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Cellphone as Virtual Mouse, Keyboard 186

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-isn't-that-clever dept.
stab writes "Check this out! High Energy Magic have announced a public beta of software to let you use your camera-phone as a physical mouse by just pointing and clicking and rotating it in the air. Some very cool videos available: check out the volume control and flight booking ones in particular! The tags used are really robust - they did a wastebasket torture test for a bit of fun as well :-)"
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Cellphone as Virtual Mouse, Keyboard

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  • Wow (Score:1, Interesting)

    by NIK282000 (737852)
    now if only we could eliminate the phone and have th e object track your hands..
  • Videos? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ryanwright (450832) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:10PM (#9270898)
    Some very cool videos available

    Heh. Not anymore, they aren't.
  • Wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by k4_pacific (736911) <k4_pacific AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:11PM (#9270912) Homepage Journal
    Like the Camera phone itself, this is a solution to a problem I never knew existed.

    • Re:Wow... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not everything created is a solution for a problem. Sometimes it's just a clever hack that's interesting or entertaining.

      Freaking engineers!
    • Re:Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by normal_guy (676813) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:30PM (#9271122)
      Why fly when you can drive and sail? Because it's faster and more efficient. Why carry around a cameraphone when you can easily carry a brick phone and your Nikon 35mm? Because it's smaller and more efficient.
      • Re:Wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by milkman_matt (593465)
        Why fly when you can drive and sail? Because it's faster and more efficient. Why carry around a cameraphone when you can easily carry a brick phone and your Nikon 35mm? Because it's smaller and more efficient.

        Interesting point, but by the same token -- Why use your cellphone as a mouse? I can't think of any reason save powerpoint presentations or something, but for that you don't really need a mouse.. Flying is faster than cars and boats, the cameraphone.. well, I'd rather carry my little phone and my N
        • Re:Wow... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Yobgod Ababua (68687)
          "Why use your cellphone as a mouse?"

          As the OP notes, the primary use would be to create interactive displays and signs in places where there typically is no mouse, or it would be inadvisable to place a mouse (or other pointing device).

          The idea is to enable people to use a device that many of them already carry with them to interact with these displays, rather than building some possibly expensive or damage prone method of interaction into the display itself.
    • Re:Wow... (Score:1, Funny)

      by rudeboy1 (516023)
      Now I can finally live my dream of never having to touch anything in public ever again. I can use my cell phone to book my flights, control my computer, and open doors! I won't ever have to come into contact with Evil Germs ever again!
    • Re:Wow... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rainman_bc (735332)
      Yeah, the problem existed. Not the convergence question, but still. Imagine - you get in an accident, and you don't have any paper; you can take a pic of the license plate. Or someone commits a crime and you're there to witness it. A picture sure does help. From a legal perspective, carrying around a camera can really save your hide. Of course IANAL, but I can imagine the possibilities. It would make the difference in a "my word against your word" kinda case. Same goes for video. Imagine if you w
      • Or someone commits a crime and you're there to witness it. A picture sure does help.

        It's funny that you should mention this. My boss was telling me about a month ago when his friend had his camera phone for a while, he saw some guy commiting something, I forget the details, anyhow, he whipped out his camera phone and snapped a couple shots good enough to make out his face, he showed the police when they arrived and it helped to catch the guy. Very useful (as I mentioned before) but hardly necessary or a
    • Re:Wow... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Total_Wimp (564548) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:53PM (#9271910)
      Like the Camera phone itself, this is a solution to a problem I never knew existed.

      This kind of statement about the lack of a use for a camera phone tends to tell me something about the person that says it.

      1. They're not very creative. I use a camera-phone all the time for stuff I'd never use a camera for. For example, I take pictures of sales displays to compare the product on the internet when I get home and I take pictures of the sign that reminds me where I parked my car at the airport. Instant notes with no effort. I also have a cool game that lets me move around by moving my phone around. If you were more creative, you would have thought of a few more uses too.

