Saturday, June 11, 2005

AlwaysOnGPS: bridging GPS and WiFi - (Converging Services; Wi-Fi & GPS a match made in subways?)

AlwaysOnGPS: bridging GPS and WiFi - Engadget - www.engadget.com: "AlwaysOnGPS: bridging GPS and WiFi

Posted Jun 10, 2005, 5:27 AM ET by Barb Dybwad
Related entries: GPS, Handhelds, Wireless

AlwaysOnGPS

One of the more common issues with using GPS is its line of sight requirements — if you’re in an urban area with substantial skyline, indoors or elsewhere without a good line to the sky, you could be out of luck in the accurate coordinates department. The AlwaysOnGPS service is designed to bridge that gap in global positioning by automagically switching your WiFi enabled PocketPC or PDA over to a WiFi Positioning System, obviating those line of sight requirements. It’s simply a piece of software and not a third-party service, so it’s a one time licensing fee of $19.95 to purchase the application; 30-day trial available, as well."


Stitch Says: I remember reading something about this a few month back; seems a few guys were busily cataloging every WiFi access point in their home city, Boston, I believe it was, to create an alternate positioning system based upon getting telemetry from WiFi access points and and using the signal delay differential to calculate location in areas were satellite GPS didn't work, such as indoors, in tunnels, and in urban areas with density that blocked satellite signals.

I'm not sure if this is an offshoot of their concept or a competitive product, nor am I convinced of the utility; it seems to me that most of the places it works you are more likely to know where you are already, however, with improved accuracy I can see certain interesting alternative uses for LBS including marketing possibilities.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mobile Pipeline | Hope Emerges For Wi-Fi-Cellular Convergence

Mobile Pipeline | Hope Emerges For Wi-Fi-Cellular Convergence: "June 09, 2005

Hope Emerges For Wi-Fi-Cellular Convergence



By Frank Bulk Courtesy of Network Computing

A few weeks ago, I covered the major mobile (and fixed) convergence groups--SCCAN, UMA and MobileIGNITE--as well as two of the dual-mode products--Wi-Fi and cellular--available from Motorola and NEC. I was generally pessimistic about the progression of dual-mode technologies, but a few developments since then have given some cause for encouragement."

Stitch Says: Read the article. Good summary of the current status of WiFi/GSM convergence and the associated companies, devices and supporting technologies.

Wireless Developer Network - Advertising Information (Can Satellite, Multipath Convergence Solve the E911 GPS Issue?)

Wireless Developer Network - Advertising Information: "Response to WDN Article on positioning technology developed by SnapTrack/Qualcomm

Posted by WirelessDevNet, November 06, 2001

Last month, Nicki Hayes, WDN's European correspondent, shared her views on the FCC mandate regarding Phase II e911 compliance and Monday's e911 mandate deadline. In particluar, she examined why carriers may need to look for a non GPS solution to E911. This response comes from John Cunningham of SnapTrack (a subsidiary of QUALCOMM�) a leading location technology solution provider.
The Oct. 4th Wireless Devnet article, “Carriers Need a Non-GPS 911 Solution,” was incorrect in its cost, performance, and availability assertions about the Assisted GPS mobile phone positioning technology developed by SnapTrack/Qualcomm, and incorporated into our commercially available gpsOne solution. Our gpsOne mobile phone location system is not only the >first< high precision system to be deployed for Phase II E911 in the U.S. (via Sprint PCS), it is also the >only< high precision system commercially available to consumers today, and has been in service since April 2001 with SECOM via the KDDI network i Japan."

Stitch Says; interesting response here by John Cunningham, Marketing Manager for Qualcomm's "SnapTrack" subsidiary to a prior devnet article (Oct. 4th Wireless Devnet article, “Carriers Need a Non-GPS 911 Solution,” ). Implications of this piece would suggest that prior estimates by wireless carriers for the E911 location issue are grossly overstated and that a combination geo-spatial positioning via satellite combined with multipath analysis for low signal environments such as in heavy structures, will allow rapid and very precise device location. It seems to me that this same solution would be equally, if not more valid for VOIP and VoWlan scenarios.

