Cellphones as sensors & Sony Ericsson's location-aware phones
Two items which caught my eye today:
via Smartmobs: Cell phone as sensor by David Pescovitz
"By their sheer numbers, cell phones provide an opportunity to gather geospatial data with much higher granularity and more penetration than previously possible," says Honicky, who is developing such a system with College of Engineering dean Richard Newton. "This is especially true in the developing world, where there's often a lack of funds for scientific research."If tourists gave their consent, then this could be a really valuable way of gathering traveller behaviour data! Though given their paranoia over people-tracking technology (as seen in my focus groups), a sizeable incentive will probably have to be offered, if any of them are actually going to sign up...
Also, some New Scientist breaking news about Sony Ericsson's 'Chameleon-phone'
"The cellphone industry is always looking for new must-have features to encourage people to junk their existing phones and buy new ones. Sony Ericsson’s latest idea is to sell phones which automatically change the way they behave, depending on the time, date and place.I must try and see if the local Ericsson folks can give me any more detail about this! =)
For example, the wallpaper display on the screen shows pumpkins when the phone’s calendar sees the date is Halloween, and Christmas puddings on December 25th. Network roaming, or GPS, can tell a phone what country it is in, so the ring-tone might change to a reggae tune as the plane touches down in Jamaica, for example.
A restaurant could use short-range Bluetooth signals to deliver the specials menu direct to the phone's screen, and a cinema or church could use Bluetooth to switch it to silent mode. Stockbrokers could enable an option to display the latest share prices every 10 minutes and golfers could use continually updated weather forecasts for wallpaper.
Priority coding lets some automated controls override user settings. So if you are a golfing stockbroker praying in church for sunshine during a wet Christmas in Jamaica, the phone won’t interrupt the sermon with a burst of Bob Marley.
Read the location-aware cellphone patent here."