A friend of mine finally got a camera phone so at long last I've been able to test phone-to-phone MMS. The results were puzzling and disappointing however. We're both on Vodafone but regardless of direction sent our MMS photos are being reduced in size by about 50%. Other people have noted the same problem on the boards.ie forums. This is not good! Phone screens are small enough for full size photos but half size pictures require a magnifying glass for scrutiny and are practically useless.
CoMobi looks like a very interesting new Symbian application. From their webpage -
What is CoMobi?
CoMobi is an innovative software solution for direct communication between two mobile phones. It enables clients with mobile devices based on Symbian OS to talk real time over GPRS and data call. You can also exchange text, voice messages, pictures, melodies, office documents, videos and any kind of files. All they have to do is just push a button to connect to the other smart device. They are communicating, no matter where they are, in a faster, cheaper and more secure way.
comobiDirectTalk: Push-2-Talk service. ComobiDirectTalk allows people to communicate real time over GPRS or data call using a walkie-talkie function. To talk to a friend, the user just presses a button. ComobiDirectTalk uses the phone's native voice capturing and playback mechanisms, users don’t have to buy any additional hardware;
comobiText: Presence based instant text services. Mobile users send and receive text messages
comobiVoiceMessage: comobiVoice is instant voice message service;
comobiPix: CoMobi users can send pictures to each other. When picture attachments are received they are stored on the phone so they can be accessed at any time;
comobiMusic: the feature allows users to send and receive melodies for mobile phones. Melodies can be rejected or saved on the phone;
comobiFiles: CoMobi users can easily exchange any file types like office documents or videos.
"Technology allowing sports photos to be sent to people's mobile phones within seconds of being taken is being pioneered by a company in Nottingham."
Ok, as a sports fan I think that's wonderful, but isn't this a bit ridiculous? -
"Empics is currently applying for a patent on the technology, which essentially delivers pictures directly from the camera."
I mean, isn't that essentially what the Nokia Observation camera can be set to do. And isn't there software available for Series 60 phones that enables them to do pretty much the same thing? [scratches head]
I must say its quite an impressive bit of software even if the example clips aren't too entertaining! The viewer is free and The Mobiclip Converter software which allows you to convert .swf, .avi, .mov, .mpeg and .mp3 files into .MO format playable on the Player is also free for private use. As I'm still using Windows '98 though I wasn't able to test it out unfortunately :-(
Previously I complained about the extraordinary cluelessness of ZDNet AnchorDesk pundit David Coursey regarding bluetooth specification. Refreshing then to see that Anchordesk Editorial Director, Patrick Houston, is a reformed doubting Thomas when it comes to the same wireless technology -
Patrick has changed his commuting routine and saved himself five hours and 50 minutes a week -
"I owe that time to Bluetooth, which has made it possible for my Palm Tungsten T3 handheld, my Sony Ericsson T616 cell phone, and my AT&T wireless data service to work together in a surprisingly productive combination. The experience has made a Bluetooth believer out of me."
"Finland's leading broadcasters, mobile service providers and Nokia plan to start sending commercial TV programs to cell phones next year, the companies said. The Internet protocol datacast, IPDC, will bring TV to mobile handsets, and is set to begin in autumn 2004 with 500 initial users in and around Helsinki. "
This whole TV on mobile thing is going to be no more successful than 3's recent attempts to sell content. Mini mobile TV's have been available for years but I've never seen anyone using them!
Meteor, Ireland's third operator, are a year later than competitors Vodafone and O2 in bringing MMS to market but they still don't have a clue what they're doing. In fact they've got it back to front just like '3' (see previous post below) -
Warren Harding, GPRS project manager at Meteor, commented:
"The mistake being made by O2 and Vodafone is they see MMS as a communications service whereas Meteor sees it as an entertainment service. Too many people get tired of picture messaging. To make MMS work you’ve got to give people a better proposition than just camera phones," he declared.
With leadership like this its no wonder Meteor have a mere 5% of the Irish market and are going nowhere.
Well, maybe not 3G, but according to Gareth Jones, 3’s chief operating officer, they're not yet making the most of the media rights they've secured which were supposed to make 3G a 'killer-app'. So, has the penny dropped? Are the operators starting to realise that mobile communications is all about contact and not content? Let's hope so.