U.S. Army to Deploy RFID Listening 'Rocks' (Conglomerate/RFID Convergence?)

Spy Rocks Coming to the Ground Near You: "May 29, 2005


rfidrocks.jpg The U.S. Army plans to deploy in as early as 18 months new RFID-enabled rocks that are dropped by the thousands over battlefields and 'listen' for approaching enemies.

Though they look like small, natural rocks they're actually embedded with microprocessors and listening electronics that are so sensitive they can hear a person stepping on the ground 30 feet away.

Stitch Says; Whoa...listening rocks, smart dust what's next video rain? Seriously while I appreciate the innovations in technology, I think we should all be very concerned at the alarming ways in which RFID enable devices are being deployed. The ways in which our individual freedoms and personal privacy can now be violated without our knowledge are growing in leaps and bounds and they've become so subversive and yet so pervasive that we have virtually zero chance of anticipating--let alone detecting--instances in which our privacy has been materially compromised.

I for one think this is an intolerable development, but also, a very obvious area for new business...counter surveillance. So yeah, you can put up RFID Spy Wallpaper in my hotel room, but I'm going to bring along my stealth, nano-microfiber countersurveillance carpet and bathrobe (which is not only white, but also generates white noise across all known RFID radio frequencies; that or it can be set to broadcast recordings of fighting ferrets). Take that you spies!

Seriously though, this is an issue that merits attention and as these devices become widely distributed, intelligent approaches to preserve our individual rights.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

picturephoning.com: AmEx Adds RFID to Blue Credit Cards (More Credit Card Convergence)

picturephoning.com: AmEx Adds RFID to Blue Credit Cards: "AmEx Adds RFID to Blue Credit Cards

amexblue.gif Starting this month, all Blue cards issued by American Express will come embedded with an RFID transponder that allows customers to pay for goods with the tap of the card against an RFID reader, reports RFID Journal.

'The cards will retain the traditional magnetic stripe, so they can still be used as regular credit cards when RFID readers are not available. The Blue card's RFID-enabled feature will be accepted by all merchants participating in American Express' ExpressPay program'.
emily | 09:20 AM | Barcode Technologies / RFID Tags / NFC | permalink | trackback (0)"


Stitch Says: Well, we knew it was only a matter of time before more companies added RFID to their products. People seem to be enamored of the idea of just flicking their cards at the register and whisking their goods off on their busy way. Once again, I have to emphasize the lack of mention about security. This is an issue that is going to explode in myriad ways if we're not careful. I'll devote a future post to my thoughts about why RFID's pose such substantial security threats and how the compromise of RFID security or worse, databases of RFID/USER pair databases will beget a level of fraud and identity theft, let alone outright violence, that is a totally unintended consequence of wide scale deployment and subsequent breach of this technology.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Advanced IP Pipeline | Alcatel Launches Cell-WLAN Handoff Capabilities (Converging standards, devices)

Advanced IP Pipeline | Alcatel Launches Cell-WLAN Handoff Capabilities: "Alcatel Launches Cell-WLAN Handoff Capabilities



By Mobile Pipeline Staff Courtesy of Mobile Pipeline

French telecommunications vendor Alcatel said Tuesday that it has started offering technology to wireless operators that enables data and voice handoffs between cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks."

Stitch Says: I'm seeing an acceleration in this trend that borders on suprising. Clearly, the demand for ubiquitous broadband for mobile devices is driving innovation and the need for seamless connectivity. This is obviously a double-edged sword for the carriers. A rapid reduction in their fees for voice will most certainly occur as more and more consumers opt for lower cost VoIP where available, and the fast network switching that Alcatel and others are deploying will foster least cost routing at the handset. In many cities where lucrative voice markets flourish, this could eradicate revenues in a heartbeat. It will be interesting to see just how reliable these switching systems are, how effective the new devices are at routing to VoIP, and of course, how the carriers respond to this threat.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Cingular WiFi Camphone: Convergence Comes Stateside

Cingular WiFi Camphone: "Cingular WiFi Camphone

By samc on Cellular Technology

Cingular Wireless and HP today introduced the Pocket PC h6320/6325, a voice and data Pocket PC that uses Windows Mobile software and incorporates GSM quad-band 'world phone' capabilities.

