Concept phone can see through walls

October 2, 2008

OK OK it’s only in theory.

A group of scientists at KDDI apparently created a prototype they say could look through walls. Using geomagnetic sensors, accelerometers, and GPS, the device is able to determine its position and render its surroundings on the screen in OpenGL, including areas that are currently out of sight.

Just like in “The Dark Knight”?!?

read more here.


iPhone Versus Rock

September 26, 2008

Not sure where this came from but Rock 1.0 is stacking up pretty well against the iPhone 3G according to this chart. LOL.

iPhone 3G versus Rock 1.0


T-Mobile’s G1 Android – the world’s first Google-powered phone.

September 24, 2008

Well, it’s here.

Haven’t had time to read the avalanche of press about this thing, but I did really enjoy this promo for it.

Methinks T-Mobile is having a bit of fun at Apple’s expense. For what it’s worth I don’t think ‘funnest’ is a real word either.


Sony and Nintendo’s unexpected challenger; Super Monkey Ball Sells 300,000 copies on iPhone

August 13, 2008

In the eleven hundredth iPhone post of the day… Fair enough, we’re all pretty sick of hearing about what this miracle device can do. Short of curing cancer there’s not much the little bugger can’t cope with; heck, maybe it can cure cancer if someone builds a Folding@home application (FoldingOnPhone?) for distribution via the AppStore… (The uninitiated can read about Folding@home here.)

As cool as all the technology is, what’s ultimately more important for us digital marketing folk is the viability of the platform when it comes to content distribution (both in pay-for and free categories). Sega’s Super Monkey Ball has just hit the 300,000 mark which, at AUD $12.99 a pop, is a considerable lump of change. It’s enough to make Sony and Nintendo sit up and take notice, particularly as their respective platforms (PSP and Nintendo DS) rely predominantly on physical media for content distribution. Sega US’s President Simon Jeffery agrees. “That’s a substantial business. It gives iPhone a justifiable claim to being a viable gaming platform.”

The phone may not have the controls required for traditional gaming but the quality and responsiveness of the touch screen and accelerometer could do for the mobile games space what the Wii has done for console gaming around the world.

So how do we take advantage of this? As iPhone and iPod touch sales continue to rise, distribution of free, engaging, branded content is an obvious winning formula. Carling’s iPint application is catching on like wildfire and given the size and scale of the application the development overheads would have been low. Investing in development for a platform owned and operated by one company might be a little uncomfortable but these days, shifting focus away from Apple in the digital landscape isn’t a wise move: Apple has proved that, technology aside, the iPhone is a viable distribution platform.

Watch this space.


iPhone firmware 2.01 released

August 5, 2008

Apple have just released firmware 2.01 for the iPhone – big news for early adopters of the 3G iPhone and those who updated from the pre-3G firmware. Widespread reports of lag and programs quitting unexpectedly following an upgrade to 2.0 have surfaced over the last two to three weeks (I’ve personally encountered a fair number of these issues), but that’s okay, because 2.01 is available via iTunes now and here to save the day!

Or, as it happens, not.

I’ve not noticed any improvements in performance running 2.01 over the course of the day. In fact, worryingly, I’ve noticed increased lag when accessing contacts (admittedly I have a huge directory), scrolling through SMS lists and even (for the first time) trying to make phone calls. The phone application closed unexpectedly (read: crashed) during a phone call.

To add to the frustration, following an apparently successful installation of 2.01 (complete with a functioning handset and an updated firmware version number in the ‘About’ settings) Apple notified me that a carrier settings update is available. Sure, why not?

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Here’s the problem…

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iTunes could not update the carrier settings on your iPhone. An unknown error occurred (0xE 8000001).

And surprisingly, this isn’t an isolated issue. Hundreds of forum threads have popped up from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and the US complaining of exactly the same error. I love my iPhone 3G but when the old Nokia from 1999 is more responsive something’s awry…

Over to you, Apple?


iPhone 3G Camera Sample image Vs Nokia N95. Best Camera?

August 5, 2008

The images below may be the single reason I don’t buy a 3G iPhone and stick with my Nokia N95 for a little while longer.

Now I should say that I think the N95 and iPhone 3G are both very good phones. Many Amnesia staff have iPhones, but I’m yet to be drawn in despite beeing a total geek and gadget freak. Why? Now, forget the vastly superior iPhone interface and screen for a second, because they both have similar features (3G, GPS, wireless, accelerometer, + tons of apps for both).

The big problem with the iPhone is the camera. It’s a 2 megapixel camera with no flash, compared with the N95 5 megapixel cam with Carl Zeiss lens. These shots below are taken outside the Amnesia office from exactly the same position with good light.

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3G iPhone (above)

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Nokia 95 – Note the much greater field of view than the iPhone.