      2. They're not very spontaneous. I take pictures of my friends, family and important events far more often than I ever would if I had to carry around a full-size camera all the time. If you were interested in this kind of spontaneity then I'm sure you would see the use of a camera phone.

      3. They're self-centered. People who don't want a camera phone personally, and seem to be dumbfounded by those that do, tend to be some of the most self-centered people I know. Lots of people have camera phones and lots of people like them. You may not desire or need one, but are you able to learn from and empathize with those that do? If you were interested in the thoughts and feelings of the people around you, you might have asked one of them why they bought a camera phone and realize that not everyone has the same needs and desires that you do.

      Believe it or not, I'm not trying to slam you here. I'm just reporting my personal observations of people who've talked like you have about these devices. Camera phones are interesting because they're very popular, but there's a significant backlash. That backlash crowd, in my opinion, is really more alike than most people realize.

      TW
      • Re:Wow... (Score:2, Insightful)

        by cjpez (148000)
        (I know I probably shouldn't feed the trolls, but...)

        ... so your theory is that people who don't like camera phones
        are uncreative, non-spontaneous, self-centered assholes? Whereas
        your camera phone imparts creativity, spontaneity, and a greater
        appreciation for your fellow man? Wonder of wonders! Maybe
        this new phone will come with a feature that makes you less of
        a jerk, too!

      • I felt like camera phones were useless.

        Then I got one for free. And once I had one, I changed my mind. For times when I don't have my good camera (Olympus C-50) with me, its nice to be able to just take that quick shot.

        I think most of the people who are so heavily anti cameraphone, simply haven't used one and therefore haven't thought about the uses.
    • Like the Camera phone itself, this is a solution to a problem I never knew existed.

      Sometimes, we got to admit, they Have their use... [mobilesasses.com]
  • Here's an idea: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by magefile (776388) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:11PM (#9270918)
    If the spot codes can hold a few bytes of info - wave your cell over a tattoo or a shirt someone's wearing to get their name/cellphone number ... um, never mind, that'd be a bad thing.
    • Hey great idea, this would work well with your average spotty geek! Personally I've found asking people for their number is the easiest way but I guess this is slashdot - why do it the easy way when you can spend 6 months dev'ing up something really complex to do it for you ;-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:11PM (#9270922)
    Why integrate a cell phone with all these add on features that aren't nearly as good as things devoted specifically to the task? Cameras on cell phones are horrible compared to a decent digital camera, cell phone games are also quite lame (though, in Japan, you can get some nice looking versions of Dragonquest 1 and FF1), and now this... Why not just fix certain problems with the PHONING (i.e. bad signals) - the main capability for which they were developed, rather than adding a whole number of (useless) features?
    • by Khakionion (544166) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:17PM (#9270977)
      Why not just fix certain problems with the PHONING (i.e. bad signals) - the main capability for which they were developed, rather than adding a whole number of (useless) features?
      Put yourself in Sprint's shoes. You could spend more on improving your network, thus upping your subscription costs, or you could have Samsung come out with a shitload of useless PCS Vision features. Both sell phones, but there's less risk for Sprint, since Samsung's doing the majority of the R&D.
      • by dgies (75790) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @06:31PM (#9272195)
        Carriers generally LOSE money on the phones. A phone with more whiz-bang features is a more expensive phone they have to subsidize. Carriers make money off of charges for using the network. The reason all the carriers are promoting picture phones is because they're hoping you decide to use your fancy new picture phone to send and recieve pictures over the cellular network, which they can charge extra for. That's the same reason they were heavily promoting downloadable ringtones and games last year. All carriers make money off of is your use of the network. The phones are just a nuisance from a carrier's point of view.
    • Because the phone is the last thing people care about!

      I have a couple friends who work as Spring salespeople and they say that the last thing that people ask about it the actual phone quality itself. They want to know about games, planners, cameras and all the other toys, but the actual phone part is last, if even touched upon at all.


      • I think the issue here is that the people *assume* that the phone just works. Quality of service is usually attributed to the provider.

