Monday, October 26, 2009

Mobile augmented golf

Last week I was lucky enough to get an invitation to TEDxHelsinki event and I'm still excited about the quality of the event as well as the whole concept. It is just too easy to stick with your familiar thoughts and habits and reinforce the skills where you are at your best. Try sometimes to listen presentations outside of your comfort area and be prepared for an idea storm. You can start the journey from the TED website and remember my old investment tip.

I also had the opportunity to try playing golf (just to educate myself about what that is about). As a complete beginner two things bothered me and I think both of them could be solved by using latest mobile technology.

Where is my ball?
It was a surprise how much time is spent on trying to find the ball even if everybody saw where it went. When the small ball is somewhere 100 meters away in the long grass, it takes time to find it even if you know where to search. Why not put a small transmitter into the ball and use mobile phone (or similar) as a receiver. Even better if multiple phones could be used for that purpose so that they can together triangulate the ball's location. Sure, it can be against the allmighty rules of the golf but anyway, it would make playing faster and easier. Unless searching the ball is an essential part of golf experience?

Where to go next?
We were playing on a course that was unfamiliar for all of us. At least I felt that it was difficult to know where is the next tee or where is the hole. This is all very easily solved with a smart use of mobile augmented reality solutions that can display this information on a screen nicely. As there are already many available products for AR itself, the real task would be to make golf course information available for the applications.

I was told that golf etiquette would never allow applications like described above. That can be true but because I'm not a golfer I'm free to innovate....


Sunday, October 4, 2009

My 100th blog post, mixed salad of mobile stuff

When I launched this site long time ago, I had previously blogged at Forum Nokia. Because I was disappointed to the lack of dialogue at that site, I though hosting my own site would be a good way to get also non-technical readers and promote open discussion. This is now my 100th posting here and there hasn't been much discussion. I've heard many other bloggers saying the same - it is not motivating to post updates without any feedback. Lately I've found myself more often writing small updates to Twitter, instead of making a longer post here. In the future I plan to post here if there is something very interesting, but that will be more irregular than before.

I guess my problem is that I don't like reviewing new phones (there are enough sites doing that) and also I don't write about some new ower-hyped technologies but instead like to watch issues a little bit higher. When topic is not locked down to concrete technology terms but handled in a more abstract level, new ideas arise and old fixed mindsets can be left behind. By the way: this is also something that is recommended in a great book Fast Strategy: How strategic agility will help you stay ahead of the game by Yves Doz and Mikko Kosonen.

Today I was checking my old notes about different ideas I've had in mind someday. If you need something for a school project or whatever, this list might have something for you.

Get the facts about mobile email
Mobile email is an interesting field with many hype words and misunderstandings. That got very clear during the Nokiagate earlier this year. Many users seem to believe that "push email" is better than "pull email" because it consumes less battery and uses less data. Is it really so? What I would like to do is to run a series of tests where phone is connected to an email server and receives the messages using scheduled IMAP connection and some push mail solution. Then I would like to analyze the data volume and also the energy consumption. For the latter you can find a tool from Forun Nokia so that you really can get the hard facts about the case. If you have done this testing or will do it, I'd like to know the results, please.

Some applications for S60
Long time ago I had an idea about an application that connects phone to some home sensors. This is still a development area that hasn't got many solutions and might hold some business possibilities.

Another idea I got when travelling is a simple night clock that you can use without trying to press any keys in your device. I already made a simple application that just uses S60 accelerometer and displays a huge clock when device moves. Use case is this: you wake up in the middle of the night and grab your phone. As soon as it moves, clock is displayed without any keypresses and you can fall back to sleep. If somebody wants to grab the idea and productize it, please go ahead.

Make applications sync their state
I am using many different terminals during the week and hate when applications lose their state when switching between devices. I must find the radio stations for every device, I must setup the podcasts for every device, SMS messages are always in the wrong device and so on. Solution would be an application level sync so that the application state is sent to server for others to read. Imagine yourself listening a podcast with one device during the day and continuing the same podcast from the correct position at the evening with another device - that would be a benefit of application sync.

What I would like to do next is to write the 10 questions to evaluate a Mobile 'Expert' like in this article that puts your Social Media 'Expertness' into a test. Any ideas what to ask?