Home » devices, featured, mobile, opinion

Mobile - the Future?

6 July 2009 3 Comments

As I read an article today - argh I can’t find it now - will post a link when I find it again … It was a relatively recent article in the New Zealand Herald commenting on the fact that as consumers we all want the latest mobile phones with all of the associated features, but that the vast majority of us never use our phones to access the internet.  It gave the figures for how much both Vodafone and Telecom have spent of late on marketing their 3G networks and questioned whether this was a technology that had potential in New Zealand.  I believe there is a strong future ahead for the mobile web.  However, I know for a fact that the majority of people I speak with are scared of the data charges associated with accessing the web via mobile.  Many people are also completely unaware of the quality of the browsing experience on a mobile - fearing that it will be clunky and difficult to navigate (which to be fair it is if you simply use the phone’s standard browser I use Opera Mini).  Anyway, I am off on a tangent.  The point I was kind of getting around to making is that while the majority of consumers are still trying to get their head around using Google on the little screen, there are plenty of people running around developing some seriously cool applications for mobile phones… and it all seems a little way-out futuristic to me!!!

I have posted before about Augmented Reality… but this is some seriously cool technology, and I have recently become more and more interested in the potential for this, and realising that it is closer to becoming mainstream than what I was aware.  Please note that the picture below is just a picture that I grabbed from Flickr by HenriBlock, and is not directly related to either HitLab or Layar.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality

In New Zealand, Canterbury based HitLab are doing some pretty cool stuff developing applications for augmented reality, creating learning objects where students will one day be able to use the cameras on their mobile phones merge the real and digital and virtually interact with printed or real material.  See my earlier post explaining this here.

So it is with great interest I see that layar - ‘the world’s first augmented reality browser for phones’ has been launched in the Netherlands.  Really I can’t explain it as well as this clip from YouTube does, I really urge you to have a look as it really does prove that the future is here - and has been famously said before - it’s just not evenly distributed yet!



  • Gerard said:

    i was busy watching the news last night and weetbix collector cards are entering augmented reality.

    There are 10 player cards that you can hold up in front of a webcam and see the players in action.

    I think I may be eating a lot of weetbix in the next few weeks.

    See here for more information


  • Gerard said:

    Probably not a good one to use as an example there are a number of issues that have come up surrounding the weetbix promotion today,

    The National Business Review has a article on it available here, http://tinyurl.com/nw34×3

    an extract of the article,

    The Power Plays website is an absolute abomination and whoever spent $1.3m on its development should be fired immediately.

    Why? Let’s see:
    - Forcing my kids to register with their email and date of birth
    - Requiring a confirmation email
    - Requiring a download and install of an executable file
    - Asking the kids to read a legalese EULA on the download
    - Installing a second Microsoft C++ runtime library without asking
    - Shockingly bad user interface on the plugin (”Camera Selected” button that when pressed selects a camera)
    - The HTML Title tag on the webpage is “Splash”. Google will never find the page

    Whatever company they used knows NOTHING about usability, website design, or web marketing.

    It also points out that there are lots of much more simple augmented reality websites around, based on Adobe’s off-the-shelf Flash.

  • Jarred said:

    Hi Toni,

    Very interesting point about Mobile Internet.

    I would use mobile internet more for news and for quick updates on things etc. But the current data plans in New Zealand are far too expensive.

    Internationally, it is far cheaper for mobile data, and as a result people use it a lot more. I found that in the UK for a 5 pound sim or plan (I can’t remember the full details) you got a fairly decent amount of SMS messages and a higher amount of data than you get here in New Zealand.

    I use both Safari and Opera Mini on my iPod touch, I find the UI on Opera is superb, but some of the functionality of it needs improvement - hence why I still use Safari.

    I think navagation of mobile internet is far easier on newer 3G phones with slightly bigger screens, and older 3G phones with smaller screens are difficult, mainly because of the built in navigator.

    Here’s something interesting, while filming my documentary I noticed Vodafone’s adverts about Mobile Internet. “45% of people say they’re the first to know something because of Mobile Internet”.

    I’m unaware of where they got their research from, it could just be a marketing ploy as it normally is.

    Great to see you keeping blogging.

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