Locative Lab

researching locative media

Verizon Wireless G’zOne Rugged Phone Released

Verizon Wireless and UTStarcom today announced G’zOne Type-V – a phone built to withstand harsh environmental conditions and provide performance for customers with outdoor lifestyles.

The G’zOne Type-V is compliant to multiple Military Standards including exposure to temperatures in excess of 140 degrees F, extreme vibration, solar radiation, conditions set to simulate storm conditions of two inches of rainfall per hour with high winds and submersion in one meter of water.

In addition to meeting rigorous testing standards, the G’zOne Type-V is able to access VCAST, which gives customers access to high-quality video clips and 3D games. The phone also features a 2.0-megapixel camera so customers can capture still and video images while on-the-go.

http://www.mobiledia.com/news/52738.html

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WinkSite

Create your own mobile website, especially usefull when you want to make your blog available to mobile browsers.

There are many different options/plugins you can add to your site such as fora, chat, licensing (CC) and geolocation.

check http://winksite.com for more and  this blog on your mobile at http://winksite.com/mobstuff/blog

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Google Earth Adds Wikipedia and Other Layers

Google announced news layers in Google Earth, including a layer of Wikipedia entries. From the official blog: “The
new Geographic Web layer we released today is one of those features.
We’ve taken the rich data of Wikipedia, Panoramio, and the Google Earth
Community and made a browsable layer in Google Earth. Now you can fly
anywhere in the world and see what people have written about it,
photographed, or posted.

http://industry.slashgeo.org/article.pl?sid=06/12/12/1736257&from=rss

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Santa’s Toy Hunt and Santa Tracker in Google Earth

Santa Tracker for Christmas in 3D in Google EarthGoogle
has just released a special Santa Tracker for Google Earth this year!
On previous years, Google has had a Santa tracker which let you watch
Santa make deliveries all over the Earth using Google Earth on
Christmas Eve. This year, they have started a bit earlier with a game
to find a toy for each of the 12 days before Christmas. Not only that,
but the new version uses 3D models created with SketchUp of Santa’s
North Pole home, his sleigh, and the toys you find are in 3D as well.
According to the Google Earth Santa page, you must use Google Earth 4 version 4.0.241x+ (download here). Anyway, if you have the latest GE 4, you can download the Santa Tracker and Toy Hunt here . Then you double click on today’s date in the “Santa’s Present Hunt
in the Places folder. Zoom in for a closer view of Santa’s home, and
click on today’s clue for the location and picture of the toy. Once you
get to the correct location, a 3D model of the present will appear in
3D.

Presumably, on Christmas Eve we will see Santa traverse the planet
delivering presents all over the world. This is a fun way to show off
the dynamic abilities of GE, and its fitting that Google do it in full
3D style since the purchase of SketchUp last year. Merry Christmas!

http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2006/12/santas_toy_hunt_and.html

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Cameraphones disabled over the air, Industrial espionage made more difficult

A SYSTEM which will
enable network operators to disable the camera function inside mobile
handsets has been installed by leading operators in both Europe and
North America.

The software is being supplied to both operators and leading telecoms
integrators by software house, Mformation. Clients already include
Telefonica, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Cingular and Rogers.

Basically, the system can turn off (or turn on) any application which
runs inside the handset. This includes the camera function as well as
picture messaging (MMS), Bluetooth and WiFi.

One major benefit for an organisation where photos snatched by a
cameraphone can be commercially dangerous, is that regular employees
will no longer have to surrender their handsets on entering a building.

The mobile network will sense the employee’s location and then
temporarily disable the camera’s functionality via an OTA
(Over-The-Air) message.

The reverse is also true. Corporations will wish to enable (and
correctly configure) the WiFi capability within cellular handsets. So –
once inside a building – an employee’s handset can automatically be
switched to VoIP rather than a regular cellular call.

The software can drill deep into a handset’s capabilities – even going
as far as blocking certain kinds of content. Normally, this function
would be used to block users from downloading games onto their work
handsets.

But it could conceivably extend so far as blocking employees from
downloading the latest cricket scores – so that they don’t waste
valuable company time.