Now let’s Zoom in on the detail:

Nokia N95 Sample image
Above is a zoom from the N95 shot. It’s at the point where clearly the compression starts to become noticable, but you can read the street sign. There is detail in the shutters at the side and the red alarm bell on the right is distinguishable. 

iPhone 3G sample image zoom detail 
Above is the iPhone 3G. The detail is completely gone at the same zoom level. Not a single letter can be made out on the signpost.

Finally let’s look at the red car the red BMW. Well on the iPhone you can’t even see what brand of car it is, let alone read the numberplate. Good job this isn’t a crime scene.

image iPhone 3Gimage Nokia N95

The iPhone 3G camera in low light is a lot worse – and it’s not an easy camera to hold still whilst you press the button… so pictures in the pub get very smudgy. Admittedly the Nokia N95 flash is pretty ordinary but better than nothing.

So if you want a single device – camera and phone like me, and you want OK shots that you could print later, then the iPhone 3G has a long way to go. The N95 wins by a mile.

[Amnesiablog Review of the Nokia N73 Camera and sample image here]


Carling’s virtual pint game tickles iPhone crowd

July 17, 2008

Carling’s iPint application for the iPhone has rocketed straight to number one in the iTunes free games app chart since it launched late last week.

The application gives users the chance to complete a barslide game to win a virtual pint of Carling. The iPhone then transforms into a virtual glass and when users tap the screen a virtual pint of Carling is poured.

http://www.carling.com/ipint_details.html

 

 

Pretty cool iPhone app from Carling – cheap night out too!


Long iPhone Queues in Australia. Sold out? Almost…

July 11, 2008

I’ve never seen anybody in this Optus shop on Oxford street, Sydney, but today the line stretched way back with people lining up for a good old distance – desperate for the next big thing in mobile – the 3G iPhone. With it taking 30 mins to sign each person up, this is one slow moving line. What most of the people in the queue don’t realise is that there are only white 8Gb iPhones left (seriously we do wonder why anyone would want a destined to look really grubby white phone), and there’s a 3 week wait for new stock. I imagine Optus will be doing swift business as their packages include 700MB of data for $79 and no upfront fee for the iPhone. Vodafone appear to be about $200 more for the same kind of plan.

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The latest stats are that iPhone users are 5 times more likely to access the internet than regular mobile users so this is actually good news for the digital industry.


iPhone pricing announced for Optus Australia 3G

July 3, 2008

Full pricing from Optus (here).

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The lowdown:
$0 on a $79 Cap plan over 24 months which provides $550 of calls, plus 700MB of included data.

No news on Vodafone as yet…


Nokia Promises Video of "Grande Weirdness"

July 2, 2008

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So here’s the deal, ok? Hundreds of years ago, the world’s greatest minds got together and made the weirdest video clip ever. So weird, it apparently sent people mad. So, as you would expect, they sealed it in a box with four seals that can be unlocked by histories greatest achievements. Edison’s lightbulb, Apollo 11 and the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

The fourth, well you’re going to have to wait 121 hours (from time of posting) to find out when the fourth seal is unlocked by, presumably, a Nokia phone so amazing it can stand in the company of those three amazing achievements.

Interesting way to countdown to a product announcement. The timing is particularly interesting as it will be about four days before the launch of the iPhone 3G.

Here’s hoping that neither the clip or product disappoint.

http://www.openatownrisk.com/


Voiceless communications

March 31, 2008

This is so cool. I think this will be as important one day as “Come here, Watson, I need you.”


Nokia PC Phone Beta. Control your phone via a browser.

March 2, 2008

http://www.nokia.com/betalabs/pcphone

This is a browser based application (works in IE and Firefox) which allows you to place calls, sms / txt, update contacts etc from within the browser via a phone connected (bluetooth/wifi/cable) to your PC.

Whilst you can already do most of this if you have the NOKIA PC suite installed, this is still quite a handy. The big advantage is being able to type using your PC keyboard and update your phone / send lengthy text messages.

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You can also initiate a call, but make sure your phone is handy – it just does the dialling for you – not conduct the conversation 🙂

The app is supposed to control and show incoming calls too, but unfortunately I couldn’t get this feature to work. In theory this would be a useful visual alert for the times you forget to switch your phone out of silent/meeting mode. (I’m always doing that).

Bottom line: Good for doing bulk updates of your contacts, handy for typing long txts.

Available from Nokia Beta Labs. Compatible with Series 40 and S60 phones. Tested with: Nokia 6101, 6300, 6270, 7370, 6280, 6136, 7360, 6111, 6233, 6070, 6085, 6288, 7390, 6021, 6103, 7260, 6125, 6822, 6131, 6230i, 3220 (cable disconnect/reconnect does not work well), 5200, N95, 6110, E90, N81, 6121, 6120, 5700