        Now that we got that out of the way, once people take reliability for granted they look at optional things, such as camera, organizer, phone book, etc.. nothing wrong with it, just how the mentality works.

    • by Diaspar (319457) * on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:22PM (#9271048)

      Didn't Motorola CEO get kicked out because that's precisely what he was saying ("concentrate on quality that's obviously suffering right now, and not race for features")?

      I think in the current market there is always race for features. More, more more and more. Until some complaint gets too loud and bites the company in the ass. Then fixing it becomes a future as well ("Our dialer is now better than ever").

      I found it interesting how Microsoft acted back in the day. They bloated their software with features, many many features, to beat the feature list of the competitor. Well, so what that it crashed constantly, so what that it didn't do the job that well. (sarcasm). For some reason, it's still around...
    • I'm still waiting for them to come out with a Bag of Holding to carry all of the individual electronic devices that could replace the functionality of my Treo 600. One that could fit in my jeans pocket.
    • I call it "Japanese Schoolgirl Technology". The US market is not the main one for this stuff.
    • All these toys just allow the companies to churn phones and do nothing about, well, phone service. I agree. Two things I care about.

      Reception. I understand that this is a combination of the network and the phone, but I'm not seeing many companies really making the effort to examine coverage, make investments in infrastructure upgrades. I think the phones may not have much more they can do on reception, save for a breakthrough in antenna design (the PLL for example).

      The second is of course battery life. Th
    • I have a colleague who uses this feature to control his Mac during PPT presentations, enabling him to wander all over the room during presentations, rather than being shackled to the keyboard. Sure, there are other ways of doing this, but it does look pretty slick.
    • Because the cameraphone is better than nothing, and it's very well integrated with the phone. It's about as good as a disposable (film phone, and much more convenient. The ease of use of a single device for all these functions translates to ubiquity and popularity - everyone does it, at the entry level. So the network effect of exponentially increasing value gets started right away.

      There's nothing to stop a "specialist" or enthusiast from getting a better outboard camera, etc. Especially with Bluetooth, we
    • Why integrate a cell phone with all these add on features that aren't nearly as good as things devoted specifically to the task?

      Like what? What device, specifically, will perform the task these guys are describing? Are you going to build a completely new device with a camera, mouse buttons, and wireless connectivity for people to carry around so they can use these interactive installations?

      Doesn't it make more sense just to install some software, which is practically free, on a device which already ha

  • by Fiz Ocelot (642698) <baelzharon.gmail@com> on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:16PM (#9270970)
    So how fast is it? From what it sounds like in the description: A bar code like "spot code" is on an object. Your phone reads it with the camera, communicates this to a nearby pc via bluetooth, which then somehow runs code on the phone.

    Sorry but first off, I don't want a camera phone. Second, Will this all run within my 2 second attention span? Most likely just targeted ads anyways. Not to mention what this would do to the phone's battery life.

    • by stab (26928) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:28PM (#9271103) Homepage
      Sorry but first off, I don't want a camera phone

      You're probably posting from the US. In Europe, it's almost impossible to buy a cellphone without a camera these days. You're correct in that I dont particularly want to take pictures with the crappy camera - so why not use it for something useful?

      Will this all run within my 2 second attention span?

      Pretty much ... the decoding happens in real-time (you see the camera viewfinder, and it highlights tags). Once the main slashdotting dies down, the videos hopefully explain it a bit better.

      Not to mention what this would do to the phone's battery life.

      Actually, it's not too bad ... I was demonstrating this stuff at a research demo day recently, and we ran a normal Nokia 3650 for a good 8 hours without seriously killing the batteries - that the camera and bluetooth active at the same time.
  • by stab (26928) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:17PM (#9270978) Homepage
    Since the main site is predictably a bit bogged down, there is also a page at the University of Cambridge Systems Research Group [cam.ac.uk] detailing the research side of things. It also has some cool videos :-)
  • I honestly cannot see any real reason for this. As cool as it is for a proof of concept the idea is nice.