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=36344

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Brando zooms in on cellphone cameras

Brando zooms in on cellphone cameras

Land ahoy! At least that is the role that you most likely will portray when
spotted with one of these. Brando Workshop has unveiled a pair of Zoom Telescopes for cellphones of the Nokia and Sony Ericsson
kind. This means you no longer have to put up with your cellphone
camera’s near-sightedness as you can zoom in up to 6 times on objects
that stand afar. Each of these Zoom Telescopes come with a durable
strap that holds it in place while you go about snapping photos, but it
will definitely make you look ridiculous, putting up with funny stares
of people around. The Sony Ericsson
model is compatible with the K750i, W800i, W810i, W550i, and W600i
handsets while the Nokia model works with the N70, N72, 6230, 6230i,
6680, 6600, 6630, 7610, and 6681 cellphones. Each Zoom telescope
retails for $19.

http://www.uberphones.com/2006/12/others/brando_zooms_in_on_cellphone_cameras/

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BBC starts experimental citizen journalism project

BBCThe BBC has launched a citizen journalism project to explore new multi-media story telling ideas using mobile phones and GPS.

BBC Innovation is collaborating with the University of Brighton, Nokia and mobile and web engagement specialist Ymogen for the Geo-stories project to investigate how video, stills and text combined with location and time information can create new narrative formats.

The month long project, which started this week, will culminate when students from the University of Brighton present the results of the citizen journalism experiment as an online gallery on January 18.

Mark Hardwick, Ymogen’s CEO, said: “We’re trying to understand the different ways that you might combine a variety of media with location information in order to create engaging stories using mobile devices. This is an incredibly exciting project.”

The 18 students have each been equipped with a Nokia Nseries multimedia computer and a Garmin Etrex GPS device with which to experiment.

Priya Prakash, innovation executive, BBC Innovation, said: “At BBC Innovation our job is to expand the BBC’s future media services, encourage awareness of trends in technology and social behaviour, and plan new products that will keep the BBC at the cutting-edge of new developments in media technology.”

http://www.textually.org/picturephoning/archives/2006/12/014423.htm

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Brazil Indians sell chanting cellphone ringtones

SAO PAULO: Xavante Indians living on the southern edge of
Brazil’s Amazon rainforest plan to start selling ringtones of
traditional chants like the hunt song and the healing dance to cell
phone users in China and Europe.

Brazilian cell phone users can already download the tones
for about $US1.40 ($NZ2.10) each and 100 Xavante in the remote Sao
Pedro village in Mato Grosso state have been profiting from the sales
for the past few months, said Gilson Schwartz, coordinator of an aide
group called Cidade Movel.

His group helps riverside
communities in the Amazon find alternative sources of income in a
region where most people live without modern conveniences and economic
growth usually depends on mining or logging the forest.

“We want to create a business model of social content for the wireless phone industry,” he said.

Brazil’s
four leading cell phones companies offer the ringtones. Cell phone
operators and companies that distribute content to them take a portion
of the sales.

The project has generated tens of thousands of
dollars for the Xavante and several other impoverished rural
communities, Schwartz said.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3883916a4560,00.html

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Cellphone bug killer

bacteria.jpeg Wonderful Barry Fox on New Scientist describes a Motorola patent to kill germs on cell phones. After reading this, you will feel differently about putting your phone to your ear.

The microphone and earpiece cavities in a cellphone make a warm and comfy breeding ground for bacteria. Squirting germicide into the holes can damage the electronics but now Motorola has a better way to kill bugs.

It has Motorola patented a phone containing an LED that radiates ultra-violet light with a wavelength of 250 nanometres which is particularly lethal to bacteria.
Optical guides inside the phone body steer the UV light into the
cavities. Sanitising only takes around 3 minutes, the company claims.

Related:Bacterial Paranoia And Device Handling

http://www.textually.org/textually/archives/2006/12/014419.htm

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interactive pillows

interactivepillows.jpg

a pair of interactive pillows designed to enhance long-distance
communication. users can interact with a pillow in a specific location,
which activate dynamic textile patterns in a pillow located elsewhere:
by leaning against, touching, or hugging a pillow, the pattern on the
other pillow activates & glows dynamically. these ambient patterns
expand the vocabulary for remote communication through tangible &
aesthetic interactions.

see also photonic textiles & girl ambient room.

[links: tii.se & tii.se (pdf)]

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About

Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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