Tag Archives: Nokia

‘Nokia’s Flagship: The N-97 Smartphone’

I was actually up when this thing launched but the whole event was so uneventful I fell asleep before I got to the end of the keynote speech.  It doesn’t much matter as I always wait for Sam Churchill over at Dailywireless to post his incredibly comprehensive write-ups so that I can cross post.  Sam has more wireless knowledge in his little pinky than I could ever have.  He’s got the glossy pic and a YouTube video to boot:

Read on…

Advertisements

Nokia provides Lonely Planet maps on cell phones – AP

The AP is running a story on how Nokia and Lonely Planet are teaming up to provide the latter’s maps on the former’s handsets.  If you happen to be in Lonely Planet’s Top 100 tourist destinations and don’t mind shelling out 7.99 euros ($11.75) dollars for each map (ouch!) then this story is right up your alley:

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) — Nokia and travel information company Lonely Planet said Tuesday they are joining forces to sell maps and city guides that can be accessed on mobile phones.

The world’s largest handset maker said users of Nokia Maps can now download information about more than 100 popular tourist locations provided by Lonely Planet, and that more destinations were planned. Each download costs 7.99 euros ($11.75).

“The Lonely Planet guides will help travelers to find great places to eat, shop and sleep, as well as describing the popular sights and nightlife for each destination,” Nokia said.

Downloads are available in the Extras menu on Nokia phones. Nokia Maps 2.0 uses maps provided by Navteq and TeleAtlas.

Read on…

2D barcodes and why they might prove useful to aid workers

Some of you probably cannot figure out why I keep harping on 2D barcodes as a resource for humanitarian aid workers.  For those of you who have no idea what 2D barcodes even look like:

They are a way of compiling up to 1/2 page worth of information into a postage stamp sized, mobile phone readable, matrix design like the one you see above.  The most ubiquitous type of 2D barcodes are QR Codes.  The information within the code is easily accessed with a 2D barcode reader.  If you have an Apple iPhone or any one of a number of Nokia phones you can download 2D Sense, Neoreader, iDecode or any one of these readers.  There is also a reader made by ScanLife but it reads proprietary codes that are currently involved in a restaurant review roll out in San Francisco.  Nokia also has it’s own 2D barcode reader that comes pre-installed on a number of phones or you can download it here.

If you have the requisite hardware and have downloaded the App you are going to use fire it up and snap a pic of the Aid Worker Daily code you see above.  If you are using an iPhone the reader will ask you if you would like to visit http://www.aidworkerdaily.com.  You will then (of course) click ‘yes’ and now you can read more of these fascinating posts while you wait in line for a cup of coffee.  2D barcodes can encode a wide array of information, even audio, and are commonly used on Japanese business cards where they provide easy access to a person’s contact information.

How many times have you arrived at UN coordination meeting, met dozens of people, all of whom told you the exact same thing, “This is my most recent business card.  The email is still good but I am waiting on my new cards with my local address and new mobile number.”?  It has happened to me plenty of times and it is the same mind numbingly slow process that inevitably detracts, albeit slightly, from the mission at hand.  It is a waste of time and for which until now there really has not been a suitable solution aside from heading back to the office, emailing your information to the recipients address, and then waiting for a response with his info.  Or you sit there for 5 minutes typing in each person’s name until you have covered about half the folks you wanted to meet and the other half have already left.

Now there is a solution and here is how you solve the problem…

When you arrive on location find out your address, phone number and any other relevant contact information.  Fire up your laptop and head on over to i-nigma to create you own personal 2D barcode.  Select ‘Contact details’ and fill in the blanks.  It should look something like this:

You now have your very own code!  Right click on the image and save it to your desktop.  Print it out on a piece of paper and tape it to the back of your phone.  (Ok, I admit the taping part is a bit hokey but I always taped my new number to the back of my phone so I always had easy access to it.)  Now, when you go to a coordination meeting simply hold up the back of your phone, let your new friend snap a pic of it, and your contact information should immediately become accessible on his or her phone!  No more waiting, typing, etc.  You can also attach this image to an email and folks can snap a pic of it straight off of their computer screen.

Nokia has a similar service which you can access here and which looks like this:

There are a host of other generators out there and most of them will allow you top enter text, web addresses, or contact information.  For example, you could easily generate code with meeting schedules for different sectors embedded in them and then post them on one sheet near the entrance so that attendees could snap a few pics on the way out and have the entire schedule saved in their phone.

There are many possibilities and I am fairly certain that you will soon see 2D barcodes showing up in a whole of humanitarian applications.  Next time I’ll write about how to embed your coordinates, or even a .KMZ file for Google Earth, in a 2D barcode.

iTrail – GPS tracking App for the iPhone 3G

For all of you with an iPhone 3G who want track your movements here is the App for you: iTrail. I know nothing about this application but it seems to mimic SportsTracker for Nokia phones with built-in GPS.

The support page for the app can be found here.  Apparently, you can also export your tracks to Google Earth.

Battle of the 2D barcode readers

We are back with more 2D barcode info.  In “Mobile Barcodes NeoReader on the iPhone vs Nokia N95 Barcode Scanner” we are treated to a comparison of the two readers.  Bena Roberts of GoMo News does a good job of laying out the details.  For those of you that have been waiting for this ‘tete a tete’ here it is.

‘Say Hello to Ovi’

I have been meaning to write about Nokia’s Ovi service for some time now but, thankfully, Popular Science has done it for me.  What they don’t cover is the Sport Tracker Beta application (which is available for download here) so I will cover that in a later post.  From the article:

Ready for a rat’s nest de-tangler? Nokia’s Ovi.com service, set to debut in a few months, intends to reach into the myriad of digital files on your computer, sync them to an online portal, and make them available on your Nokia phone -– any time, from anywhere.

Read on…

Why Apple’s worldwide iPhone roll out is so important

Last week I was speaking to a friend in Croatia and he was thrilled that he could soon wander down to the local Hrvatski Telekom store and pick up an iPhone 3G.  Until now most iPhones in eastern Europe sold for ridiculous sums a Russian friend was quoting me astronomical prices for unlocked phones in St. Petersburg.  While they are still not cheap by most folks’ standards they are now available to a much wider market.  You will soon be able to pick-up a unit in Kenya, Croatia, Jordan, etc.  What most people don’t understand, and why this roll out is so important, is because it now makes an A-GPS enabled GSM phone available to markets from which most international aid organizations pull their staff.

As an American aid worker I was almost always a minority when I was in the field.  I was fortunate enough to be able to work with some of the most talented professionals that Eastern Europe, the Middle East, SE Asia, and Africa had to offer.  Now that these professionals have access to the same tools that someone on their lunch break in the Embarcadero has, and they are taking them to places where they are truly needed, the benefit that this type of technology has to offer will quickly become apparent.

Now, I may be pumping the numbers on Croatians, Kenyans and Iraqi’s that are going to be running out and throwing down a chunk of change on an iPhone 3G, and I am certainly ignoring the fact that most already own well equipped Nokia Nseries phones that have long had these capabilities, but my guess is that you’ll soon see a video clip of an aid worker speaking frantically into an iPhone 3G during the next major international event.

What do you think?