    But this trend of incorporating everything into one device is annoying.

  • New Policy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogie (31020) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:19PM (#9270994) Journal
    If a site is unreachable within the first 10 posts the story gets yanked. Delete it like it never happened. Seriously, how the hell are we supposed to have a discussion about something we can't even read about?
    • by SwornPacifist (121005) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:21PM (#9271015)
      how the hell are we supposed to have a discussion about something we can't even read about?

      Since when has reading the article been a requirement to post authoritatively on Slashdot about it?
    • by Chewie (24912)
      ...how the hell are we supposed to have a discussion about something we can't even read about?

      The same way we have discussions when no one's read TFA regardless of availability? :)
    • by Pizzop (605441)
      It's just a ploy by someone who secretly hates the people who did it. They have the site /.'ed and then laugh when the persons computer melts!
    • Last night I was on and tried to post a comment but got: "DB is being worked on, so no commenting". Which is okay, but within 30 minutes three new stories were added.
  • ideas (Score:2, Insightful)

    by medvezhatnik (759534)
    what else can we turn cell phone in to ? i'd like to have web server and ssh installed on it too, wash the dishes, flashlight, what else ? :-)
    • Re:ideas (Score:3, Informative)

      flashlight
      You apparently haven't seen this [sonyericsson.com].
      • went to the web site and i have a query... why does the torch need to be connected by bluetooth to a phone? Does it need the power of sony ericsson phone to know the difference between off and on?
    • Re:ideas (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      what else can we turn cell phone in to ? I'd like to have web server and ssh installed on it too, wash the dishes, flashlight...

      You can't install all this on a cell phone. Because, if you do, you can't call it a cell phone, you'd have to call it EMACS.
    • SSH on Symbian OS (Score:3, Informative)

      by MoreDruid (584251)
      Here [sourceforge.net] you will find putty for the symbian OS, so your SSH fix is already available. I have it on my nokia 3650. It's a pain to use because you have to type in the commands and with a cellphone keyboard this is absolutely not intuitive but it works.

      Why you would want to put a webserver on your phone is beyond me though, the bandwidth technology is still a long way from usable for this kind of thing. Maybe in the future though, but still... what do you want to serve? A live stream from your phone that sitting

    • Seriously, a flashlight built into a cellphone would be great. How many of us have used the backlighting from the LCD to locate stuff in the dark? I'm guilty. In fact I've done it several times. So why not just put a couple of high powered LEDs in the front of the thing with an on/off button? That would get me one step closer to the perfect "Swiss Army Cellphone."
  • Google Cache (Score:3, Informative)

    by jm92956n (758515) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:20PM (#9271012) Journal
  • Those guys over in High Energy Magic ... I've read all the stories [terrypratchettbooks.com] about what goes wrong over there ....
  • by networkGhettoWhore (564183) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:22PM (#9271034)
    What wasn't reported though is that the company Gyration [gyration.com] already has patent pending on gyroscopic mouse technology. Gyration had already released an open letter last week addressing this when the cell phone mouse was first announced.
    • Well, I can't know for sure because the article is Slashdotted, but I expect the cell phones don't actually contain any gyroscopes -- I know mine doesn't -- so "gyroscopic mouse technology" wouldn't really apply.

      It would, I imagine, track the motion of the images captured by the camera to calculate relative motion -- sort of like the way an optical mouse works, but with less precision.

      Pretty clever stuff -- this could either be the Killer App for Bluetooth, or the biggest nuisance ever, once anyone nearby
    • What wasn't reported though is that the company Gyration already has patent pending on gyroscopic mouse technology.
      Cell phones don't contain gyroscopes. This uses the camera to detect movement.
    • Anyone remember the Nintendo PowerGlove? It was ultrasonic rather than gyroscopic or optical...
  • ...when we show you how to take pictures of your family using an optical mouse!

