Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

New logo, new site

December 6, 2008



IYOUIT Context

September 25, 2008

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Most useful tool while on holiday: GPS phone + Google Maps

August 10, 2008

Last week, while enjoying a fanastic holiday in Sicily (Italy), I found out that there was just one item I couldn’t have missed: my GPS-enabled N82 mobile phone – working seamlessly together with Google Maps.

Even though we had enough maps and card-reading skills on board (I simply love maps and both my boyfriend and I are good at navigating), we have been thanking Saints Nokia and Google a few times for having helped us out.

Being used to Dutch traffic and roadsigns (all extremely well organized), Sicilian traffic and wayfinding takes some getting used to.

Apart from really needing all your sensors to stay concentrated on traffic alone [‘Keeping your lane” doesn’t really exist, there were easily 5 rows of traffic on a 2-lane + safety lane motorway], road exit signs are simply very hard to find. And usually placed after an exit, amongst all kinds of other highly distracting signs.

We therefor used Google Maps, together with regular maps and route descriptions from our picturesque yet sometimes quite remotely located Agriturismos and hotels.

It works so easily. Just press “0” and the GPS tells you immediately where you are. Zooming in and out, scrolling – it is all so incredibly intuitive. The fact that you can choose any level of (non)-detail via Google Maps makes it very easy to get an overview of the entire journey and of the details.

Satellite mode

We also used the ‘Satellite’ mode (= Google Earth) multiple times, for example to find ourselves a nice beach on our way to the next destination or  to locate the ‘teatro Romano’ (lower right on the picture) from our location near the ‘teatro Greco’ (upper left) in Sicacusa.

Again, the roadsigns at that point didn’t help us out, Google Earth did.

We didn’t even use the ‘search’ option for finding restaurants this time – this time we simply chose to follow our real life eyes, ears and nose to find lovely places to eat and drink…

So, where will this lead to?

Currently, there were no usable other mobile location services available for Sicily yet, apart from some very simple (but not so interesting) Lonely Planet content. But how would we have loved to get more information about the wonderful monuments ready at hand. However, this is just a matter of time- I’m sure that by next summer many of these services will be available. In the iPhone app store, you can already try out Wikime (link to article in Dutch).

My dream would be to point the camera of my phone at all of the archeological sites which make Sicily (and many other tourist destinations on this planet) so special – and see in the screen of my camera:

  • how this site looked like in the old days
  • how the people looked like, and what they were doing at that moment

This type of ‘Augmented Reality’ via your regular mobile phone is also only a few years away.

It could radically change the way we live our holidays… If we want to, of course. Luckily there’s always the possibility to switch off your mobile, simply get lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere and phantasize about how life and the historic sites could have looked like a long, long time ago.

WiMax in Amsterdam!

August 4, 2008

Wow.. Just read that the first commercial WiMax network in the Netherlands, called Aerea, is going live..
For 29,95 you receive a PCMCIA card (for XP only) and get a month access to the WiMax network. After one month you have a kind of pay as you go construction. So basically you can buy a new month for 9,95 euro.

Company behind the network is Worldmax

Too bad that there is no support for Apple yet. Would have loved to try it. They will come with a USB adapter in  November according to Bright.  How knows maybe that they have OSX software with the USB solution *fingers crossed*.

Bad thing is also that WorldMax uses a different solution than Sprint so the N810 Wimax doesn’t work either.. (Thanks Candyman for the info)

Mobile Phones and Mobile Internet as Drivers for Authenticity

July 28, 2008

Connectivity breeds positive outcomes.

I would like to extend this idea a little to a possible logical (positive conclusion). At first for the rich countries, later on for underdeveloped countries as well. Here goes: The overarching theme of our times in my view is authenticity and self realisation. The mobile phone and mobile internet in this respect is a key driver and enabler/facilitator. Why ?

1) The more we share (the more open we are), the more transparent we are. Open APIs, GPS data, photos, videos, blog posts, tweets, clickstream data and increasingly attention data concerning what we read and watch (see APML) are examples. This sharing (increasingly using our mobile phones) stimulates authenticity and honesty as inconsistenties and lies are exposed to ourselves, our family, our social network, our peers and even the market/public as a whole.

2) Information overload begets us the question of what is important to us ? Choices… Choices are based on your identity (who am I ? what are my values ? what is core to me ?). Filtering (using our mobile phones) based increasing identity awareness stimulates authenticity. If we are overwhelmed with options, possibilities and choices, we are drawn to ourselves.

3) Change is everywhere and seems to speeding up. This creates stress in people. In most cases, people can find their core personality in these circumstances as it makes us naked in our needs and wants. As a result, authenticity comes to the fore. As a mobile phones is present with us almost all the time, it seems likely this will be a key gateway to learn about ourselves in these circumstances.

4) Increasingly, (mobile) technologies are on the market for the automated detection of deception and lies. Examples are Facial Coding techniques integrated into and applied to videos and presentations. If you lie, certain particular facial expressions are salient. These expressions can be logged and analyzed using technology. Increasingly, these techniques will be incorporated into mobile phones. As a result, authenticity becomes not only a valuable choice (see point 1, 2 and 3) but also a necessity in certain instances.

5) Mobile phones transform conversational techniques due to ‘presence’ capabilities. If my loves ones and social network can follow all my updates and actions on Twitter, my blog, Facebook etc…this transforms my real-life interactions. The basic questions are skipped as they are already clear using mobile phones and mobile internet. In the past, the basic questions were a necessity due to the lack of the mentioned apps. As a result, real-life conversations focus on more deep questions related to emotions, feelings and intimacy. Shallow, factual questions are more unnecessary. All of this might stimulate authentic conversations and authenticity.

In short, the mobile phone is not only a fantastic connectivity and thus productivity, growth and empowerment tool but also increasingly IMO a tool for higher levels of trust, authenticity, self realization, transparency and honesty. This is not a sure scenario, just a likely scenario IMO. It is evenly possible to construct an opposite case/scenario with fear (instead of hope and trust) as a key theme as a result of using a mobile phone and mobile internet (including Internet of Things/UbiComp). Fear due to increasing control by classic institutions and even ordinary people. Fear -> more closed systems -> negative outcomes across the board including Less authenticity. Yet again, I am an optimist 🙂

Short Video: Is It a Phone or a Magic Wand?

July 9, 2008

The history and Future of Mobile handsets in a 3 minute video. Found via Bruce Sterling at Tarina.

The future of mobile phones is perhaps… not a mobile phone at all, but rather a contextually aware and active mobile magic wand. It’s not about skins anymore. Not even about features, open source, multi-touch or iPhoney. It’s about who is going to make the device interact with your environment as well as capturing it in context. It’s a wand, I tell you. You know what, it’s going to talk with the clouds rather than with native applications. It might or might not link with the global brain.

But what I know for sure, it’s going to combine cloud computing, augmented reality and the internet of things in a meaningful way.