The HP iPAQ h6320/6325 features three-way wireless capabilities via Cingular's nationwide GSM/GPRS network, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It automatically connects to the fastest available network and automatically switches to an alternate network if the initial connection is lost. The $599 camphone uses the older 2003 Mobile Windows OS.

The HP iPAQ h6320/6325's international capabilities gives mobile professionals the ability to use its voice and data features within the United States or abroad. Cingular roaming agreements give customers the ability to use their device in 160 countries when making phone calls and over 80 countries when accessing data. It is available beginning today online at and through various HP and Cingular sales channels.

The HP iPAQ h6320/6325 is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP(TM) 1510 processor and has SDRAM 64-MB, 64-MB ROM memory (55-MB user accessible) bolstered by up to 20 MB iPAQ File Store featuring non-volatile memory used to store critical data, databases and other important files. An integrated Secure Digital (SD) slot supports SD and Multimedia Card memory cards. The 6325 has a built-in VGA camera.

WI-FI PRICING BY CARRIER CARRIER PRICING
Nextel Unlimited national (annual) $39.99/month
SBC Unlimited national (annual) $19.95/month
T-Mobile Unlimited national (annual) $29.99/month
Unlimited national (month-to-month) $39.99
Cingular Unlimited national (annual) $39.95/month
Sprint Unlimited national (annual) $49.95/month
Source: Company Web sites"

Stitch Says: Great, just great. Two days AFTER I purchase a Motorola A1000 Cingular (my carrier) announces this! I'll probably break down and buy one anyway, just for the Wi-Fi capabilities and to play with Voice over IP over Wi-Fi. This is a really significant leap forward for a US carrier, IMO. Although, there could be an unintended consequence; if enough carriers embrace the Wi-Fi model, it could dramatically reduce the incentive for those carriers to make the massive infrastructure investments that are going to be required to deploy true 3 and 4G networks on any wide-spread basis. This means that instead of a ubiquitous wireless broadband network, we'll have a continuation, and even increase in the disparity between major metropolis technology and rural technology. Unless a fully meshed quilt of Wi-Fi/WiMax literally blankets the US from sea to shining sea, we're looking at a patchwork of "lit" cities and lots of big, dark, GPRS only backwaters. Not exactly the vision I hope to see for the future of always on, always available mobile computing. In fact, this sounds a lot like the Ricochet Network, CIRCA 2000.

Advanced IP Pipeline | DoCoMo To Converge Wireless, Landline Service ( A most logical convergence)

Advanced IP Pipeline | DoCoMo To Converge Wireless, Landline Service: "June 03, 2005

DoCoMo To Converge Wireless, Landline Service



By Mobile Pipeline Staff Courtesy of Mobile Pipeline

Japan's NTT DoCoMo has plans for a new service that will converge cell phone and fixed-line voice access, The Japan Times reported this week.

The Japanese news source quoted DoCoMo's president Masao Nakamura as saying the new service will be launched next year. The service will use a single Wi-Fi-enabled cell phone to combine standard mobile voice access and voice-over-WLAN in the home, Japan Times reported.

The voice-over-WLAN service will be less expensive than cellular service. NTT DoCoMo is the largest wireless carrier in Japan."

Stitch Says: I don't really need to say anything here. Pretty much this move, by one of the acknowledged leaders in communications says it all. The only question I'd ask is when are the other carriers going to see the writing on the wall and move to accomodate VoIP and Wi-Fi?

Why AOL is Coding-Out (Failure to Converge?)

AOL's Convergence Failure

Stitch Says: I just did an experiment. I clicked on AOL A to Z and in the little box typed "RSS" the response I got was:We found no results for your search.
We recommend you try the following:

Check your spelling. Remove double quotes. Quotes indicate and exact phrase, removing them broadens your search. Try using fewer words, your search may be too specific. Example: Instead of typing "tax free municipal bonds", try searching for "municipal bonds" or "bonds." Try different words Rephrase your search using synonyms or related words. Example: Instead of "italian cuisine" try "italian cooking"

Okay...maybe RSS was a stretch. I tried again. This time "newsfeeds" was the term. Same result. And you wonder why subscribers are defecting like rats leaving a sinking ship?