    Actually, this is pretty cool - nice idea. No need to carry around a mouse for your laptop (if you hate the touchpad), just use your cellphone! Simple and smart.
  • by ferrocene (203243) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:24PM (#9271071) Journal
    Eliminate beer Goggles! Picture the scene: you're at a bar, gettin' close to closing time. The chick you've been talking to is lookin' pretty good, but all your friend's have abandoned you.

    Whip out the phone, take a pic of the broad. Phone flashes green if she's good, Red if she's not.

    That would have saved me uh...i mean...yeah...

    • Thats why camera phones were invented!

      Whip out the phone, take a pic of the broad. Phone flashes green if she's good, Red if she's not.
      Screw software...get a good and sober friend to judge and textmsg you back if shes ok or not.

      Oh wait...software might be a good idea...their scale might accidentally be reversed ;)

    • by droid_rage (535157) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:47PM (#9271310) Journal
      Come to think of it... The only thing I've ever used my cameraphone for is to get a pic of the girl whose number I just got, to decide if I'm going to call her or not once I sober up.
    • Whip out the phone, take a pic of the broad. Phone flashes green if she's good, Red if she's not.

      Or you could snap the pic and send it here. [slashdot.org]

      If it comes back with Salma Hayek, take her home now. Abe Vagoda, run.

  • by jorlando (145683) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:30PM (#9271127)

    a multimeter...

    lots of times I needed a damn multimeter and I looket to the cell phone and imagined it could have a pair of probes...

    at least a AC/DC voltmeter up to 300V...
    • lots of times I needed a damn multimeter and I looket to the cell phone and imagined it could have a pair of probes...

      Digital Phonimeters? Hmmm, I can see it now...

      If you make yours an Extech, you would have a built-in laser [extech.com]!

      If you got a Triplett, you could get a free poster [triplett.com]!

      And there's probably already a phone on some Fluke multimeter. Hell, this [fluke.com] one comes with an orgasm.

  • If anyone has been to Seattle's Experience Music Project (assuming the outside appearence didn't scare you away), this could be used as a replacement for the MEG devices [emplive.com] that they provide. I could see using this to point at an exhibit and getting bluetooth audio streamed to your phone. Might be useful for museums that don't have Paul Allen's deep pockets.

  • damn it! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Haydn Fenton (752330)
    You wouldnt believe my face when i saw this story.. I've been mouseless for some time now (I'm sure a /.er can help me - details below), this was a god send.. then the site gets slashdotted - im not so happy
    then i see some mirrors - im happy again
    then i find it wont work with my phone - im pissed.

    Anyway, I have two mice (1 USB and 1 PS2), yet neither work (the cursor will not move and clicking has no effect). Windows says the drivers are fine, it's not a virus.. i've been told it might be the motherboar
  • Wait a Sec (Score:2, Funny)

    by ZHaDoom (65485)
    Dont have a phone call while your using your new mouse. Sure let me see whats playing tonight. One second (scruffing sound) Sorry about the but my phone is also my mouse.
  • Slashvertisement? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Quixote (154172) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:32PM (#9271146) Homepage Journal
    Submitter: Stab [slashdot.org], a.k.a. Anil Madhavapeddy
    Story is about HighEnergyMagic [highenergymagic.com], for which WHOIS tells me:
    Administrative Contact:
    Madhavapeddy, Anil anil@recoil.org
    100 Carnbrae Avenue
    Belfast, Northern Ireland BT8 6NH
    UK
    +44 7771640674
    Story is mirrored at University of Cambridge Systems Research Group [cam.ac.uk], where we find that the page is "© 2004 Anil Madhavapeddy".

    Seriously, shouldn't the submitter put some sort of a disclaimer somewhere? Or failing which, at least pay Slashdot to run these "ads", dammit! :)

    • Re:Slashvertisement? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stab (26928) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:52PM (#9271381) Homepage
      Give me a break ... where do the disclaimers stop? I mean, the software's being given away for free for non-commercial use, and I think it's of interest to other techies. Notice I didn't submit anonymously.

