Posts Tagged ‘google


let the mobile games begin

I have become vaguely obsessed with the Olympic Games and since we do not have DSTV in our digs, getting my daily fix has become somewhat of a challenge. I went through that stage of inviting myself around to digs’ that do have DSTV, I have been slightly satisfied with the coverage on SABC 2, and have even eaten up my bandwidth watching online. Now since I do blog about mobile media, you would have thought that the solution would have dawned on me a little sooner, but alack this is not the case! It has taken me a grand total of 11 days to solve my predicament. In which time I have missed the men’s freestyle relay, the scandalous Chinese “women’s” gymnastics victory and a number of track events!

So for all those other Olympic enthusiasts who have a limited access to live coverage, don’t stress, where there’s a will there’s a way! And the way happens to be Google’s new mobile search tool so that any sport that you search will come up immediately, rather than all the other stuff that would normally have appeared. For example if you had simply typed in ‘swimming,’ instead of getting Wikipedia entries and books about swimming, what comes up immediately is the Olympic coverage, including medal counts, event schedules and recent results.

Google has also set up a mobile web site specifically so followers of the games can look up results and events whenever they want. The Google Mobile Olympic Site is specifically designed for use on a mobile phone and allows you to browse through results and event’s with ease. It is also available in 36 different languages and in 60 different counties.

So now I can easily access results and event scheduling off my mobile phone, but while researching this blog post I discovered something rather strange. Yes I can keep up to date with the Olympics via my cell phone, but what about competing in an event WITH you cell phone, or specifically with a Sony Ericsson T310 handset?!?

If you happened to have been in London at the start of the Olympics, you may have seen people hurling their cell phones across Clapham’s Common. This was the one part of the inaugural Mobile Phone Olympics. The Mobile Phone Olympics is a part of the Sprite Urban Games which is an annual street event that is held in London.

Mobile phone Olympians will be tested in four different areas, which will assess their overall ability. These areas are:

1. Text messaging: an 80 character message must be sent as quickly as possible

2. Multimedia messaging: again a test of speed, but a photograph must accompany the message too

3. Mobile gaming: competitors must try and rack up as many points as possible in a two minute game of  Pro Skater 4

4. Mobile throwing: the competitors handset must be chucked as far as possible from a standing start

Mobile phone throwing may seem like an obscure thing, but it has been practised in Eastern Europe for a number of years, with the current record being 57 metres. Last year the cell phone throwing world championship took place in Finland in the city of Savonlinna. In the championships it is not just the distance of the throw that counts but also the different techniques.

The sponsors of the event are mobile phone retailer Phones 4u and Sony Ericsson. Jenna Jensen, of Phones 4u, said: “The mobile phone athletes will need lighting fast fingers, supreme powers of concentration, a strong arm, textual expertise and quick reactions.”

So not only can mobile phones keep you updated on the Olympics, but with your mobile phone you can even compete in the Mobile Phone Olympics!


Anything you can do, my phone can do better!

Mobile media’s potential power is becoming more and more apparent as time goes on. So much so that big name companies who usually use traditional means to get their product recognised, are using different mobile technologies.

Imagine you are walking down the street, past a billboard advertising the newest Nike shoes. You don’t really notice it that much, and you don’t intend on visiting a Nike shop. But then your phone starts behaving like a crazed animal in your bag, beeping and vibrating until you pick it up and give it the attention that it wants.

It’s a message, from Nike, sent to your phone using Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth allows electronic devices to communicate wirelessly, but only from a short range. It tells you that if you run to the nearest Nike store you could win a brand new pair of Nike Zoom shoes, which were advertised on the billboard you passed by.

Then you arrive at the bus stop, and you get another message on your phone, sent via Bluetooth. It says:

I’m watching u. Ur at the bus stop.”

Now you’re a bit creeped out but then a few seconds later you get another message, this time saying:

Big Brother is back. 7pm weeknights on Ten.

This is a message from the producers of Big Brother in Australia. Their new season is starting and they want as many people to tune in as possible.

Now despite the obvious annoying, spam-like quality of these types of messages (but remember that one can only receive Bluetooth messages of your Bluetooth is turned on), it happens to be an ingenious advertising technique that is utilising mobile technology. And one that confirms for me that we can so many things off our cellphones, and these can be done simply and cheaply.  

Users can use search tools like Google, you can check Facebook, you can chat to friends really cheaply through a number of different devices such as Mxit and Meep, you can internet bank, you can blog, you can shop online, you can find out breaking news using news websites or social media sites like Twitter, you can even take a guided tour of South Africa’s historical sites using your cell phone!

So with all this new mobile technology and the obvious convenience of it all, what is there that we can’t do on our cell phones?