Trends in mobile TV (my presentation at Rose d’Or in Lucerne)

I did a presentation at Rose d’Or (also know as the Golden Rose) in Lucerne at tuesday. “Trends in mobile TV”, at Grand Casino, Casineum 7. May from 13.00-15.00.

The Rose d’Or (or Golden Rose) is a highly prestigious television award, given annually since 1961 at the Festival Rose d’Or in spring each year. Since 2004, the festival has been held in Lucerne, Switzerland. Before the festival was held in Montreux, Switzerland, thus the Golden Rose of Montreux.

(from Wikipedia entry on Rose d’Or)

The festival also has seminars and presentations on different subjects. This year monday is internet day, tuesday mobile day, and wednesday covers “How to create and produce world class entertainment televison?” and “Scripted formats: A new era”.

Rose d'Or

My presentation

I will also post from other interesting presentations at Rose d’Or. Come back here for updates later this week.

Feel free to contact me in Lucerne. I’ve made a Rose d’Or group at Facebook. And guess what: No one else has joined. Heh. Now how could that be? TV-people don’t use social sites like Facebook? ;-)

Pictures

Christian Lorenz Scheurer

I’ve put up pictures of the other speakers at Flickr. I will post about their actual presentations too, as soon as I have typed everything and sorted my pictures. Some very interesting days.

iPhone, my new book shelf?

1) The new Apple iPhone has a 160 ppi screen, when you flip it 90 degrees, the screen flips too, it can show pdfs… And you have it with you all the time…

2) The iTunes store has sold two billion tracks or so, has a system that works, and has their frontend (iTunes) installed on the majority of computers sold the last couple of years…

Add these together, and you have the perfect portable book reader. Here’s what Booksquare thinks:

We’ve noted in posts past that that an unheralded feature of the iTunes store is the ability to serve up PDF files. Go back and read that sentence again because one key element of the iPhone is its tight integration with iTunes (in retrospect, woefully misnamed). See, if you can browse the web and use iTunes, you can, theoretically, download PDF files. Not a heralded feature, but we have faith in Steve Jobs and his design team.

In other words, you can read lengthy texts. Articles. Short stories. Novellas. Books. Compendiums. On your cell phone/miniature computer/portable media player/killer device.

Setting aside the comfort issues, the iPhone could either kill the nascent e-reader business or take it to new levels. We’ve been saying just about forever that the problem with dedicated e-reader is the fact that the consumer isn’t seeking a device that does only one thing. With its “smart” orientation features, the iPhone could usher in the mass market e-book era.

E-reader to new levels

I have bought quite a few books for my (now retired) Palm Pilot. eReader.com has over 17 000 titles, but reading books on the sharp, but way too small screen on my Sony-Ericsson K800i doesn’t cut it. The Palm had a bigger screen. A lousy screen, but a bigger.

The books are DRM’ed, which of course is a nuisance. But I can live with it. If i WANT to, I get the texts out of the books, but I seldom do.

Tie text and audio together = killer app

Booksquare’s idea is brilliant. If I could buy books for the iPhone in the iTunes store, I would. What if Apple made an app for the iPhone that let you have the same book in both text and audio together? They already sell thousands of audiobooks in iTunes, and if I – for a slightly higher price – could get both audio and text at the same time, that would be a killer. The text could follow the audio when I listen to it, and if I read the text, and later were in my car, the audio version would know where I left reading the text. Let me have a way to set bookmarks with my voice when I listen to the audio version, and let people copy smaller passages and send them by e-mail or by bluetooth. That will help spread the word, and good books will sell more.

The next thing Apple should do with Google: Get all those Google-scanned books into the iTunes store. Let me use Spotlight to search all my books, and give me the most amazing e-reader ever made.

Multi-touch

Update: There’s a newer video at “Multitouch will revolutionize your computer”. This is certainly something we’ll see in one form or another in Mac OS X pretty soon.

Apple let the iPhone out of the box today… and wow! It’s a revolution, especially on the UI side.

So now we know where the multi-touch technology that Jeff Han demoed at TEDtalk in february 2006 went. In the iPhone.

Just to remind you, here’s the video at Google again:

And for rss readers: Here’s the direct link.

Now, watch how it is used in the iPhone.

