A revolution in messaging is on the horizon set to challenge giants like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Mobile UX London, in partnership with Orange and Oracle, are pleased to announce our upcoming Hackathon themed around this revolutionary new platform – Rich Communication Service (RCS). The Hackathon, taking place on the 27 and 28 April, will give you a crash course on RCS. It will also grant you the opportunity to prototype your ideas using the Oracle Platform with their Intelligent Bots.

To tell us more about the platform, and why it’s so revolutionary, we sat down with Adam de Linde, UX Director at Orange. We asked him about RCS and why Mobile UX London, in partnership with Orange and Oracle, is hosting this Hackathon.

Here is what Adam had to say about the platform:

 

How do you see RCS changing the way people communicate on mobile phones?

Indirectly. The messaging features of RCS aren’t so different from what exists in apps such as FB Messenger or WhatsApp. RCS doesn’t require downloads and it’s embedded into the phone experience, but that alone isn’t the big deal.

RCS will eventually reach all 5 billion or so connected users around the planet. This will allow any business to engage with customers across the globe. It has been described as combining the convenience of SMS with the interactivity of an app.

Do you see RCS being a Facebook Messenger Killer or Whatsapp killer?

The question everyone would like the answer to! This is a difficult space to predict.  RCS will definitely introduce competition into the messaging arena. Plus, it may out-perform established apps on the convenience factor. This is because you don’t need to install any app.  That said, RCS still has to prove itself, it’s early days yet. For sure there’s going to be turbulence, and a re-evaluation of social networks and messaging channels.

Do you see any issues prohibiting people from getting on board with this technology

I don’t see particular barriers to adoption. Firstly, because RCS capability is built into the network, and is currently being rolled-out by operators worldwide. Secondly, all the major manufacturers (except Apple at present) are delivering handsets or software updates to ensure RCS compatibility. To all intents and purposes, end users may hardly be aware of the upgrade. It’s like a juggernaut, hard to stop once it’s going. So I don’t think the platform has any inherent barriers.

The biggest risk is messing-up application to person messaging (A2P), also known as chatbots or conversational UI, usually with a bit of artificial intelligence running behind the scenes. If it’s done badly it’ll pollute the channel and deter adoption. It’s a new field of interaction and the reason why we’re hosting this UX hackathon, with MUXL, is precisely so that some folks from the UX and design community can start working on the opportunities and challenges afforded by A2P in messaging environments, whether that’s RCS or others.

 

It’s not too late to secure your place at the Hackathon! To find out more and to sign up to this exciting event, click here. We are also running a separate Hackathon with Amazon on Friday 6 April which you can sign up for here. The theme of this Hackathon is Designing Voice Interactions with Alexa. In addition to these exciting events, Mobile UX London is running a Designing Voice Interactions course in partnership with Amazon which you can join here.

 

*Answers edited for length and/or clarity