Locative Lab

researching locative media

Textually.org: The French Fry Phone


Tackiness has no bounderies. After the hamburger phone, sandwich phone and turkey dinner telephone here is a French Fry Phone.

[via GeekSugar]

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Textually.org: Microsoft Opens Mobile App Store to Developers

dmx-icon-roll.png Microsoft officially opened its Windows Marketplace for Mobile application store to software developers on Monday as the giant software maker moves to catch up to the success of Apple’s iPhone App Store. PC World reports.

“Microsoft is now accepting submissions of mobile phone software applications from registered developers in 29 countries and is offering prizes for the most popular applications as judged by downloads, revenue, usefulness and more, said Todd Brix, leader of Windows Marketplace for Mobile at Microsoft, in a blog posting.”

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Picturephoning: Apple restricting use of augmented reality applications on iPhone

Augmented reality is rapidly becoming the new buzzword of the software industry. The concept is to overlay information on a real-world image using, or instance, the camera on the iPhone 3GS. PocketGamer reports.

“The augmented reality system makes heavy use of a combination of other features too, such as GPS tracking, the Internet and – perhaps most importantly of all – the new digital compass built into the iPhone hardware upgrade.

Developers are eager to start putting this concept to use but Apple apparently isn’t quite so keen. According to LA Times, the iPhone manufacturer has told one developer it won’t be approving any augmented reality applications until version 3.1 on iPhone software has been released.”

Here’s a video demonstrating the sort of applications augmented reality could be put to.

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Picturephoning: MIT unveils Barcode replaclement: The Bokode


Just a few weeks after celebrating the 35th birthday of the barcode, researchers at MIT have unveiled a promising replacement for the aging standard. Gizmodo reports.

“Dubbed the Bokode, the system uses a clever focusing technique that allows a small beam of light to hold a wealth of easily accessible information.

… The implications of the Bokode could be huge. While traditional 1D and 2D barcodes can be read by cell phone cameras, the camera has to be extremely close to the barcode in order to get a good read. The Bokode is much more robust and can be read from as far as a few meters away. Cameras can even scan multiple Bokodes at once. Imagine how easy comparison shopping at Best Buy would be with a system like that.”

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Tetually.org: Stun gun disguised as cellphone


According to Stuff, Police investigating reports of a drunken youth in Melbourne’s west uncovered a stun gun disguised as a cellphone.

“Police say the device, found last Thursday and acquired from overseas, looked like a cellphone but had a stun gun attached to it.

The phone/stun gun, branded as the Immobiliser, can be bought online for US$51 (NZ$78) but the manufacturer warns that they are illegal in Australia.

The weapons is a 900k-volt stun gun in the shape of mobile.”

Previously:A Cell Phone Stun Gun

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Picturephoning.com: A Blind Photographer (!)

After professional photographer Alex Dejong lost his sight three years ago, he thought his days of taking and editing photos was over. But the iPhone 3GS’s VoiceOver feature, plus a few key apps, has given some of his abilities back.

An amazing story in Gizmodo.

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Textually.org: For Uganda’s poor, a cellular connection


“More than a third of Uganda’s population, about 10 million people own a cell phone – a counry where only 10 percent of the population has electricity – and many more have access to these phones through family members and neighbors. Cell phones can be found in every desolate corner of the countryside, where 85 percent of the country’s residents live. With the dire need to be connected, people go to great lengths to use cell phones, charging them with car batteries or solar chargers.

Several nonprofits have begun thinking that the best way to reach the country’s poor and get them much needed information is through their phones.”

Read full article in Cnet news.

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Textualy.org: Pa++ern: Embroidery by Twitter


Pa++ern is a project by Japanese duo Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi that uses a special “esoteric embroidery language” to create custom embroidered t-shirts using Twitter as the control interface.

The program uses sets of one character commands that instruct a sewing machine to excecute specific designs. Users can input these command codes via the Twitter micro-blogging service (@_pt), and view their results on the Pa++ern website.”

[via PSFK]


Text Messaging Embroidery

Embroidered Conversations

SMS messages become embroidered

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India’s Rural Mobile Phone Users Hit 100 Million

India had 109.7 million rural mobile subscribers at the end of the first quarter, up by 18 percent from 93.2 million users in the fourth quarter of last year, the country’s telecom regulator said on Monday.

[via PC World]

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Near Future Laboratory: Chalkbot Versus GraffitiWriter…Round One! Ready….FIGHT!


From the Laboratory’s Bureau of Historical Precedence comes this dispatch: A colleague here in the studio, in a thread about Jeremy Wood’s GPS Drawing mentioned this ChalkBot robot that Nike has deployed to help promote, well — cancer awareness with the Lance Armstrong tie-in and itself by extension — at the Tour de France road race. When he started describing it, my mind immediately jumped to Josh Kinberg’s “Bikes Against Bush” project in which he used a bicycle-drawn rig to spray chalk on the pavement, in precisely the fashion of the ChalkBot — and Josh got tossed in the Pokey in the bargain! I wrote a note to Josh, curious if he was involved (if only to track and admire the activities of friends, etc) and he reminded me of the Institute for Applied Autonomy’s GraffitiWriter and StreetWriter projects, which were his inspiration. (The data fragmentation in my human algorithm started clearing a bit.) An hour or two later, this press release appeared on the wonderfully dyspeptic, exceptionally over-sensitive, super grouse-y nettime from one of the IAA’s agents: read on

Nike Chalkbot Rips-off Streetwriter

This week Nike unveiled a cool “new” chalk-writing robot used to print messages on the road during the Tour de France bicycle race. The trouble is, the robot isn’t so new after all. The Nike Chalkbot is nearly identical to the “Streetwriter” we began developing ten years ago.

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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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