Sprint CEO Dan Hesse used a bit of humor and the political season to spice up his keynote at Sprint’s 10th annual Sprint Developer Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., yesterday evening.
Having a little fun at the expense of former Vice President Dan Quayle, he closed with a quote: “The future will be better tomorrow.”
Sprint is banking on its future with developers, and Hesse made a point to show how open Sprint has been and will be going forward. Noting that he’s a fan of The Onion’s toleration meter, he showed a graph showing where Sprint would like to be seen on such a continuum, and that would be moving from “mildly irritating” to tolerable, with the other guys, or competing carriers, being unbearable.
But the keynote also was an occasion to share some news, including new Sprint ID partners, the Sprint Mobile Wallet and its Communication Enablement program for creating new voice and SMS products.
Sprint says its Mobile Wallet, which will launch in mid November, is the first mobile payment solution of its kind from a U.S. carrier, allowing customers to use a universal PIN to make purchases using a credit card or Amazon Payments right on their phone. The wallet will offer a secure way to buy both physical and digital products using a Sprint phone.
Sprint also says its wallet transactions, hosted by CardinalCommerce, are different than carrier billing. Once a customer enters his or her PIN, it is encrypted and sent to CardinalCommerce, whose technology enables the transaction between the customer and the merchant.
The company also announced new additions to the list of companies endorsing the concept of Sprint ID and exploring the creation of Sprint ID packs, including enterprise partner Deluxe and consumer partner AOL, as well as UPS, Canvas, IHG and BodyMedia.
Hesse used the occasion to point out Sprint’s device line-up, including the HTC Evo, Samsung Epic and Samsung Galaxy Tab, and its 4G first-to-market advantage. He told developers that Sprint’s goal is to be like BASF, whereby it doesn’t create the apps or content but provides the network to make them work better.
As part of its services for developers, Sprint is offering its Enhanced Services Framework and Communications Enablement, giving direct access to all its APIs and to voice and messaging – the type of access carriers haven’t been known for giving in the past.
Asked about what he finds most exciting about the field of emerging M2M applications, Hesse pointed to the types of applications that will be enabled by M2M. While he noted the healthcare industry’s lack of spending in IT, he suggested the vertical has a lot to gain from mobile solutions. Hesse said that having video cameras in ambulances that allow emergency room doctors to get information before the patient arrives and remote monitoring and video that can create a new kind of virtual house call are just a couple of the ways that M2M applications could be applied to healthcare.