28/12 What VC's are looking for in the mobile space
I just read the CNN Money article 20 Smart Companies to Start Now
where VC's offer the ideas and teams they would like to invest in. There are interesting things to read there, I only picked the three ideas in the mobile space. Whereas I am backing Rimer, I suggest the other two VC's turn to QR Codes before anything else. I don't want to sound presumptous, but I strongly believe that QR Codes are the elegant and easy solution and for local merchants and for consumers. And by the way you can easily combine a QR Code in the streets with a QR Code coupon.
Search for the Small Screen
The Investor: Danny Rimer, general partner, Index Ventures.
What he'll invest: $2 million for a working demo application
What he wants now: Delivery of new types of Web search to mobile phones. Rimer says he's willing to invest in new search applications that, for example, depend as much on voice recognition as on text input and would offer up everything from shopping and news headlines to driving directions and restaurant reviews with a few voice commands and keystrokes.
"The form factor, the battery life, the way you interact with a phone is radically different from how you use a PC," Rimer says. "The large Internet companies are simply taking their PC-centric, text-based solutions and porting them to phones. That's not the right solution, and I just don't think they come from the right context to do this the way it needs to be done."
The Investor: Jeff Crowe, general partner, Norwest Venture Partners
Text Ads on the Fly
What he'll invest: $3 million for a demo application and retail partners ready to test
What he wants now: GPS-enabled ads and coupons piped to your mobile phone at just the right time and place. Location-based marketing is a concept that's been bandied about for years, but only now is the required technology becoming cheap enough to implement. Companies like Yahoo and Google, meanwhile, have proven inept at building quality services for wireless carriers. Though the timing is ideal for a startup to build the technical pieces, persuading customers to sign up for a steady barrage of marketing offers may prove the bigger challenge. "The behavioral piece is the biggest uncertainty, but you've got to make your bets now," Crowe says. A startup needs experience in lightweight applications for cell phones and in location-based services.
The Investor: Charles Moldow, venture partner, Foundation Capital
What he'll invest: $5 million for working technology
What he wants now: Text-messaging software that allows local merchants to send offers to mobile phones. Some companies already do this in basic form; Moldow's idea would give merchants more control. "This is bringing the blue-light special to your phone," he says. Five or so people could write the code; a sales demon is also needed to enlist merchants. Prove that you can pull this off in one city and Moldow will listen to an expansion plan.
25/12 More RFID Security Flaws: Hackable Passports
From Foreign Policy: The Top Ten Stories You Missed in 2006
In October, the U.S. State Department began issuing biometric “ePassports” that contain a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag under the back cover. The tiny chip holds the usual passport data, including a digital photo. The motive behind adding the chips is ostensibly good: to combat counterfeiting and illegal immigration.
But a German hacker quickly found a vulnerability. With a laptop and a chip reader he bought for $200, he was able to steal data from an encrypted RFID tag, potentially allowing him to clone an ePassport. And it’s not just Americans who are at risk. Twenty-seven countries (mostly in Europe) that participate in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program are required by U.S. law to issue the new electronic passports to their citizens. The Dutch and British media have already reported major security flaws in the new IDs.
So, what’s a security conscious citizen to do? Again, the answer may come out of Germany. A group of hackers there recommends that people microwave the new passports to destroy the chips. The State Department may want to go back to relying on a paper trail.
Via Digitalsushi (de)
Do you still want to RFID?
24/12 The Swiss national TV broadcaster with a new mobile portal and QR Codes
Switzerland's media companies innovate with their use of blogs, mobile sites and last but not least mobile tags aka QR Codes.
SF, the Swiss National TV, part of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, came recently out with his new blog portal
which aggregates the voices of the chief editor Ueli Haldimann
, authors, artists, curators, actors like Mike «Winti-Clan» Müller
, Carlos «Bond» Leal
, Martin «Expo» Heller
, Sibylle «DDR» Berg
, Thomas Burkhalter
, Nicolas «BAK» Bideau
, Bice «Parkett» Curiger
as well as the popular swiss talkmaster Kurt Aeschbacher
, Michel Impossible Bodmer
and many others.
To go to the mobile version of the portal, you have the following options:
- Scan the above QR Code with any QR Code Reader (N93, Rokr E6, Kaywa Reader...)
- Type 20211 in your Kaywa Reader
- (only in Switzerland) Send a SMS to 202 with QR 20211 to get the link
21/12 Some Mobile Tagging news: N80 is a japanese phone, successful short-lived QR Code, Bleublog and Kerrang!'s new free video
tested the first version of the Kaywa Reader on Nokia's N80 (not yet available) and he just told me that it works like a charm - like what you would expect from a current japanese phone. It reads QR Codes of one 1 square cm. Kudos to Yossi, Mendy
, Adi and Efrat.
(no longer available) was apparently a huge success.
