Locative Lab

researching locative media

Finnish Town has Culture on the go with Mobiles

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Fancy a dose of culture in the Finnish city of Oulu? All you need is a mobile phone.

Get theatre tickets digitally, download a smart video trailer of how the play was directed, order and pay for snacks for the interval and, after a culture-packed night, order a taxi home — all by just swiping a cellphone over smart tags placed on the menus or around the foyer of the theatre.

The Oulu City Theatre in northern Finland, 600 kilometers (373 miles) north of Helsinki, says it is the world’s first cultural institution to use the hippest handset technology, expected to turn mobile phones into wallets.

“It is often said that theatre is somehow old-fashioned. I’m hoping this will build the opposite picture,” the head of Oulu City Theatre, Ahti Ahonen, told Reuters.

NFC (near-field communication) technology is activated by waving phones over wireless readers, or smart tags, and is widely used in public transport access cards.

“The cultural world should also keep abreast with the latest technological developments,” Ahonen said.

The theatre is running a pilot, involving technology from Finnish mobile phone-maker Nokia and telecommunications operator TeliaSonera , until the year-end and will extend its usage more widely if it proves successful.

http://www.i4u.com/article13030.html

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Nokia cranks up twisty-turny phone design

nokia_patent.jpg A Nokia application to the US Patent and Trademark Office has revealed its work on a handset that’s operated by cranks. The The Register.

“Nokia’s application, which was filed in May 2006 but updated earlier this month, explains how the crank doesn’t move freely, but rather ‘clicks’ into two pre-set positions. The first slides the screen up to reveal the keyboard, but it can also be used to activate the phone’s video camera. A second turn activates a photo camera.”

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Sales Of Multimedia Phones To Pass TVs Next Year

Worldwide shipments of multimedia-enabled mobile phones will exceed 300 million units next year, surpassing shipments of television sets, according to a research report being released this week by MultiMedia Intelligence. Sales of such phones will generate over $76 billion in revenue.

[via Information Week]

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Samsung Develops RFID Chip for Cell Phones

samsung_logo.jpg Samsung’s RFID reader chip will eventually find its way into mobile phones, to enable new information services, according to PC World.

“Samsung’s principal innovation in this area has been to design an RFID reader chip that can read different types of RFID tags. Normally, it takes more than one chip to read different kinds of RFID tags. The new chip will one day find its way into handheld devices, such as mobile phones, although the company did not say when that would happen.

When it does, people will be able to read RFID tags on products and other items meant to make the world an easier place to navigate. For example, some RFID tags on food or medicine products might give information on ingredients or dosages, while RFID tags at bus stops can offer schedules or tell when the next bus will arrive.”

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Google Maps Gets Wiki With It

google-our-maps.png

Google maps has updated its My Maps tool to incorporate some wiki-like functionality. Collaborative mapping, if you will. For those custom maps that you make for yourself, you can know get all your friends to help you. Similar to a shared Google document, you can invite friends with an access link to the map. They’ll then be able to edit the map. They’ll need to use the gmail address that you sent it to, so this private sharing function is limited to Google users. There is a public map editing tool, however, which launches your map for all to see, and all to edit.

Do maps need wikis, though? Considering the amount of love geeks out there have for their maps, mapping tools, map mashups, geo-tagging, and real time activity shown on a map, of course maps need wikis. It’s only natural. Everything is being wikified these days. Music collaboration, slide show collaboration, website collaboration, office work collaboration, podcasting collaboration, book collaboration… and now maps too. Try it on for size with Google’s new terrain layer.

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LTE opvolger HSPA

De GSM Association heeft LTE (Long-Term Evolution) formeel aangewezen als opvolger van HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access). Daarmee maken Qualcomm’s UMB (Ultra Mobile Broadband) en WiMax minder kans als draadloze breedband van de toekomst. LTE is vele malen sneller dan HSPA, de opvolger van UMTS. Maximaal zijn snelheden tot 300Mbps mogelijk. NTT Docomo is de eerste mobiele aanbieder die LTE gaat adopteren, ook al vinden er in diverse landen al wel testen plaats.

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Google schrijft wedstrijd uit voor ‘Android’

AMSTERDAM – Google heeft maandag meer details bekendgemaakt over zijn mobiele platform Android. Tegelijkertijd schreef het bedrijf een wedstrijd uit voor ontwikkelaars.

Android is een open-source platform voor mobiele telefoons. Het systeem drijft de telefoon aan en er kunnen toepassingen voor de toestellen op worden gedraaid. Google plaatste zondag op Youtube een demonstratiefilmpje waarin twee prototypes van een telefoon met Android te zien zijn. if (typeof(et_ord)==’undefined’) et_ord=Math.floor(Math.random()*10000000000000000); if (typeof(et_tile)==’undefined’) et_tile=1; document.write(”);

De telefoons tonen een nauwe integratie van de telefoonfuncties met verschillende diensten van Google. Zo kunnen gebruikers met één klik een adres uit hun contactenlijst opzoeken bij online kaartendienst Google Maps. Op een geavanceerder model van de telefoon kan het computerspel Quake worden gespeeld.

