Nokia’s mini applications which actually make a difference?

I've just attended a show about mobile life, it was your usual come look at my new phones style thing. Pretty boring but I found a couple of things which make me think. All from Nokia too

First thing I saw was the Nokia obsavation camera. Ok its basicly a camera-phone but in the shape of a camera. It is like those Axis network cameras but this one has no network socket only a 9pin serial socket and a SIM slot.
So how do you control it? Well once its got AC power, it acts like a phone waiting for a phone call (more on this later) or text message. Once it recieves a text message it will reply with a MMS message, included in the body of the message will be a photo of what the camera currently saw.
But it gets better, you can adjust its internal settings to send you a MMS when it detects movement over a user specified livel or over a set period of time. You can even get it to stop sending depending on howm any you specify.

Its a first of its kind and we are interested in getting some on the cheap and setting them up in college as a useful way of connecting new students to there courses and the college as a whole.
We could offer new students the ability to get pictures of the college before they come in on the first day. Just by giving out the mobile number of the camera.
I believe its also possible to have a access list, so if the number becomes widely known, we can block all except for those who we put in the access list?
If they sort out reverse billing for this, we could open it to all no problem.

Another neat little feature is that if you phone it, you can hear what the camera hears! Now thats clever stuff. Specially if you get the reverse billing working…
Anyway I'm thinking if I can grab a nice VGA quality copy for the website over serial and let students at the number for MMS. Maybe setup 5 cams, one for each area in college and one for reception? Pricing seems ok, about 150 pounds online with contract. Shame theres no ip to gsm bridge though… oh nokia reckon within a month we can buy it. Just in time for next college year I would say… could be a interesting project for this summer?

Ok the next very very interesting thing from Nokia. I'm not actually ment to talk about too much because its not be shown in the uk yet. So they say…
When they explained what this device does, I was blown away. My legs turned to jelly and I collapsed. In my mind of course…

So what does Nokia SU2 do? Yes I got the model number when they let me look at it. Well its basiclly allows anyone to send a picture to it over a bluetooth connection and display it on a device which accepts composite.
Yes its that simple. Unfortually I never got a demo of it because they were not allowed too, but I'm gonna do some searching when I get home this weekend for sure.

How would this work for Ravensbourne? Well any student can do a presentation from there bluetooth enabled laptop without plugg-in a vga cable. Doesnt sound like anything amazing except when you imagine a small group of around 5-10 students who can each send there photos to the large screen. You can imagine them sending concepts and talking about it, while someone else grabs that image and adds there own take on it, while there talking. I'm guessing the SU2 does allow uploading and downloading over bluetooth?

Anyway I was thinking, we could do the same with the bluetooth hub and a computer. The hub is the bluetooth to network bridge and if you place a image in a certain folder it would pick that up and display it through a vga card which supports svideo or composite. Its kinda wasteful but it does allow you to deal with not only images but video and audio.
But then again, we have wireless, why use bluetooth when all there laptops have wireless anyway? The advantage of the SU2 is that it works with mobile devices not laptops, stupid Me.
So maybe its not so good for ravensbourne, specially if we sort out webdav access and shared folders. Oh well it was a good thought wasted on us.
Now if the camera was bluetooth…

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.