The future of board games….

This post has nothing to do with wireless, but interestingly, there is a lot of noise and buzz around touch screen these days. There was this nice “MultiTouch” demo, and a lot of buzz around the next iPod having a touch screen based interface..

I’ve put together some of the piece I’ve seen on this topic, as the most interesting topic in my views is the impact of these touch screen for gaming. Mitsubishi released a product that it’s not really a touch screen because the display is coming from a video projector, but the spirit is here. Several “players” can touch simultaneously the screen, and there is a nice demo with WarCraftIII.

Philips also showed at the last CeBit an LCD touch screen prototype.

This is the premise of the next generation of board game, who will mix the coolness of video games and the social approach of board games. First, you can embed thousands of board games in a single unit, you can mix video, and you can interact with physical objects. And it allows the creation of a lot of new and interesting games… An example of this is the “Neon Race” project where the game interact with the object that you put in the playfield, and eventually “crash” into them…Great concept!

Lastly, some are working also on “force feedback” desk, like the ProActive Desk

Philips picture from Gizmodo blog, Mistubishi from IGN site…

OrangeGPS application: great…

I’ve just
discovered today the latest version of the Orange GPS application. It’s a quite
good GPS guidance app, who haves all the usual stuff that you except to find in
such app. Briefly:

  • Find where you are
  • Get guided to a certain destination
  • Get point of interest (restaurant, etc…)
  • Voice output
  • Link with address book
  • etc…

This is already quite good, but what I really like, is that:

  • ll the path are computed on server side. So I do not need to embed megabytes
    of data…
  • the business model: its 1.5€/request or 10€ for unlimited number of request
    per month.

Good be seen as expensive on a per request basis, but for not frequent users,
it’s in fact much more economical than buying an expensive TomTom software or
equivalent. During the year, there is probably only a dozens of occasions where
I really need such software, that’s why this business model is well adapted to
such situation.And it’s also a good way to get addicted to such service! ;-)

That’s a real great step in the right direction, and a truly added value service, which I am ready to pay for….

Unfortunatly, the application is only available on most of the Symbian or Windows mobile phone….

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Eyeka raises $5m.

Gille Babinets, former founder of MusiWave, just annonced the raise of $5m for his new company, Eyeka… Great shot, but it’s quite hard to get a view on what they plan to do:

When asked, Babinet was uncharacteristically circumspect about the company’s mission. “We are still in stealth mode,” he said. “But I can tell you that we will help consumers to manage, optimize and value the photos and video they generate from their camera phones, as the company’s business will be very much tied to the mobile operators.” The eventual success of Musiwave was built on similar close relations with mobile operators.

And seems that there is no website yet….

Technorati Tags: , ,

Different ways…

Just love this idea: this Sanyo phone is just like an average phone at a first glance, but the magic is on the cover which contains some small leds that could be used to do cool effects…. What I like, is that it’s a succesful break from the “feature war” (more colors, more screen, more pixels per screen)…

Technorati Tags:

Augmented Reality on a Cellphone!

I’ve just finished my note about Augmented Reality and cell phones, concerning YDreams, and it seems that somebody else just done it:

Viennese computer scientist Daniel Wagner has figured out a way to show
a virtual character on an i-mate SP5 cellphone, and when you move
around with the cellphone, it appears that you’re floating around this
virtual character in 3D. Other people with cellphones can also see this
character from their points of view. Augmented reality, indeed.

(Source: Gizmodo)

That was typically one of the potential usage of augmented reality. Next step is to get rid of this 2D marker, and to magically put some virtual charcacters in your hand….

Technorati Tags: , ,

Don’t miss this one: YDreams

Just a short notice to suggest you to take a look at all the projects of this Portuguese company: YDreams. I’ve initially get to them through their UnderCover2 games;
one of the first location based game (may be too early for the market). But they are doing an amazing number of creative things:

  • Virtual walkway (seems similar to what you can see in SF Metreon): a video projector display a picture on the floor, a camera record your movement and you can interact with the picture. Seems in the concept a kind of “full size” eyetoys, but this provides a lot of new ideas.
  • Augmented reality. It’s for now the first “real use case” of mass market augmented reality, they have something called “Virtual Sightseeing”, a nice use of augmented reality…

I think that there is a lot of potential on augmented reality on mobile. Seems sometime too “advanced”, but YDreams show real life example of augmented reality. These example are not yet in the mobile context, but this would be a quite interesting next step…

Technorati Tags: ,

The benefits of Fragmentation….

Update2: To be clear, this post is not talking of Java only, but of all mobile technology! So I will clarify this in a later release…. (end of update2…)

Ok, the title is a little bit controversial, but “Fragmentation” is usually considered as the worst thing that could happen in this industry. Even if it’s a real pain, let’s be more positive. I see it as a result of what is one of the most interesting things of mobile: innovation… Mobile is an incredibly innovative environment: in applications, services, software, hardware….
Innovation, by definition, creates fragmentation: this create new opportunities, or different ways to do things, sometime better, sometime worst. Then, with time, on a specific topic, things stabilize, winner emerges, and fragmentation reduces. In the meantime, other technologies are coming in other areas. There is a continuous shift, where older innovations become standard, while newer creates fragmentation. The fact the life cycle of a mobile is “relatively” short, help a lot…We don’t deal with ten years old phones, but only with four years old phones….
This does not mean that we should put effort to reduce fragmentation, but we should find a way to balance in finding ways to reduce it, while still keeping room for new ideas…

Update: C.Enrique pointed out a point that I forgot to mention. Of course, there are drawbacks, especially if fragmentation is used by big companies as a tools to break standardisation, and not a tool to promote innovation. And he gives Nokia SOA as an example of this wrong approach….

So, I have a few clarifications:

  • fragmentation happens in all areas (and no, I am NOT talking of Java fragmentation): Brew, Java, FlashLite,SVG, Wap/XHMLT, Ajax, etc…are fragmenting technologies. Some are complementaries, some are competing…
  • fragmentation happens also for hardware: bluetooth, WiFi, NFC/Rfid are all fragmenting technologies in a sense, but great innovations
  • Other example of fragmented areas: business models, payment methods….
  • As discussed earlier, the bad side of fragmentation, is to use it to create walled garden with competing with standard technologies. Of course, this is obviously not a benefit of fragmentation.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Some nice features on new SE K790

There were some reviews of this new SE phone yesterday. But I’ve just notice a few interesting features, that have not been heavily highlighted (and I am not talking of this direct Google link):

  • Identify Music: while listening radio, you can identify the current song. The phone will record a few seconds of the songs, and send it to a server, and you will get back the song name. Next step is probably to link this to an “iTune like” system (from Sony?). But interesting first step approach
  • The second interesting innovation, for me, is the fact that it seems that you can lunch at least two instance of the VM. Not yet truly multitasking, but good enough to create new application, and have the notion of a background app….

Source: Mobile Review

Technorati Tags: , ,