      And don't start spouting "open-source this, open-source that" to me ... I do [oxide.org] my [theaimsgroup.com] bit [horde.org] there [theaimsgroup.com] as [openfx.org] well [php.net]. But noone cares about that stuff, so why bother talking about it instead of stuff I think is fun?
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:18PM (#9271623)
        I believe you could avoid any accusations of dishonesty by just writing your blurbs to say "Check this out! My company...etc. etc.". People do that often and it's not a problem if the tech is cool enough (and this tech is cool). People get annoyed when you write the blurb as though you're just a third party bystander who found this out there. Otherwise it smells like astroturfing. This tech is cool enough to stand on its own, why mess around with marketing stuff that will give geeks pause?
        • Re:Slashvertisement? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by stab (26928)
          Yeah, I think you're right ... live and learn eh? First time I've heard the term 'astroturfing', not going to forget it in a hurry :-)
          • I think the real question is what is a Gult doing on /. (via Ireland) of all the places. :-)

            (Always thought the only places you could find Tech Gults were Sunnyvale and Hyderabad...)

      • Did I mention "open source" in my post? Or are you trying to flash your OSS creds to catch some slack?

        Your post reeks of astroturfing (thanks AC, I forgot the right word). Nowhere did you mention your affiliation with the company or the research lab.

        See the use of "they" in this sentence:
        The tags used are really robust - they did a wastebasket torture test for a bit of fun as well :-)

        It would indicate a separation between you, the postor, and the company, HEM, when in fact there is none.

        • I can only say that it's pretty obvious that wasn't my intention ... if it had occurred to me that this "astroturfing" was a problem, I could have submitted the story anonymously, or used a friend's account, or a hundred other ways to do it properly.

          You might think it's clever to post my home address and phone number to /. by "cunning" use of the 'whois' command, but really - it isn't.

          If I've offended, then I apologise.
          • You might think it's clever to post my home address and phone number to /. by "cunning" use of the 'whois' command, but really - it isn't.

            Seriously, man, drop it. If it was a mistake, apologise (as you finally did in the last sentence), and move on. Bringing up OSS and your home address (how is anyone supposed to know it's your home address? It is public WHOIS knowledge, for Chrissake!) just prolongs the suffering. Seeing the fact that you've been around on the 'net for so long, I'm surprised you haven't

  • QR Codes:
    This guy [schubart.net] has got a phone that reads qr codes. More info here [denso-wave.com].

    CueCat:
    nuff said

    My CD Player: (blatant self promotion)
    Keep the camera still and move the cards. [flatfeetpete.com]

    Also I couldn't find any of the guestural/movement stuff you'd associate with a mouse. More like buttons you'd press with the camera.

    I'm not sure if it's just because I'm interested, but there seems to be a lot of camera based code reading bits around recently.
  • by bo0ork (698470) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:41PM (#9271242)
    I haven't RTFA (./:ed), but these guys have potentially made a great piece of software for the physically impaired. Strap a webcam to the side of your head: Voila, no need to use hand to maneuver a mouse.
  • bad... (Score:2, Funny)

    by proudlyindian (781206)
    Now how will you (pretend to) listen to your gf/boss when ur actually surfing ;)

    Striving to be common.... [blogspot.com]
  • ...as long as the phone does what it's supposed to do - allow me to take and make phone calls. I have one of the newer phones out there, and I still have signal trouble in downtown Toronto. If I can't get a clear cell signal, it's just a fancy paper weight.
  • Doesn't work on P900 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by clmensch (92222) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @04:48PM (#9271324) Homepage Journal
    I installed the app on my P900 (28kb), but when I try to run it I just get a "Folder Not Found" error. And now when I try to uninstall it, I get a "There is insufficient memory available for the specified installation." This after a phone reboot. Ah, Symbian...
  • This is a camera phone barcode reader for a special "dot" format, not a mouse/keyboard.

    For what its worth, that sort of thing exists, too. I had a program on my mac, which I can't recall its name, that let me move the mouse, click, and control things like iTunes via bluetooth from the phone. Didn't work well.

