How Mobile is Enabling Tech to Outgrow the Tech Industry from Andreessen Horowitz on Vimeo.
And a recent interview by Benedict Evans with Bloomberg TV on the same topic as follows:
Research in Motion Ltd says it is far from certain that video will become the "killer app" that defines smartphones, but even so the BlackBerry maker says developing more efficient delivery is necessary to prevent video from choking airwaves.
The popularity of feature-rich smartphones such as the BlackBerry, Apple's iPhone, and Motorola's Droid has surged, but they use as much as 30 times as much bandwidth as regular mobile phones to run the applications, or "apps," that make them so popular.
The surge in traffic triggered by video and other apps has led to more dropped calls and choppy service. As video on smartphones becomes more popular, it is leading to more congestion, and forcing carriers to spend billions to upgrade networks and buy more wireless spectrum.
"I still don't know and I don't think anyone knows if video is a killer app for smartphones," RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said at a conference hosted by a unit of Toronto Dominion Bank on Friday. "I don't particularly think it is."
Lazaridis said that even if video did not become the defining app for smartphones, it is already presenting a big challenge to networks.
Analysts have praised Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM for its relatively bandwidth-light BlackBerrys, which route most emails through the company's own servers. This is a legacy of the company's earlier days when it was seeking a faster, more secure mobile email service.
RIM also sends web browsing, Facebook, Twitter, and data from a wide number of BlackBerry apps through its own servers.
That makes browsing and using apps on a BlackBerry three to eight times as efficient bandwidth-wise as on the devices of RIM's rivals, said Lazaridis.
"What that means for the carrier, though, is after they have committed all those billions of dollars on new network technology and new network spectrum, they can have three BlackBerrys using the same network capacity as one of the other smartphones."
Lazaridis said RIM would invest more in technology that provides efficiencies to carriers, including when it comes to video.
He pointed to RIM's 2006 acquisition of SlipStream, which specializes in data acceleration, compression and network optimization technology.
"They had some amazing technologies for compressing everything from web content, documents, and video. So, you never know, the research that we do is very important, it's always borne fruit and we are hoping that we can continue to ... provide tangible efficiencies to the carriers."
The stethoscope, the 200-year-old accessory without which no doctor is complete, could soon be replaced by the humdrum mobile phone.
A computer scientist who wrote a program that turns an Apple iPhone into a stethoscope has made a major advance in medical technology and created a sensation among heart specialists. The application, called iStethoscope, was developed as a "bit of fun", and has become a runaway success after being downloaded millions of times by users across the world.
Cardiologists say the software has saved lives and brought specialist expertise within reach of patients in remote parts of the world. Heart sounds can be recorded and emailed to doctors anywhere for an expert opinion.
Peter Bentley, a researcher who developed the application in the computer science department at University College, London, said he was amazed by the response.
"The idea began as an experiment," he added. "I had a new, popular science book out last year and I wanted to see if I could tell people about the book using a free iPhone application that did something useful.
"It was intended as a fun toy but to my astonishment it was downloaded by several million people all over the world in the first six months. Then I started receiving emails, phone calls and visits from cardiologists all over the world. They said it worked better than commercially available digital stethoscopes. They were tremendously excited. One flew over from the US just to discuss it with me."
The cause of the doctors' excitement was that the audio quality from the iPhone was far superior to that from digital stethoscopes. Mobile phones are a huge market compared with digital stethoscopes, and economies of scale mean they are made with better hardware.
Responding to requests from specialists, Mr Bentley extended the application to allow heart sounds to be recorded, emailed and analysed. The application costs 59p to download, but cardiologists say it does a better job than equipment costing thousands of times as much.
Glenn Nordehn, a US cardiologist researcher and specialist in digital stechoscopes at the University of Minnesota, said: "This is the best thing to come around in terms of medical equipment for a very long time. [His] closest competitor charges about 3,000 times as much"
Mr Bentley is now working on further iPhone applications, such as an electrocardiogram reader. "This is the way everyone wants to go," he said.
For more info see: http://www.peterjbentley.com/istethoscope.html
Twitter creator Jack Dorsey Wednesday gave the first public demonstration of his hotly-anticipated latest venture -- a device to allow credit card payments by cell phone -- and revealed it would be given away for free.
Details of "Square" -- a card reader which plugs into the headphone socket of most mobile devices -- have been circulating on the Internet since it was announced earlier this month, but little has been known about how it works or who it was aimed at.
However, Dorsey -- whose microblogging Web site has proved hugely popular but not hugely profitable since launching in March 2006 -- gave no explanation on how he would make money from his new creation, beyond revealing there would be a per-transaction charity donation.
Square, a tiny cube about an inch in length, contains a magnetic strip reader that allows users to swipe and read credit cards, then deduct payment on or offline through a downloaded application that communicates with card issuers in the same way as retailer devices.
Customers then use their finger on the phone's touch-recognition screen to sign their name to the transaction.
Dorsey, Twitter's co-founder and chairman, says the device, scheduled for launch on iPhones and iPods in March 2010, was inspired partly by the "immediacy, approachability and transparency" of Twitter and by the global economic crisis which has exposed a need for a radical rethink of the financial sector.