Mobile Tagging now also on Bleublog
Kerrang! offers an exclusive new free Bullet & Aidan video via this code:
20/12 Giant QR Code in Hiroshima
Image: ITmedia + DMobairu
Apparently the biggest QR Code. It mesures 10.97 on 10.97 meters. The URL is: http://www.shoeicorp.co.jp/map_qr/yanohigashi/
Update (7.2.2007) : More images can be found here
PS: This evening at our end of the year company dinner we also came up with a cool QR Code idea: use the Lego Mindstorms robots with a QR Code scanner and Lego QR Codes. The QR Codes would contain a program script as text. The robot would scan the code, read the program script and then execute it.
18/12 Mobile Phones: Possibly the Key to the Future of the Internet
The future for Orange could soon be Google in your pocket
Earlier this year Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice-president of Nokia, said at a product show in New York: 'In the mid-Nineties I said that if you don't have a mobile phone you will be making a declaration that you wanted to be outside organised society. People said I was crazy, but now everybody has a mobile phone. Today I'm saying that in 10 years' time the same will be true if you don't have the full internet in your pocket.
A spokesman for Google said: 'We don't comment on market speculation and rumour, but we are focused on mobile and there's nothing new in our commitment to that space.'
12/12 Mobile Tags for Games - yesterday in 20 Minuten
SONIC - The Hedgehog (exclusively for Swisscom customers)
See more here: Download the Kaywa Reader first
, then the Games
This is the first time that one sees mobile tags in the most read newspaper in Switzerland.
* For those Swisscom clients who are looking for an URL and a QR-Code, readable for example with a Nokia N93, check this code
10/12 From the Mobile Life Center: Master Thesis about Mobile Tagging and Learning
Via the Future Applications Lab
, I found this: Mobile tagging and learning
This 10-20p Masters Thesis aims to explore tagging and semiotic dynamics on mobile devices. You should have a suitable background in linguistics, computer science or equivalent, with knowledge of mobile platforms.
[...] Tagging today thus allows us to categorize and search for content. Another important aspect is feedback mechanisms that allow users to react and interact with previous tags and their relationships. In e.g. del.icio.us the user will get recommendations of common tags for a particular object. Is a system then “teaching” the user about the semantic meaning between tags and objects?
This project has started and is under investigation by the ISD-students Rakesh Tanange and Malik Ammar.
Yuri Blog: Mobile Tagging and Mapping for your Friends
Practically, this means that a friend of mine in my mobile social network leaves an interesting note or tag on a club or restaurant for example. This might be personalized (even a surprise tag?), for his network or for general public. It might be on the map closeby only (as to tease) or on a broader map (as to inform).
09/12 Flash Lite 2.0 on my phone, now I need some content
Sidhartha wrote that FlashLite 2.1 is now available for free download for both Symbian & Windows Mobile
). As I didn't want to spend 8 dollars on the Flash Lite player earlier (and don't get me wrong, not because of spending the 8 dollars, but for going through the whole payment process), and there wasn't any compelling content which made me choose otherwise, I waited till now. So after reading the above post, I finally started to download the Flash Lite player on my phone. It was still not easy though or to be honest it sucked big time.
First you still have to fill out several pages and to give out a maximum of personal data.
And when you finally want to download the Flash Lite Player to your Symbian phone (in my case a 6670), you are asked the following options:
- Flash Lite 2.1 Standalone Player for Symbian S60 V3.0
- Flash Lite 2.1 Standalone Player for Symbian S60 V2.0 FP2
- Flash Lite 2.1 Standalone Player for Symbian S60 V2.0 FP3
How the hell should I know? Wouldn't it be nice, if I could pick my phone and then get the right Flash Lite Player accordingly?
Finally I guessed the answer - S60 V2.0 FP2 - with the help of Forum Nokia
But now I have my SIS file on my Mac and I want to transfer it to my blog so that I can download it via mobile (as I am quicker this way than by synching, even if this costs me something for the mobile data transfer). If Adobe would provide me a mobile link from the start, this wouldn't be necessary either.
Anyways, I finally have an installed and working Flash Lite Player on my 6670. Now I only need content.
I searched a little bit, but if you have any good ideas what to download, let me know.
DCTRL: Mobile Category
Creating online applications for "sometimes-connected" devices
by Mike Krisher
PS: Searching for compelling Flash Lite content right now (I am still searching...), I found the S60 "reference web*" site
. The Now-New-Near* s60 site can be found here:
* Quoting Emergic's N3
08/12 Tinytube, 3gp and mobile streaming
Tinytube QR Code
TinyTube which lost its parent recently (see Katie's GigaOm story
) also offers streaming, but it didn't work on my Nokia 6630 . The preinstalled RealPlayer was opened, but it said: "unable to connect".
At the same time I was asked, with what formats you can do mobile streaming. As we did so far mobile down- and uploads of 3GP Files (.3gp) and online streaming
, my response was that you can stream also with 3GP Files (.3gp), but that you need Real-time Transport Protocol/Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTP/RTSP) and a Streaming Server to do it (see Apple's streaming solution
If someone can point me to good links concerning mobile streaming, I will happily add them here.