Archive for the 'Cell Phone News' Category

Bar codes that can communicate with cellphones

Written by Administrator on Sunday, December 2nd, 2007 in Cell Phone News.

One of the latest technologies in mobile phone is the barcode communication.

These barcodes are printed lines of black and white colors. They can hold a large amount of information than the usual barcodes that can be found in everyday products. The method of communication is by taking a picture of the barcode from the camera of the mobile phone which in turn is converted to a media like text, music or videos on the phone’s display.

Mobile carriers also have more choices of interaction between the cellphone and the physical world. For example, a user could take a picture of a softdrink in which the phone will recognize it and translate it into text message advertisements using special software applications.

Eventually, when the mobile carriers adopt the barcode scanning with mobile phones, there will be several formats of choice like the commonly used QR Code, Qode and Semacode.

This technology is now being widely used in Japan as the mobile carriers have added the code reader feature on all its newly released phone models. Street signs, billboards, food products and published content are now embedded with these barcodes.

At McDonalds for example, customers just aim their camera phones at their French fries and they immediately get the nutrition information on their displays. They can also get insurance quotes from magazines by pointing at them with their phones. Hospital prescriptions have barcodes imbedded in them to allow pharmacies to scan it instead of reading it.

U.S. advertisers in the states want to add this technology. The only problem is that mobile phones in the States lack the software capability so users have to manually download the barcode technology on their own.

At&T, Verizon and Sprint officials did not say anything on whether it was having meetings and discussion with the code reading technology companies. These barcode technology companies stated that it would be an advantage to mobile carriers to add this barcode scanning feature to their phones because it will encourage users to spend a lot of time tinkering with their mobile phone, which in turn might encourage these users to add more features to their phone like internet access.

The barcode scanning technology is a good example in showing how far behind U.S. is compared to Japan in the cellphone and broadband industry.

It is also interesting to know the social and environmental impact this technology will have on products. Such as getting on-the-fly information of products that you are buying from a grocery store. Or showing a video clip of that product on how it was manufactured. Also in finding out carbon emission amounts being produced when the item was made. These social and environmental impacts will ease the minds of consumers by finding out what the products they are eating or using is made of.

Hopefully, in the months or years to come, this barcode recognition technology will be adapted in the U.S. and will make the country at par with Japan in terms of advanced technology being used and employed.

Cell phone chip growth will come from the extras, study says

Written by Administrator on Thursday, November 8th, 2007 in Cell Phone News.

MUNICH, Germany — While sale for mobile handsets continues to grow, the price pressure in this segment will keep the chip sales figures from climbing at the same speed. Only additional features offer a chance for chip vendors to benefit from the market growth, suggests a study from In-Stat.

The study predicts the cellphone chip sales volume for 2007 to exceed $31 billion worldwide. For the year 2012, the market researchers expect an only slightly higher market volume of $32.2 billion. However, they expect significant demand for add-on-functions such as Bluetooth. “The features that appear in cellular handsets are an interesting mix of consumer wants, cellular opportunities and semiconductor manufacturing abilities”, explained In-Stat analyst Allen Nogee.
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Decoding Cell Phone Etiquette

Written by Administrator on Tuesday, November 6th, 2007 in Cell Phone News.

Ask almost anyone, and they’ll tell you that cell phone etiquette — or lack thereof — is a problem. For that matter, telephone etiquette hasn’t been entirely sorted out yet, as encounters with sales clerks and receptionists constantly remind me. It’s just that it’s harder to escape cell phone users. I’m constantly irritated by some of the inane conversations I hear on the bus or train, or just walking down the street, and sometimes astonished at how some people broadcast some pretty personal details because they forget they’re in public.

The only thing that appalls me more than obnoxious cell phone callers are those who think they should determine if a call is a waste of time. “If anything characterizes the 21st century, it’s our inability to restrain ourselves for the benefit of other people,” says James Katz, director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies at Rutgers University. “The cellphone talker thinks his rights go above that of people around him, and the jammer thinks his are the more important rights.” [The emphasis is mine.] That quote is from a New York Times article that ran yesterday on the use of cell phone jammers, which are illegal in the U.S. — but so small it’s near-impossible to enforce the prohibition against them.

