Category Archives: Devices

Mobile phones, game consoles, Kindle, netbooks and other mobile devices

Fast & Furious: The 3D iPhone App

You’ve seen the bus ads…now check out the free iPhone app for Fast & Furious, which opens April 3. Mobilized TV had a chance to speak with Tyler Murray, director of emerging media at The Visionaire Group which created the mobile strategy for4 the movie.

Tell me about The Visionaire Group – what is it?

The Visionaire Group is a creative solutions agency for digital projects. The bulk of the work is done direct-to-client and mainly directly to the motion picture studios. One division does websites, another does display ads, and the third is emerging media group, which includes Facebook apps, widgets,and mobile capabilities.

For Fast & Furious, we worked directly with Universal. Our web group created the official website and we did a really cool desktop widget the user could download. It looks like a GPS, with lots of interactivity.

What about the mobile application?

We did the iPhone web destination. The reason Universal wanted to do something for mobile is that everything we did on the web is supported by Flash, which is supported on most mobile phones. So they wanted to do something specific to the iPhone [which doesn’t support Flash]. Another company had done some basic mobile web destinations for them. They came to us to take advantage of the iPhone. Our goal was to create something that had never been done before as a web-destination and use the features specific to the iPhone.Hollywood is about what’s cool. That’s what drives the marketing. We were trying to create a really cool experience.

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Arrested for Texting

Have you ever wanted to arrest someone for texting, say, when the texter in question is weaving on the freeway in front of you, doing 90 mph? Or, are you who is texting while driving on the freeway…?

You probably have less chance getting handcuffed for foul mobile behavior while driving a car than if you’re a schoolgirl in Wisconsin. Thanks to reader Mark Brill who alerted me to this article in The Smoking Gun about a 14 year old girl who was arrested for texting in class.

Is this a Wisconsin thing? Or does cell phone rudeness just send people over the edge?

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Smartphones in the Classroom

“The cellphone industry has a suggestion for improving the math skills of American students: spend more time on cellphones in the classroom.”

Read in the NY Times about the pitch made by CTIA‘s Mobile Learning in a study paid for by Qualcomm.

Is this an industry attempt to sell more phones, or is there validity in their claims that the mobile phone is just another computer in the classroom?

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Whither Smart Phones?

David Pogue, tech writer for The New York Times and CNET senior editor Bonnie Cha got on the phone with KPCC Radio host Patt Morrison to discuss Smart Phones. What is the definition of a smart phone? Should everyone have one? And what’s coming up in the phone world that David Pogue thinks will rival the iPhone?

Listen in:

Smart Phone Wars

Find February 10 and scroll down until you find “Smart Phone Wars”

They connect our voices, our emails. We can use them to play games, watch TV shows, listen to music, take pictures, and even make breakfast. Okay, not make breakfast, but “smart phones” cram more computing power and options into our hands than anyone ever thought possible. But the phones all offer very different features: iPhone, Blackberry Storm, Palm…which is right for you? And how many different phones can the market support?

  • David Pogue, tech columnist, “The New York Times”
  • Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET

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iPhone in 3D: Coming in February

Last week I went to an interesting two-day conference on 3D film/TV, and the conversation unexpectedly turned to…3D mobile phones. If you recall, I have posted on that topic in the past. During a panel discussion about advertising in 3D (both in theaters and for home TVs), one panelist–James Stewart of Geneva Film Co., pulled out his iPhone, declaring it “the world’s first 3D iPhone,” enhanced with a prototype app from Spatial View. Stewart said it will be launched in February 2009 as a 99 cent app.

How this relates to a conversation of big screen–as big as IMAX–movie screens is simple: we’re already in a multi-screen world and, as we all know, mobile is just another screen in the panoply. Movie marketers in Hollywood are already creating advertising content for the Internet and mobile, and other advertisers are sure to follow. Especially if Spatial View’s app becomes a popular download, bringing the penetration of 3D mobile phones from zero to…let’s see how that plays out.

Meanwhile, panelists at the 3D Summit were bullish, calling 3D the new HD, and 2009 is the year of 3D and the year of 3D advertising.


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Linux to Offer Seamless Mobile App & Content Sharing

Does Linux have a bright future in the mobile ecosystem? If you’re Andrew Shikiar, the director of global marketing for the LiMo Foundation, the answer is an emphatic yes. LiMo Foundation is an industryshikiar-21 consortium and non-profit corporation founded in 2007 and dedicated to creating an open, hardware-independent, Linux-based operating system for mobile devices. Shikiar sat down with MobilizedTV to talk about the foundation’s work and the future of Linux in the mobile ecosystem.image001

Which were the founding companies of LiMo?

The LiMo Foundation was founded by Motorola, Orange, NTT Docomo, NEC, Panasonic, Vodaphone and Samsung, a mix of operators and OEMs. All these companies that founded the organization had a history of delivering Linux-based handsets to consumers. What they quickly realized is that Linux is a powerful but fragmented technology for handsets, and that it made sense to find a layer of the operating system (O/S) on which they could collaborate while carving out room for differentiation and competition.

