Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Going Mobile with James Eberhardt

On January 23, 2008 we had James Eberhardt as our speaker, who talked about mobile technology. Currently he works at Design Axiom. Previously, he was the Director of Technology at Marblemedia, and instructor for FlashLite at George Brown College in Toronto.

James started with introduction of various mobile terms like SMS, MMS, GPS, and GPRS etc. For information on these terms you can visit GSM World. He showed us various mobile devices ranging from cell phones to PDAs and made the comparison of today’s mobile technology with the technology available twenty years ago.

Mr. Eberhardt showed us a mobile applications on his Nokia N95 where he could upload images directly to his account using GPRS network and if the mobile phone is GPS enabled then it could tell you the location on GoogleMaps, where the picture was clicked. The only bad part of it was its expense of use; almost $20 for uploading 1MB of data. He talked about another GPS based application called Sports Tracker which is specifically designed for athletes for the track of information like speed, distance and time.

Another interesting thing James showed was the DataMatrix 2D bar codes (Shot Code, Data Matrix, and QR Code). Like traditional bar codes they are designed to read some encoded information, like for instance an encoded link to some website. So, how does it work! you scan the bar code using your camera phone. The software designed to handle the bar codes then decodes the bar code to usable format and then points to that particular link or website. This kind of setup is already being used in Europe and Australia.

When it comes to testing and installation then James recommended Nokia phones. Even personally I would recommend Nokia phones too as they support both Java and Symbian applications. I would compare Nokia phones with Windows and Sony Ericsson phones with Mac. Nokia = too many application available like for Windows :), Ericsson = good interface, but just supports the Java applications :(. But the latest Nokia phones like N Series are my favourite, especially N95 and N70. I miss my N70. I had it when I was in India and it was like my mobile computer which used to let me do almost all the daily tasks that I used to do on my computer like, chat on Yahoo, search on Google, GoogleMaps, etc. Telecommunication services are quite cheap in India. Unfortunately I did not bring my phone to Canada thinking that it won’t work because of the difference in the band frequency and thinking that I’ll buy a new multimedia phone, but unfortunately Canada doesn’t have much of multimedia phones, none of the N Series phones, I guess and iPhone has not been launched yet. India is way ahead, but still there are people out there who think…ahh…..India!!! if India has animals living in it. Well, who cares!!!........... Anyway…let’s get back to the topic…..

For downloading mobile applications and other mobile stuff I find very useful.

James concluded the presentation by talking about FlashLite, which is currently supported by almost all the mobile devices today. He showed, how easy is it to virtually test Flash Lite applications using the Adobe Device Central. FlashLite supports ActionScript 2, but unluckily even the new Flash Lite 3 does not support ActionScript 3 at this time. Lucky are the people who know ActionScript 2.

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