Where do you think all the other cool things Jeff demoes will go? Obviously 10.5. All MacBooks and MacBook Pros could use the same technology with the touch pad. Or maybe the rumoured new Apple display will have a similar multi-touch feature as the iPhone? Just think about it. Apple has already done this now, on a small scale in the iPhone. Mind-boggling.

Used in Pro apps

Imagine having this way of working in the pro apps; Final Cut Pro, Motion, Logic. Zoom in and out of timelines. Zooming on video effects. Controlling faders and graphs directly on the screen. And you could use your fingers to draw vectors for movements, and easier graphics work. It would be so much more organic. Like playing on the computer, using it more like a musical instrument. I would love it.

4 minutes into the video, Jeff moves around lots of pictures with his hands. Imagine using that to organize your content before putting it on the timeline.

The new OS?

What if the new OS X worked like this in the Finder? Zooming into folders, organizing content. Sorting and analyzing. That would certainly be something different than Vista!

So Eirik, it’s Apple-shares you should buy.

The guys behind it are setting up a company and hope to put it into production. Where can I buy shares?

Or rather – bought. Apple shares went up 8.3% today.

Eirik also has a nice video of the screen in action at Siggraph 2006

Update: TED blog

Several blogs write about this, including the TED Blog. Chris Anderson asked Jeff Han about multitouch, and he answered:

The iPhone is absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve always said, if there ever were a company to bring this kind of technology to the consumer market, it’s Apple. I just wish it were a bit bigger so I could really use both of my hands.

Hm. Does it make you any wiser? A bit secretive?

Just to make this a little more fun, seven different computeres at Apple read this post some minutes after it was digged… Read into it what you want. I still think 2007 will be an amazing year for Apple.

Update 2: Exciting updates coming?

Now Jeff Han comments on the project page for multitouch:

Update: Yes, we saw the keynote too! We have some very, very exciting updates coming soon- stay tuned!

(via daringfireball). Still in doubt something big is in the works?

Update 3: Fast company

Fast Company has an article about Jeff Han, which was done before the iPhone launch:

Not everyone is sold on Han’s idea. Ben Shneiderman, a computer science professor at the University of Maryland and a founding director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, calls Han a “great showman” who has “opened the door to exciting possibilities.” But he doesn’t think Han’s technology would be suitable for a large-scale consumer product, nor as useful as a mouse on a large display. If you are standing in front of the screen, Shneiderman wonders, how would people behind you be able to see what you’re doing?

One way, Han counters, is for the demonstrator to simply move his ass out of the way. Another: Use a drafting-table display, as Han did at TED, and project the image on a wall-size screen.

But criticisms like these are a million light years from Han’s mind. We’re in his cluttered and cramped office at NYU. Books line a shelf, and a skein of wires unfurls across the floor. A computer circuit board is half taken apart (he stopped losing screws long ago), and a nearby whiteboard contains blueprints and sketches of the touch screen, plus a clever trick for hacking programming code.

Han is explaining why he formed Perceptive Pixel. “I want to create an environment where I can create technology, get it into the hands of someone to market it, and move on to other technologies so I can keep innovating,” he says. “I want to be a serial entrepreneur: Incubate an idea, get it to a good state, and make that an enabler to get to the next state. It’s every researcher’s fantasy.”

Update 4: Fingerworks

According to both Engadget and Charles Arthur, it is FingerWorks technology that is inside the iPhone. Apple bought their technology some time ago.

If you head over to FingerWorks.com, you’ll see…

Important note!

FingerWorks has ceased operations as a business.

FingerWorks products are no longer available for resale, and no further updates to software drivers will be developed.

The fun thing is that both Jeff Han and FingerWorks call their technology Multitouch.

Update 5: Revolution!

You may want to know how multitouch will revolutionize your computer/

Mobile phone (not cell phone)

24ways.org makes this good point:

If you’re a U.S. resident, listen up: You must rid your vocabulary of the term “cell phone”. We’re one of the few economies on the planet to refer to a mobile phone accordingly. If you care to find yourself in any of the worthwhile mobile development circles, begin using terms more widely accepted: “mobile” or “mobile phone” or “handset” or “handy”. If you’re not sure which, go for “mobile”. Such as, “Yo dog, check out my new mobile.”

