Speaker Announcement: Rick Fant

Rick FantWe’re proud to announce that Rick Fant, Vodafone’s “head of Internet Discovery,” will deliver a keynote at Over the Air. Rick Fant as Head of Internet Discovery leads the marketing, development and deployment of consumer and developer services associated with internet access and internet enabled applications. Prior to Vodafone, Rick had a long career at Microsoft starting in application development and deployment; growing to server product development and marketing and evolving into managing product teams in the delivery of mobile applications and services. Rick gained an extensive background in software development and organization management with Tandem computers and US West communications.

Rick has been working to not only increase awareness around internet enabled applications, but he has also been driving the utilisation of standardised technologies and revenue opportunities for developers. By using initiatives such as the Joint Innovation Lab which brings together some of the largest operators in the world, it will make it easier for the ecosystem to develop, test and distribute their applications globally.

Speaker Announcement: Ricardo Varela

Ricardo VarelaAlso reprising his role from last year will be Yahoo!’s Ricardo Varela. Ricardo, who joined Yahoo! in 2007, and his team are responsible for Yahoo!’s mobile product development, working to provide Yahoo!s community of users with the best possible mobile first experience.

Prior to joining Yahoo!, Ricardo worked on mobile product development at Microsoft and Google. Ricardo started his career at the age of 19, forming his own mobile and web videogames community which he then successfully sold on to Broadcast. He is a regular speaker in Mobile events and collaborator in different initiatives regarding mobile development.

Ricardo will be speaking on “Building mobile applications with Yahoo! Blueprint” and “Using Yahoo APIs for the mobile web: content, location and context”.

Speaker Announcement: Henny Swan

Henny SwanWe’re pleased to announce that Henny Swan of Opera will be joining us at Over the Air, speking on “Universal access across devices: can the mobile Web be made accessible?”

Henny has focused on accessibility and usability since the late 90’s when she started out working for a Chinese search engine and her own start-up in China. From there she worked as Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at RNIB in the UK consulting with Government, corporate and retail websites.

Henny’s interest is in where accessibility overlaps with mobile web design. She has a “built in” rather than “bolt on” approach to user access across websites, browsers and platforms. Working at Opera she also focuses on emerging standards such as HTML 5, SVG and CSS3 and how these can support built in accessibility across all platforms and devices.

Speaker Announcement: Scott Weiss

Scott WeissMobile Usability expert Scott Weiss will be presenting a session at Over the Air entitled “Open Source User Experience?” Scott is passionate about mobile user experience. He looks after the user interface of the Symbian operating system. He chairs the UI Council and provides vision for the future of the OS’ user experience. Scott’s 20 years of user experience background have been spent at Apple, Microsoft, Sybase, Autodesk, and an agency he started and ran for 11 years in New York City. His first book, “Handheld Usability,” is widely known as the pioneering text on mobile phone design, prototyping, and usability. He can be found speaking about mobile user experience world wide, and has recently spoken at Create ’09, the European Information Architecture Summit, and Handsets World.

Scott’s session will describe the strategy for how the Symbian UI is being propelled forward, from the published roadmap to the UI Brainstorm blog to the UI Suggestions forum discussions. Other open source UI efforts will be compared and contrasted with Symbian’s strategy. The presentation will have plenty of time for questions and answers and of course an open invitation to explore and contribute.

Speaker Announcement: François Daoust

Francois DaoustAre you spending precious time testing your content on mobile devices? Juggling between Nokia, Apple, Google’s APIs? Playing with PhoneGap? Tiptoeing to application stores?

Standards do not always look good… but they are here to help! Learn how the online W3C mobileOK Checker service may help reduce testing times on actual mobile devices. Learn how the upcoming client-side APIs will merge the existing APIs into one. Learn about widgets, and check the mobile Web application best practices to speed up content development and delivery.

Before coming to W3C in December 2007, François Daoust helped develop an on-portal mobile search engine called MotionBridge from its first minimalist draft within a small French start-up to a full-featured version within Microsoft. This kept him busy for more than seven years.

Then he joined the W3C where he learned the theory behind all that stuff he had used in the past, and now happily tries to conciliate theory and practice within the Mobile Web Initiative. He maintains the online W3C mobileOK Checker, contributes as a tutor to the online training sessions on Mobile Web Best Practices and serves as Staff Contact for the Best Practices Working Group.

Speaker Announcement: Tom Hume

Tom Hume will be leading an interactive session titled “Many Paths up the Mobile Mountain.”

Says Tom: “It’s an exploration of an iterative design process. Working in small teams, you’ll go through two rounds of designing, testing, and evolving a real-world application for mobile phones. The output of this will be a small, tested design prototype of an application which you might want to go on and build.

When we ran this session previously, several attendees felt it’d be a great way to kick off a hack day. If you’re short on inspiration for something to build, or just want to collaborate with a few folks in an intense design session, do come by.”

Tom is MD of Future Platforms, a Brighton-based software company that’s been taking mobile products from concept to launch for nearly a decade. FP is a crack team of designers, developers and businesspeople and has worked for Microsoft, Nokia, Hasbro, Orange, the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Channel and many more.

Speaker Announcement: Phil Archer

Phil ArcherRepresenting the W3C, Phil Archer will present a session for web designers who will learn how to transfer their desktop skills to mobile.

Phil Archer joined the W3C team working on the Mobile Web Initiative in February 2009, specifically to work on developing and delivering training in this area. Before joining the team he’d been a participant in the Mobile Web Best Practices working group (joining at its inception in June 2006) with a particular interest in the mobileOK scheme. Previous careers include work in broadcasting advertising, education, countryside conservation and online child safety.

Separately from his W3C team remit, Phil is also involved with the Semantic Web activity as chair of the POWDER working group.

Speaker Announcement: Stefana Broadbent

Stefana BroadbentWe’re excited to announce that Stefana Broadbent will present a session at Over the Air on “How private communication is transforming the workplace.”

Stefana Broadbent is a digital ethnographer. In the last 20 years she has been investigating the evolution of digital activities both at  home and in the workplace. To monitor the changes in social practices that are happening over time, Stefana has developed observatories of digital usage in various European countries. All of her projects had in common an ethnographic approach  and a design intent to support the conception of new tools and services.  Her observations have spanned from air traffic control rooms to living rooms, always attempting to capture how people interact through technology.

Stefana is currently  an Honorary Visiting Researcher at the Department of Anthropology at UCL. Between 2004 and 2009 she developed the User Observatory at Swisscom. Previously, she was in the Management Team of IconMedialab a multinational digital consultancy listed in Stockholm and developed a global internet observatory with a team of 120 social scientists spread in 20 countries. In 1993 she founded CB&J, a company specialized in human factors and user research that was acquired by IconMedialab in 1999.

Stefana holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive science from the University of Edinburgh, and a degree in Psychology from the Univesité de Genève. She has lectured in Anthropology and Ergonomics and has published on issues related to digital media.

Speaker Announcement: Younghee Jung

Younghee Jung

Over the Air is pleased to announce that Nokia design researcher Younghee Jung will be leading a session entitled “In search for natural interaction: design research for mobile gestural interaction.”

As sensor technology becomes more advanced and affordable, medical there is an increasing interest in incorporating ‘natural’ ways of interacting with technology products. However there are unique constraints in doing so with mobile technology products as they are used in various social, physical, psychological, and cultural contexts. This talk will cover how the user research was designed and conducted for understanding basic principles of designing gestural interaction with mobile devices, with the highlight of the findings.