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!