Come on guys! RSS? Newsfeeds? How can you possibly expect to run a technology company, and particularly one that caters to a youthful demographic and not have a single link for RSS or Newsfeeds? I'm gonna try "blogs"...hold on a second...okay..website not responding, hit the f5 key...ah here we are: AOL from A to Z Search Results Page 1 of 1
Blogs - Create a public or private online journal (or blog)
Related: Home PagesJournals - Create a public

2 links. Wow. Should I be impressed? Well, at least it's better than the prior to efforts that yielded zero; which, incidentally is what AOL is going to be worth if they don't wake up and smell the aggregators and other technological advances that seem to be passing them by.

AOL? Knock, knock! You want some suggestions? Ring me up.

Local News and Ads: Convergence Opportunity?

E M E R G I C . o r g: Rajesh Jain's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Enterprises and Markets: "Local News and Ads

O'Reilly Radar writes:


An article [recently] in the New York Times, Big Papers Find National Ads a Tough Sell, opens with the assertion that advertisers, inspired by the success of targeted advertising via services like Google's AdSense, are starting to turn away from large national papers, and spending more on local or regional papers.

This started a train of thought for me. Why is this trend just 'inspired by'? Why isn't it 'powered by?' Between Google News, Google Maps, and Google Local, Google might just have the right information to help advertisers place targeted ads in local newspapers. Where is there more interest in particular topics or products? What kinds of searches are most associated with particular ad click-throughs? What if newspapers, and not just web sites, could sign up for Google AdSense, mirroring Google's collective intelligence into offline media? I'm sure the targeting wouldn't be nearly as good, because it would be leveraging yesterday's clickstream for insight rather than a current page view, but it could be a lot better than the 'pin the tail on the donkey' game that print advertisers play today."

Stitch Says: I think O'Reilly makes some great points. In fact it begs the question as to when we'll see the first company that sells their successful AdWords data to print media advertising agents that are attempting to sell a similar product. People underestimate the data an AdWords campaign generates for the businesses that are using them successfully. Not only are we capturing rich data about which words work, but if you lay that on top of your sales data and your web site statistics you can parse out some extraordinary information. In just a few hours of data mining, I can determine when which words work, where the people are that use which words for the best sales, which browsers they use, how they like to pay for their goods or services, do they want standard or priority mail, etc.

In fact, now that I think about it, it seems this is a business all by itself; AdWords Analytics. It would be a simply matter to augment your back office sales data with a web statistics package and the results of each AdWords campaign. Google, already makes it possible to generate detailed campaign reports, and they'll even allow you to set up chron jobs with different reporting components. A simply lash up in xml is all that you'd need to parse it out and make it simple for advertisers dealing in print.

Imagine calling a paper to place a classified if the paper had that data? "Sir, we've found that home generates a 10% improvement in response in your zip code and if you choose the evening edition, you can expect an extra 5% on top of that. Also, if you add the following words to your advertisement you'll..." get my point? It changes everything.

Of course, as soon as digital paper becomes commercially viable, it goes pure AdWords/AdSense anyway, but for the next couple years we could see a very real and quantifiable means of improving results in ways heretofore impossible for the average advertiser.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

SMS.ac Corporate: (Convergence YouthQuake: and the poll results are in SMS is king)

SMS.ac Corporate: "RSS 2.0"

Stitch Says: came across this today on SMS.ac and although a bit light on certain critical information about polling practices, demographics, etc., the results were powerful, sometimes surprising, but on the whole clearly in agreement with my views and those of certain other folks with whom I've discussed SMS, convergence, the next suite of killer mobile applications and the future of computing in general. Particularly, VanGorilla of The Pondering Primate and Rajesh Jain of Emergic.org.

Spend a moment scrolling through the results; check out the stats relating to m-commerce, coupons, the use of SMS in general, and if you're working for a carrier, be alarmed at the crucial lack of loyalty generated by simply offering up new phones. Even number portability or really, lack thereof, will keep youth loyal to carriers if a free device is in the offing.

This Poll is worthy of discussion and analysis. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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