Mobile proving to be engine for social media growth

4 11 2010

Mobile is becoming a key tool for user interaction via social media. The latest WAVE report, which tracks social media trends, points out that ” Not only are smartphone users more likely to engage in a wider variety of platforms they do more often too. They visit their social network profile on average 3.5 times a day, 18% more often than the average social network user.”

As users increasingly livestream their lives to their social network connections, mobile is the proving to be the tool of choice for those who want to keep the community updated while on the move, throughout the day. After all you can’t spend your entire life behind a PC screen. Combined with the ever increasing wide array of Apps, catering for all social media flavors, available for Android and iOS on flat data rates, mobile definitely is going to play a great role in shaping the social networking space.

Wave 5 the socialisation of brands – report


Wi-Fireworks: Remote HTML 5 Installation

28 07 2010

“This is the latest creation out of Unit9, a Wi-Fi HTML 5 powered digital installation that syncs a HTML 5 drawing app optimised for your mobile phone to their live digital windows allowing you to draw anything you like in real time from your mobile and then have it explode (fireworks style) at a touch of the screen, all connected via a strong Wi-Fi signal. Just remember this isn’t an iPhone app, it’s a pure HTML 5 powered browser experience… So who thinks we’ll be seeing more of this?”


Mobile etiquette, identity and cultural differences

10 03 2010

With the ever increasing assimilation of technology in our daily routines new lines of etiquette are being drawn every day. This video provides a small glimpse into some of the behavioral issues related with antisocial mobile phone usage.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “MediaShift . 5Across: Smartphone Etiq…“, posted with vodpod

The Economist in this intresting article recently highlighted some of the different effects the introduction of mobile services is having on societies throughout different regions. The article examines the unique effects these technologies have on different cultures and argues that they are changing our notions of identity and are “wiping away cultural differences”.

Japanese Cell Phone Etiquette Poster

Participatory sensing using mobile phones

1 02 2010

Truly embedded, low cost smart sensor networks (smart dust and the likes) are still at the moment at the laboratory stage of their evolution. One major restriction to their development  is how these sensors will be powered. Battery technology is at a stage were it is restricting their miniaturization at present. Solutions using the reader to power the sensors (similar to RFID solutions) are a possible approach but ultimately the ideal scenario will be for each sensor to be autonomous.

A low cost approach, bringing us a step closer to a truly global sensor network could be by utilizing our mobile phones. Mobiles do have an array of ‘sensors’ (cameras, gps, microphones) and are already in the hands of billions of individuals. Utilizing them all as one sensor network is the idea behind some university research projects at the moment.

Check out this video of the PEIR project (Personal Environmental Impact Report) that utilizes mobile phones as sensors in order to collect data and on-line communities to share & process that data.

First step toward trully ubiquitous augmented displays

1 09 2009

New research reveals the possibility of virtual displays  on contact lenses which can be used in a variety of potentially game changing applications. From augmented reality to connectivity with mobile devices, the ‘bionic eye’ could lead to a truly unnoticeable user experience, increasing tremendously ubiquitous human-computer-interaction. . This technology obviously would replace the need for a screen on say a mobile phone, allowing users to superimpose, onto their natural vision, information from the device.  The potential marriage of ubiquitous display technology, ever increasing mobile processing power and wireless connectivity speeds, could allow the user to completely immerse himself into an augmented reality matrix. This type of display could be a challenge to get used to though.  Learning how to design UIs and manage I/O functions in this user environment introduces completely new challenges for ICT vendors.


“There are many possible uses for virtual displays. Drivers or pilots could see a vehicle’s speed projected onto the windshield. Video-game companies could use the contact lenses to completely immerse players in a virtual world without restricting their range of motion. And for communications, people on the go could surf the Internet on a midair virtual display screen that only they would be able to see.

“People may find all sorts of applications for it that we have not thought about. Our goal is to demonstrate the basic technology and make sure it works and that it’s safe,” said Parviz, who heads a multi-disciplinary UW group that is developing electronics for contact lenses.”

“A full-fledged display won’t be available for a while, but a version that has a basic display with just a few pixels could be operational “fairly quickly,” according to Parviz.”

In this ABC interview, Dr. Babak Parviz explains the potential uses of the technology and the challenges.

YouTube – Bionic Contact Lenses.

First mobile social media service that uses NFC

1 09 2009

Here is a video showcasing the first mobile social media service that uses NFC, which is featured at Oulu NFC Week. The company introducing Hot in the City NFC mobile application is called VTT and has won the WIMA 2009 NFC Forum Global Competition 2009 Research Track. You can download the ‘Hot in the City’ mobile application for your phone in order to use the service (if you have a compatible NFC phone and happen to be in a location with one of their ‘tags’).

NFC has been around for a while now but not many device manufacturers have implemented the technology into handsets yet. This has probably to do with the fact that in order for the technology to be useful, a network of NFC ‘tags’ needs to be prevalent. These tags can trigger ‘events’ such as a post/update on a social networking platform, launch media content, send messages to friends etc. At the moment Nokia is the biggest supporter of NFC from the main device manufacturer pool.

Experimentation of NFC usage for micropayments is seen as a possible path to mass adoption as this early Wells Fargo and Visa NFC experiment testifies. They conducted a three-phase pilot project in the San Francisco Bay area. The pilot intended to test consumer interest in using cell phones to function as contact-less credit or debit cards. Credit card companies have more recently launched contactless credit card systems such as the MasterCard PayPass, but at the moment a very limited number of retailers have the scanners installed at their outlets. Of course in Japan and South Korea this technology is being used for payments at petrol stations, as a replacement ATM card, in vending machines and other applications.


Companies like violet that produces the Mir:ror, have a different approach to making the technology more widespread. Their Ztamp DIY kits enable users to ‘tag’ objects. You could try using them with a mobile phone (replacing the need to dish out for an NFC enabled phone), although Mir:ror does say that it may affect the NFC chip’s performance.

The technology’s usage as a social networking ‘extension’ brings with it obvious privacy concerns though, which depending on cultural or legal establishments will or will-not be accepted entirely. Overall though, due to the breadth of possible applications and potential very low cost per unit, NFC looks to have a future at the moment.

You can find out more about NFC (Near Field Communication) on Wikipedia and from the NFC forum .

An anthropological introduction to YouTube (or aka successful social networking)

13 07 2009

This is a presentation by Dr. Michael Wesch, professor of Digital Ethnography at Kansas State Uni. By examining scientifically the effects social networking communities, in this case Youtube, have on real communities and society at large, he offers an initial glimpse into possible future scenarios of human to human and/or to many interaction.

What is very interesting from a mobile point of view is the fact that mobile communications devices are a sort of catalyst for this process, in a sense that, they have the potential to exponentialy speed up the process of user uptake and assimilation into the future social interaction frameworks, from a global perspective.

Until now we have been tethered to clunky devices that weren’t portable. More people will own a mobile computing device than a PC. The combination of mobility, processing power and high speed wireless communication will push us to live our lives through our mobile devices.

You can visit the Kansas University Digital Ethnography web site here.