Why do I emphasize the jammer, and not the obnoxious talker? Because many people who blab loudly on their cell phones don’t realize they’re doing it. The person using the jammer, on the other hand, makes a conscious decision that the other person’s conversation isn’t important when they press that button. Or they decide the other person isn’t important. Read the article through and you’ll notice an interesting bent to the quotes from people jamming: “She was using the word ‘like’ all the time. She sounded like a Valley Girl.” “Just watching those dumb teens at the mall get their calls dropped is worth it. Can you hear me now? NO! Good.” And perhaps the most telling: “At this point, just knowing I have the power to cut somebody off is satisfaction enough.”
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Pay By Cell Phone Test Calls To Customers

Written by Administrator on Friday, November 2nd, 2007 in Cell Phone News.

You may already have a “pay as you go” plan on your cell phone. Now get ready to use a pay before you go concept using the same handset. The Royal Bank and Visa Canada are teaming up for a pilot project that will allow mobile phones with specially embedded chips to be used to automatically pay for purchases at a store.

The idea isn’t a new one – it’s been in use for a while overseas. But it’s the first time Canadians will be able to go dialing for dollars without actually needing their wallet. “The consumers don’t have to reach into their pockets and fumble for cash and change,” explains Royal Bank spokesperson Anne Koski. “They can just pull out their mobile phones, which most people carry today anyway. All they need to do then is simply wave the phone at the checkout reader … there is no pin or password.”

And for a change there won’t be something else attached – a service charge. The system will be free to consumers, and it won’t count against your airtime charges. But there are a few catches. In order to prevent fraud or losses from people who lose their phones, the system will only let you charge $25 or less at a time. And in the beginning, it will be restricted to the bank’s credit card customers, with an option to add debit card holders later on.

The experiment will be limited to Ontario and will end next year, after which the Bank will mull over how to launch it commercially.

They’ll be supplying the phones for the test but don’t yet know which ones will be compatible with the system. “I think this is going to take off in Canada,” Koski predicts. “The value proposition that this provides is security and convenience.”
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Verizon shows off its future tech

Written by Administrator on Thursday, November 1st, 2007 in Cell Phone News.

BASKING RIDGE, N.J.–Intelligent services are on the way for Verizon Communications customers as the company expands its fiber-to-the-home and 3G wireless networks.

Imagine how much easier life could be if your phone company’s network was smart enough to route your messages to the device you’re using right now, freeing you from keeping track of independent and separate e-mail, SMS, and instant messaging accounts.

Or what if you could start playing your favorite game, Bejeweled, on your PC and then continue playing the same game without interruption on your cell phone as you leave the house to commute to work.

For Verizon customers, services such as these may be just around the corner. Last week, Verizon invited several members of the press to its development facility here, where Chief Technology Officer Mark Wegleitner and his team of executives showed off how some of these innovative services might work.

While many of these services are technically possible today, none is offered yet by Verizon. Executives were careful not to make big promises, but the applications and services they’re showcasing are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of new services that are possible using Verizon’s all-fiber network called Fios and the newly expanded 3G wireless network of Verizon Wireless, its joint wireless venture with Vodafone.
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Critics say cell phone system isn’t ready for next big earthquake

Written by Administrator on Thursday, November 1st, 2007 in Cell Phone News.

Many cell phone calls failed to get through, while some land lines were briefly spotty. And in the wake of Tuesday’s quake, many people were left trying to determine how they should communicate when the next one hits.

Cell phone providers acknowledged brief disruptions in service, but say their systems aren’t designed to accommodate the dramatic increases in call volume that occurred in the minutes after Tuesday’s 8:04 p.m. Alum Rock quake.

In a bigger disaster, cell phone companies say, people shouldn’t count on being able to use their cell phones immediately.

Yet regulatory advocates question if enough attention is being paid to whether the companies are putting enough resources into the network capacity needed when a disaster strikes.

For some, the solution was simple: text messaging.

For others, like 33-year-old Yvette Ostil of San Jose, the refrain was the same for what phone companies said was 30 minutes to an hour after the earthquake: “We kept trying to call my family and all the lines were busy.”

The dilemma isn’t a new one. During the Minnesota bridge collapse earlier this year, some people on the scene said they couldn’t get a connection – even though cell phone carriers said they tried to move quickly to meet the increased demand.

But Regina Costa, telecommunications research director for The Utility Reform Network (TURN) in San Francisco, said little regulatory attention has been paid to how the phone companies are handling network capacity.
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