Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Neighbourhood watch

Loads of web based and mobile communi-content services have integrated location as a default part of the service eg. Flickr, Jaiku, Dopplr, Wayn, Gypsii, ZoneTag, Shozu, GMaps, BuddyPing, Twibble, Twinkle - the list is long... one thing they all lack is context.

Geo-locating content and communication (either at creation or consumption) is being further refined by some newish location mashups, or lashups :)

Wikinear from developer Simon Willison shows you a a list of the five Wikipedia pages that are geographically closest to your current location. It's faster and more convenient than going to wikipedia directly on your mobile and typing in your location.

You'll need a Fire Eagle login, then point your mobile web browser to http://wikinear.com

Wikinear uses Yahoo's Fire Eagle platform to get your location (Twitter is also integrated into Fire Eagle via Firebot to set your location directly via a tweet).

Twitterlocal is another service that filters tweets that are happening nearby within a 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20 mile radius (as per previous post for Twinkle). Note there's a high noise-to-signal ratio!

How long before we see hyper-local, time-limited spontaneous advertising / marketing pushed through these types of platforms with access from your mobile (ie. I "follow" the provider costa50bucks coffee in a specific location and the discount code is redeemable only at that outlet) - the rudimentary **context** being provided here is they know I'm "local" and "might" be interested in a temporary discount.

Maybe it's already already happening...

One last service that's also filtering down more locally is TwitterVision which has been updated to allow localisation per country... here's the UK public timeline.

Friday, April 11, 2008

iPhone twitter (native)

** Update ** and another native iPhone twitter client called Twinkle. The difference with this over Mobile Twitter below, is that it also adds in location allowing you to see tweets from people within 1,2,5,10, and 50 mile radius of your current location. Add "www.polarbearfarm.com/repo/" to the installer app.

I posted a while back about a couple of native S60 and J2ME clients for accessing twitter/jaiku and recently I've been playing with a native iPhone twitter client developed by npike.

Add this resource to installer http://apps.npike.net/repo.xml and then download the twitter client from the Npike directory.

Clean and simple UI. I like.

Here's some other twitter based resources for desktop, browser and mobile.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Like MySay, ReQall, Spinvox etc... it's good to see voice being integrated to both mobile and web services.

It's still a hugely under developed area in my view, but perhaps this is slowly changing. There's some fairly new mashups listed here on the myVox site. They've been created by developers using the MyVox API.

I tried one below.

Google map with voice-notes (voicemap).
Click on the next marker button and then the pink marker to listen to a voice note I've left by dialling a US number to leave a voicesnippet for a location, where I'm planning to be next week. You can "privatise" the map as well with a password.

View Larger Map

I placed the marker on the map through the desktop browser. To make this more mobile-centric an improvement would be to automatically geotag your voicesnippet from the mobile, so the marker was placed for you. (On a sidenote: I wonder if we'll see MMS get integrated with Location for GPS-enabled phones soon, as audio snippets can already be sent via MMS, or perhaps even GeoVoicemail - here's where the person was when they left you a voicemail.)

I could see this type of feature in services like WAYN or Dopplr , Gypsii etc.. It's an additional, personalised option to say leaving a voicemail (no map) or sending emails with embedded maps attached (less personalised).

Flickr adds video

Flickr **finally** added video uploading and sharing abilities for pro members. Formats supported are (avi, wmv, mov, 3gp, mpeg1,2 and 4).

I tend to keep private/personal photos in Flickr so have been waiting for this feature for a while. I can now keep my personal videos in the same service (rather than on YouTube, Blip, Vimeo etc).

Anyone can view your Flickr videos if they have permission, so the usual public/private settings apply. A big downside for me however is that video clips are currently limited to 90 seconds - I hope this changes.

Now back to the options of getting video taken on your mobile into Flickr ...

Nokia's Shareonline app and Shozu are'nt supporting the option of uploading video directly right now from the mobile to Flickr.

At least, I could'nt get either working and the file types of ShareOnline flickr configuration file don't support video formats yet (ovi does) and Shozu sent me an automated email saying can't upload video to flickr (file type not supported). No doubt they'll be a new version of both apps with this feature supported soon enough.

In the meantime you can email your videoclips to flickr as per images from your mobile (a bit fiddly), but the mobile flickr login page has been down all day(!) so I can't check whether uploading of video is supported via the mobile website yet.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Say it loud - QR codes get a voice

** Update ** it would seem at least one high profile retail outlet - Harrods is going to trial QR codes.

QR codes will soon be embedding audio directly (images supported too).

When you use your cameraphone/barcode scanner app to view the QR code, it will playback the audio snippet directly (in addition to supporting URL/text as per today). It's not clear how long the audio-snippet can be...

More mobile noise pollution (yikes)?

QR codes don't seem to be that popular here in Europe (yet) as the article states and this recent report suggests .

Related but slightly different concept here on audio barcodes as NTT docomo have called them.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Opera mini 4.1 beta video view

Looks like Opera have taken a leaf out of Apple's book in presenting new features of their Opera Mini 4.1 browser, heh ...

I was interested in seeing how the fileupload option works to popular web destinations such as flickr (requires JSR-75: PIM and local file access support on the phone).

I downloaded and installed the unsigned version which means there's prompts popping up all over the place as you navigate through the phone directories to find an image.

However, supposedly if you download the signed version of Opera mini 4.1 for your phone and get it working, these prompts should be minimised (see WAPReview's comments here).

It won't replace my current fire-and-forget media-uploading mobile client because its faster and easier to use, supporting multiple web end desitnations.

Having said that, the Opera mini solution solution did work for uploading the image and is another option for uploading/downloading content between the mobile and web, directly from within the end destination website.

Opera mini 4.1 download is here (PC) or visit mini.opera.com/beta from your current mobile browser.