LiMo set out to create middleware part of the platform that would be common, that everyone could leverage and use, so that the rest of the mobile ecosystem could more efficiently create pertinent services and applications that would leverage that platform.

Give us some context to Linux as an operating system in the mobile arena.

There are so many operating systems, you can’t count the number of them in the mobile world. There are dozens of platforms. Your old phones had an input screen, they each had their own menu; the phone and O/S were one and the same. The idea you can implement a common O/S across devices really took root several years ago.There was no common platform until phones started getting smarter.

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Broadcasters Race Towards Mobile TV

MobilizedTV spoke with Anne Schelle, Executive Director of the Open Mobile Video Coalition about the work the coalition is doing to enable its 800 broadcast TV members to go mobile.

What’s new since NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) in April?

AS: Since NAB, we filed our trial results with the FCC. We tested three systems: LG/Harris’ MPH system, Samsung/Roeder/Schwarz’s AVS-B; and Thomson’s Micronis’ system. We announced that the baseline system we recommended was MPH but that we felt that there were aspects of AVS-B we felt would be beneficial to the standard. Then LG and Samsung announced a partnership on the two standards the day before we filed. How the ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Commitee) process works is, once the documentation is written for a standard, there’s a candidate phase where manufacturers build chips to the standard to make sure the standard works. On Sept. 25, ATSC considered the documentation to move it forward to a candidate draft standard.

Once approved to a candidate standard, it’s a four-to-six week validating process. You will see an announcement that a candidate standard has been adopted. At that point, it goes through a testing phase. We proposed that we’d assist with the funding and implementation of the testing. What happens during the testing phase is you set up model systems and enable streams to go out. Device manufacturers can pull them down and test them. We’ll also do interoperability testing to make sure all the layers work together.

When will we see real devices?

AS: The proposed date for the standard to be approved is end of May. Modifications and improvements may be made to documentation. LG and Samsung will have real devices at CES and NAB. Harris has already announced they’ll be able to have product by end of October. This is moving very rapidly. The other thing that’s interesting and different about this standard is that it’s allowing for versioning. So this is Version 1.0 with base features and capabilities. Then you’ll see a future versions come out that enable additional features. That means broadcasters will be able to react to consumers’ feedback and the ever-changing landscape of technology. The standard is very flexible so it’ll enable multiple business models.

Can you describe the beta tests?

AS: We’ll be doing consumer trials, which are a proxy for a consumer service where we can test out various device types and forms of programming. What’s great about the ATSC is that any video-enabled device can implement the technology: handsets, MP3 players, PC dongles. If you have a video-enabled phone, you do need to buy a new handset. But for a PC, you don’t. You could take your laptop with you, your dongle and plug it in and watch TV wherever you are.

How will this impact the mobile TV/video eco-system?

AS: I do see this as a big game changer. I was on an interesting panel called “Ask a Video Expert” with people from ESPN, NBC Universal, Ad Infuse and QuickPlay. The three points that were made by the panel were their frustration with having to go through the carriers today where they’re serving up content but the carrier systems are legacy so they have no clue who is being sold what. They get no reports back. Carriers aren’t really pushing entertainment. It’s all about ARPU for them. Their data plans were dismal five years ago, and they’ve turned down interoperability for texting five times. On the content side, similarly, the carrier decks have poor user interfaces. Sometimes you have to go six pages deep for discoverability. It’s very poor search because they block Google .

The user experience, in a nutshell, is poor and it’s not unified. Nothing is unified in fact. The content distributors have to deal differently with each carrier and sometimes they deal with different silos. It’s very complicated and from an end user’s perspective, it’s not the same experience to purchase a music video on AT&T as it is on Verizon. We just did a big literature review in US and Europe and found that users want what they get at home: ease of access, ease of use, commonality, the number of channels and experience they have at home, and none of that is being offered on the carrier’s deck.

Do broadcasters have any advantage in this environment?

We’ve got content, local and national. We have the ability to put together a fairly large national network that could offer up a unified experience, and in terms of awareness, who better to advertise for mobile TV but the broadcasters themselves? Their ability to self-advertise is tremendous. They can have TV talk shows about it, news shows about it, they can run spot ads. They can promote the heck out of it.

The alternative to the carrier solution is needed. At the same time, we see the carriers as partners. The user is going to be side-loading, purchasing clips and other types of content as they are today on the computer.It’s a multi-pronged experience. What’s missing-what drives all video-is live local television. TV built IPTV and the cable system. And live local content in terms of sports, news and scandals are some of the most watched programming out there. Those are all the benefits.

Many skeptics believe mobile TV won’t take off for a long time. What’s your response?

Free over-the-air broadcast will drive premium video service uptake. It’s early days if you think about it. The market is very early so there is a lot of opportunity and mobile TV really has a strong growth opportunity. The fact that it can be on almost any device that’s video enabled is really intriguing.

Take a look at the timeline of the standard. In 2009 you’ll see broadcasters building up. By Christmas 2010, manufacturers will come out with a lot of devices. My belief is that it’ll really take off in 2010 to 2011.

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