Thursday, October 23, 2008

Apple considering small in-home wireless sensors?

Here's information on an Apple patent (from a former MIT'er) for little
wireless sensors that communicate with phones about activity in home/life:


http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/10/23/apple_proposes_tiny_rf_modules
_for_ever_present_connectivity.html

These types of sensors could be used for automatic activity/context
detection that would provide powerful information for context-aware
experience sampling.

At MIT we've been considering this type of thing for a while and see great
potential. See
http://web.media.mit.edu/~intille/papers/abstract-MunguiaTapiaIntilleLarson0
7.html
for a paper on some practical issues of developing such sensors.

Eight Trends to Watch in Mobile Computing

From Accenture, a short article on Eight Trends to Watch in Mobile Computing
http://preview.tinyurl.com/6q43y5

"Mobile computing, communications and services are reshaping our world.
Here are the top eight mobile technology trends to watch-trends that
will affect usage patterns and industry positioning in the years ahead."

Of most concern/interest for a NESP program is probably, "Mobile security
gets serious," because inevitably this makes it harder to write background
apps that run all the time that gather/share sensor data.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Accelerometers in phones

If there was ever any doubt, the many new applications being created for the
iPhone that use accelerometers will ensure that future phones come with
accelerometers built in. These two articles reference some of them.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/technology/2008-09-30-accelerometer
-iphone-wii_n.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2008-10-13-iphonegames_N.htm

Far more interesting stuff will be possible on the more open development
platforms, such as Android and Windows Mobile.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Easier development on Nokia Symbian phones?

News on Nokia Qt developer toolkit, aimed at making development easier.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20081020-nokia-releases-first-qt-preview-for-symbian-s60.html

 

“Nokia has released a developer preview of the open-source Qt development toolkit for S60, the company's Symbian-based mobile platform … Nokia aims to position Qt as a universal programming framework that can be used to bridge the gap between desktop and mobile software development and bring mobile applications to a wide range of devices using a single code base.”

 

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pew Internet survey on technology and families

A new report with some information on mobile phone use in different
demographic groups:
http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/266/report_display.asp

E.g., "A national survey has found that households with a married couple and
minor children are more likely than other household types -- such as
single adults, homes with unrelated adults, or couples without children
- to have cell phones and use the internet. The survey shows that these high
rates of technology ownership affect family life. In particular, cell phones
allow family members to stay more regularly in touch even when they are not
physically together. Moreover, many members of married-with-children
households view material online together."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Charging for sending of text messages

Verizon is apparently considering charging up to 3 cents for text messages, which is not making developers of SMS-based services happy at all. If a major shift in payment in the U.S. market occurred, this could impact the viability of using text messages (or data encoded in text messages) for a national sampling project.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/11/technology/companies/11text.html?em

 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Population-scale children's study

A new government study to follow 100,000 children from birth to age 21 to look for gene-environment interactions. As they reach their teens and ultimately get mobile phones, what additional data might be possible to gather via a NESP program?

http://www.nationalchildrensstudy.gov/Pages/default.aspx