I live in a country where 102,5% of the population has a mobile phone. That doesn’t mean that all have, but that many people have more than one number (and a few still doesn’t have a mobile). In comparison, 82% of all homes have a landline, and 44% have a DSL (or faster) broadband connection. Even with 5 and 6-year olds, 6% of Norwegian kids have their own mobile. By the age of 8, the number is close to 40%, by 12 the number is over 90%.

Make sure your site look good on mobile browsers. I just installed a WordPress plugin for mobile browsers on brilliantdays.com. There’s also a similar plugin if you want to make your site look good when browsed on a Wii.

Wikipedia entries for GPS

Today I saw this: Geocoordinates from Wikipedia for Google Earth. It has coordinates for Google Earth for 52 175 English Wikipedia entries. So when you tarvel around in Google Earth, you get lots of clickable entries from Wikipedia. Very useful!

Which reminded me of something I thought about this summer while driving around Norway with my family. Our TomTom ONE told us exactly where to go at all times, with great precision. My partner is an excellent map reader, but with the GPS onboard she could enjoy the scenery and the summer.

Every time we approached a turn, the GPS told us which way to go.

Now, what if it could tell us about the places we approched? What if it worked like this: For every geographical place in Wikipedia, there was a condensed text-version, that took – let’s say 30 seconds to read. When you’re planning a route, your GPS searches Wikipedia for entries that are along the route, and downloads these condensed versions to the unit. Either if connected to a computer before going, or via a mobile phone when driving. A text-to-speech unit in the GPS unit then reads up these texts, like if a guide was sitting there next to you. Or, if bandwidth weren’t an issue, Wikipedia hosts 30-second mp3s with this information.

Would this be possible? Of course. Maybe not today, or next month. But as GPS-units get better processors and if Wikipedia adds the right tags, it would be very easy to do.

Leave your mobile phone on

Jason Kottke blogs today about a panel at Eyebeam, where the announcement were a bit different than other conferences/panels:

“If you have cell phones or pagers, please leave them on because they might result in some interesting visual experiences for some of us here.”

I took the kid to the finals in MGPjr some days ago. MGPjr is the “junior” version of the Eurovision song contest. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s a yearly song contest among all members of Eurovision, an organization for tv broadcasters in Europe (the part of the world, not the union).

MGPjr is for kids between 8 and 15. They have to both write and perform their songs themselves. This is a cool rule, knowing that the adults performing in the adult Eurovision Song contest does NOT have to write the songs themselves.

The show was held at concert venue Oslo Spektrum here in Oslo. A magnificant show, with over 5 000 kids (and some parents of course) screaming like crazy when their favourites performed. Lots of local fan clubs with banners etc.

The voting was done by SMS (text messages), so naturally the hosts told everybody to leave their phones on, to be able to vote during the show.

The fun thing is that almost a third of all Norwegians have cameraphones now. Still the tickets had this printed on them: “No camera or audio recording allowed inside the venue” (or similar in Norwegian).

I never get why? If I went to a concert, and snapped some pics with my camera, then what? Are the record companies loosing money if I mail them to my friends and tell how great the concert was?

And recommend the album? Or if I bring my DV camera and record the whole thing? And even put it on the net? Will people stop buying the albums? Or the official concert DVD when it’s out?

Because my handheld DV recording from row 142 (with people screaming and singing the best they were able to all around me) is so great that no one need the 17-camera, multiple-angles, lots of interviews, music-videos, bonus tracks etc. DVD the record company makes?

Of course not.

When I’m elected ruler of this planet, all concert tickets will have this on them:

“Please bring your camera phone, digital camera, video recorder or audio recording equipment. And please share your media with yor friends after the show!”

The MGPjr show can be seen in NRK web-tv (registration required).

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DVD-Jon planning supercheap text messages?

(Update on yesterday’s article.)

Norwegian daily Dagbladet speculates on what DVD-Jon plans for mobile phones.

According to the newspaper, it’s much cheaper to send text messages with the data part of the mobile phone network, than the “normal” SMS part. In Norway a typical SMS costs NOK 0.69 (=USD 0.11). By sending an SMS with GPRS, it would only cost NOK 0.003 (=USD 0,00049).

Several companies are planning services using this technique. It is also an option for the IM services of companies like MSN and Yahoo. Price has stopped most people from using their mobile phone as an IM “terminal”, chatting with friends online on computers or other mobile devices.