Wedstrijd

Volgens medeoprichter Sergey Brin van Google moeten de beste applicaties voor Android echter nog gemaakt worden, en wel door de deelnemers aan een programmeerwedstrijd die het bedrijf uitschrijft. Google verdeelt in totaal tien miljoen dollar aan geldprijzen onder de inzenders.

Deelnemers moeten het maandag vrijgegeven ontwikkelpakket voor Android downloaden en hun creatie voor 3 maart insturen.

http://www.nu.nl/news/1312468/50/rss/Google_schrijft_wedstrijd_uit_voor_%27Android%27.html

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Take Note… Google’s Android Might Not Replicate Previous Java OS Plays

Google’s news on the Open Mobile Alliance last week (www.openmobilealliance.com) is a little bit like a firecracker. A big bright glow of news, and then a long wait until the results are seen in handsets – tentatively penciled in for Q4 2008 (but expect that to slip). Much like the iPhone, there are contrasting views around the telecoms world on just what this announcement could mean to the landscape.

Let’s face it, this isn’t the first time that a Linux operating system has been proposed… to name one high profile candidate how about Access (nee Palm’s) vapourware like version of Palm OS? Nor is it one with a Java middleware or application suite – Sava JE went down that road (and actually had Java right to the kernel as well). That set the world alight in case you hadn’t noticed.

Symbian, initially the company with the most to loose, have already decried the endeavour as lacking experience. “About every three months this year there has been a mobile Linux initiative of some sort launched,” Symbian’s VP of Strategy, John Forsyth, tells the BBC. “It’s a bit like the common cold. It keeps coming round and then we go back to business. We don’t participate in these full stop. We make our own platform and we are focused on driving that into the mobile phone market at large ever more aggressively.”

And as long as Nokia continue to use Symbian, they’ll be okay.

What’s more interesting to watchers of Symbian (launched in 1999 with Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Psion all holding an equal stake), is that two of the current licencees, Samsung and Motorola, are involved. While Samsung has always kept Symbian at arm’s length, the involvement of Motorola is going to, yet again, draw attention to Motorola’s haphazard strategy for smartphones. Only last month saw Motorola invest heavily into the Symbian ecosystem with their purchase of 50% of UIQ, an interface layer from Symbian OS.

Of course Symbian now has 8 manufacturers licensing their ‘Open Mobile Operating System,’ and a further 134 partners in their Platinum Program (which includes Google!). That puts the Open Mobile Alliance’s 34 partners into context. While yes, platforms have come and gone, they always say past performance is not an indication of future prospects, we shouldn’t be writing off Google just because we’ve seen something similar before.

After all, Altavista was pretty good as well

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The 7 deadly sins of instant messaging

I heart instant messaging, but I heart it too much. If you’re a chat addict like me, you understand the lure. It’s convenient, connecting you to faraway buddies with little cost. It’s safe, releasing you from the worry of looking pretty or sounding sexy. And its deliciously fun. How can you not love video effects, screensharing, and presentation-hosting in Leopard’s iChat?

Despite the benefits, instant messaging can turn you into a mindless chat drone. Too much chatting replaces real interactions and, soon, people turn into pixels.

To bring richer conversations back into your life, here are 7 bad chatting habits to stop right now. I’ve formatted them as a “not-to-do” list:

  1. Do not use it

    It’s hard to envision, but life without IM is possible. Remember the phone? Remember face-to-face conversations? They still exist.

  2. Do not make yourself available 24/7

    If you really can’t let go of chat, designate IM office hours. Limit yourself to two hours maximum a day and give yourself a curfew. You’ll get fewer interruptions and maybe even get to bed earlier. Remember, not chatting every moment means you’ll have more to talk about when you see your friends again.

  3. Do not expect a response

    After sending someone an IM, never expect a quick response or any at all. The beauty of IM is that it lets you have “slow conversations,” allowing people to respond whenever they want.

  4. Do not send urgent requests

    Just because someone is online at 2am doesn’t mean that person is available for a work or family emergency. If you’re not willing to make a phone call, then maybe it’s not a real emergency.

  5. Do not be a buddy slut

    Is your buddy list as long as Heidi Fleiss’s black book? According to the Pareto principle, you spend 80 percent of your chat time with 20 percent of your buddies. Identify the buddies you don’t chat with anymore and delete them. If your buddy list is still overflowing, organize them into groups by level of importance or frequency of conversations.

  6. Do not broadcast your screen name

    Never ever put your screen name on a website, blog, or social networking profile. This keeps your buddy list short and prevents stalkers from creeping you out.

  7. Do not forward chat messages to your phone

    AOL Instant Messenger now lets you forward IM messages you receive to your phone when you’re not at a computer. I call this the electronic dog leash feature. If you have it on, turn it off now. Free yourself, run wild, and go play.

Am I missing other deadly sins? What terrible chat habits are you overcoming?

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Time Magazine names Apple iPhone ‘Invention of the Year’

iphone_tout_a.jpg

TIME magazine has named the iPhoneInvention of the Year.”

Last year’s winning invention was the online video site YouTube.

[The Associated Press via MacDaily News]

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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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