    Either way, the submitter doesn't seem to have read the article. Which is really weird, given the other comment someone posted that the submitter is the person who WROTE the article.
    • I think you missed the point of the article. The on-phone software "locks onto" those circular "barcodes" with the phone's camera, and can detect phone movement relative to them. If you have a GUI interface with a spotcode on a slider, for instance, you can "grab" the spotcode with your phone and, by moving your phone around, drag the slider.

      This is not cuecat, and it's not Salling Clicker-- Salling Clicker does none of the motion detection or image processing stuff.

  • Blindingly obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:07PM (#9271529) Journal
    Ok maybe im pointing out the stupidly obvious but.. bluetooth (or even just normal phone/wap) is TWO WAY! why would you need a camera phone with ugly spots all over your poster/screen!? just press cursor keys on your phone and send that over blue-tooth (like a dvd menu interface)?

    What would be totally totally neat would be a dumb-terminal standard using bluetooth so when you walked into say an airport and launched the 'dumb-terminal' app on your phone you would get a screen produced by the airport computer which would be able to tell you exactly where you were (triangulation or bluetooth 'cells') on a visual map. Then you could just tap in the 'customer code' on your ticket and the airport computer would be able to tell you the real time of your flight, delays, where you should go, how much time you had, where you could get discount booze etc etc. the same could work for libraries, train/bus stations, sports-games, malls, towns, tourist attractions, and of course cinemas (where the screen would say "turn your fucking phone off" just before the film started) the protocal could either be like wap/html or pushed by the server, whatever aslong as its a standard, its open, it supports funky graphics, sound and vide and you dont get charged for it.
    • This seems seriously cool to me.

      I check into a convention. The program has descriptions of each of the presentations with one of these barcodes. I use the barcode and my cellphone to get more info about the presentation, and decide I want to attend. Press a button on my cellphone and the convention organizers know I'm going to that session, and my cellphone calendar is updated with that session.

      I'm in a museum and want to know more about the exhibit. Wave my phone over the barcode and get more info on
  • by foniksonik (573572) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:19PM (#9271639) Homepage Journal

    They've already put their domain up for sale! [highenergymagic.com]

  • by jgarland79 (665188) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @05:39PM (#9271783) Homepage
    Sailing Clicker [mac.com] does just this. I'm using a 12" Powerbook with built in bluetooth and a Sony Ericson T68i. I can controll the mouse movements with the joystick on the phone.
  • by jhsiao (525216) on Thursday May 27, 2004 @07:47PM (#9272838)
    It appears that Spotcode [highenergymagic.com] supports only 42 bits. Obviously, this is to accomodate the low processing power and camera quality of most camera phones on the market. At only 42 bits, the spotcode can't support any meaningful alphanumeric. But as a numeric value, there are enough unique patterns (over 4 trillion) to support almost 700 spotcodes for every human on the planet.

    But with cameras and processing power on cell phones getting more sophisticated, other 2d barcode like QR Code [denso-wave.com] or semacode [semacode.org] will eventually outpace this technology with their considerably larger data capacity (up to as many as 4000 alphanumeric characters). In fact, semacode is already demonstrated on Series 60 implementations.

    The submitter points to an application that uses spotcodes for remote control. In that implmentation, the spotcode translates to a number which the program then uses to send an instruction over Bluetooth.

    However, those wishing to skip the tedium of entering URLs from the keypad using Spotcodes should note that BangoSpot [bango.net] (using the Spotcode technology) almost certainly uses a middleware server which performs a Spotcode number-to-URL lookup. So someone will know that you're using the Spotcodes. It's sort of like the CueCat but the implementation _requires_ them to know what you're looking up in order to provide a WAP URL.

    It's an interesting approach, but I wonder how fast cellular carriers can adopt Spotcode-to-URL servers in their network before phone technology ends up leapfrogging and reading and entering sophisticated 2d barcode data directly into a phone browser.

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