revenue for Openwave and $billions for mobile operators. It later became the foundation for other device-based services such as multimedia messaging (MMS) and image viewers.
Ricoh eCabinet (1999)
The best document search engine par none.
Launched at Comdex in 1999 as Ricoh Corporation’s flagship digital document management system, the eCabinet was designed for enterprise and government use. It was adopted by governments and corporations for a variety of uses including storing and managing key documents such as tax returns and DNA records.
It was designed to be used by office admins with little or no training. This feature was the by-product of several 1000 man hours of UI testing. The UI was unique at the time because it was derived from a single keyword search engine that could be expanded to include a variety of search parameters. It was also designed to handle image searches both from a metadata and “like-image” perspective years before the first web based image comparison search site was available.
The system was positioned on a network where it would make a PDF copy of all documents that passed through it. As additional eCabinets were added to a network, the individual systems would communicate and share search results to assure that documents were always found.
Every year, I find companies such as Google releasing functionality reminiscent of the eCabinet experience.
Airline Safety Systems (1996)
The first blast mitigation and airline cockpit safety system.
During my tenure at UCLA, I would brought into Allied Signal Corporation (acquired by Honeywell in 1999) to work with a patent portfolio regarding a material called spectra-fiber. This is the same material that is used to armor Humvees and the like. While reviewing the patents, the team I was participating with came up with several airline safety systems including containers designed to isolate explosives on an airplane as well as secure cockpit doors to protect the crew of a commercial airliner. Several of these systems were adopted following the tragedy of 9/11.