What would your perfect phone be?

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Lee

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Feb 25, 2008, 2:18:25 PM2/25/08
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Lets start a thread to gather thoughts on what the perfect phone would
be. I'd came across the OHA magic phone video (http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=jWtFeIw8MVM) which got my mind thinking about gathering more
serious input from others.

I will throw in one just to start with: a perfect phone would help two
parties meeting up to find each other simply by showing Left/Right/
Forward/Back arrows. This would save the ~4 calls I need to place,
getting irratated each time to ask my partner "where exactly are you?"
when we both arrange to meet out somwhere new (her responses are
somewhat vague). It would also be nice if it could show you what mode
of transportation the other person was on (fairly easy to work out I
believe with a cheap accelerometer) - this would mean you would know
when the other person had actuall left the house etc. so you could
factor that in so as not to arrive too early.

I've got plenty more...But lets see what others have in mind.

Johannes Ernst

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Feb 25, 2008, 2:44:50 PM2/25/08
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The perfect phone would only run software that third party developers
could improve on. By "improve", I don't mean adding applications or
"customizing" but partially or completely replace every single bit of
software.

This could allow a third-party market to spring up that would be much
better at fixing the very annoying usability problems that all phones
had that I've ever owned ... A bit like you can choose from different
window managers and default configurations through Linux distributions
and installation alternatives on the PC -- "anybody can play" and
built their own distro.

[This may be a very "boring" step, but it would be an incredible
enabler of innovations, including for the new features that are dear
to your heart ... and mine for that matter]

Johannes Ernst
NetMesh Inc.


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Jim Van Meggelen

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Feb 25, 2008, 3:11:29 PM2/25/08
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It would need a stealth mode similar to IM services, so that when you wanted
to be anonymous or unavailable, you could do so.


Tim H. Panton

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Feb 25, 2008, 3:23:17 PM2/25/08
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Please, NO! I lived with a phone like that ( the savaje)
for a couple of weeks. Each of the developers had a different
idea about how the perfect UI worked.
As a result the cancel button was in a different place in
each application.

Tim.

Bob Frankston

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Feb 25, 2008, 10:44:14 PM2/25/08
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A phone? Why would I want a phone any more than an email machine or the old HP Workslate (a spreadsheet machine).

 

Just give me a pocketable generic computer with a haptic interface and I'll probably run a telephony app on it. But you might not recognize it as a phone -- especially if I implant audio transducers. Of course I'd also want one on my wrist so I can use it as a display surface. But then I’ve already written about this in Rush Hour 1997 – OK, so it was twenty years ago and the future ain’t want it used to be.

 

Why would I want children or a phone company telling me how to communicate? That would be stupid. I already wrote my own WM app to track locations of my friends -- OK, I did a prototype though not a production version but it's a pretty simple app -- too bad all that Mashup stuff is confined to big lumbering desktop PCs because there's no market for small generic computing devices -- yet.

Johannes Ernst

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Feb 26, 2008, 5:30:11 PM2/26/08
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I think Bob says the same thing I said in different words. Give us incredibly powerful hardware (perhaps in many different configurations so we can pick and choose) and let others provide the software (such as Bob.)

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Johannes Ernst
NetMesh Inc.


  http://netmesh.info/jernst

Michael Shiloh

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Feb 26, 2008, 5:39:02 PM2/26/08
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This seems like a good time to introduce myself: I'm Michael Shiloh,
head of Developer Relations at OpenMoko.

Within the constraints of size, weight, and battery life, we are trying
to do just what you say: Create the hardware platform, open source
everything, and get out of the way.

Bob: Your answer is great. It's not a phone that does other things, it's
a generic computer that does many things, including being a phone.

Lee, thanks for starting this conversation. I'm still thinking of my
answer, but I think Bob and Johannes have captured the spirit of what I
want.

Michael

Johannes Ernst wrote:
> I think Bob says the same thing I said in different words. Give us
> incredibly powerful hardware (perhaps in many different configurations
> so we can pick and choose) and let others provide the software (such as
> Bob.)
>
> On 2008/02/25, at 7:44 PM, Bob Frankston wrote:
>
>> A phone? Why would I want a phone any more than an email machine or
>> the old HP Workslate (a spreadsheet machine).
>>
>> Just give me a pocketable generic computer with a haptic interface and
>> I'll probably run a telephony app on it. But you might not recognize
>> it as a phone -- especially if I implant audio transducers. Of course
>> I'd also want one on my wrist so I can use it as a display surface.
>> But then I’ve already written about this in Rush Hour 1997

>> <http://www.frankston.com/?name=RushHour1997> – OK, so it was twenty

> Johannes Ernst
> NetMesh Inc.
>
>
> http://netmesh.info/jernst
>

Lee

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Feb 26, 2008, 6:09:54 PM2/26/08
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During the core hours today, I placed five calls. Four calls where to
ask "where are you"? The fifth call was to ask if somebody else wanted
me to pick something up. If i had instant messaging, I'd never have
placed the 5th call as the value/interruption trade off was borderline
(they where unlikely to need something and I was more likely to
interrupt them). As for the other four - I'd like a phone that against
my contacts or at least the strong social ties, shows their
approximate location. Then I'd never need to place at least two calls
a day just to ask my daughter when she is coming home from school, or
to ascertain if she will be home before the shops close as I'd like
her to pickup something. Even just show me the text associated with
the Cell ID and that alone is enough much of the time. It's all very
possible without hardly any effort - somene last year showed me a
website in which you could enter in anyone's cellphone number (on GSM)
and back out would come the persons's current cell ID along with text
describing that location - all without the tracked person being aware.
(for the technically curious, it simply relied on sending some false
SS7 signalling and striping out information coming back in responses).
So if someone can put together a site that lets you track people it is
very easy for the network to ping your phone with the cell ID of your
closest contacts - all very incremental stuff and stuff that works
over plain 2G, yet would vastly improve the device utility.

Regards

Lee
> >> <http://www.frankston.com/?name=RushHour1997> - OK, so it was twenty

Bob Frankston

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Feb 26, 2008, 7:05:15 PM2/26/08
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Neat hack but it's an app not a phone. We shouldn't confuse the two.

I can put in on my entrepreneur hat and figure out hacks but I'd rather
focus on enabling far more than a few hacks, especially when they take
advantage of such accidental properties of a corrupt system. By corrupt I
mean one that, as with SMS uses far more bits to bill than for the actual
message but is worth billing for because they bill can be high enough to
cover the only cost -- billing. That's corrupt.

Jim Van Meggelen

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Feb 27, 2008, 1:09:18 PM2/27/08
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Does your daughter want you to know here approximate location?

I know mine doesn't!

Conceptually, I think this kind of technology is fantastic. There was
someone at ClueCon a few years back that had a java app that used the GPS
built into the phone with Google Maps which did something similar.

Jim

Gary Miner

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Feb 27, 2008, 1:50:14 PM2/27/08
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Here is some more needed features of our dream phone......

MIR3 is currently working with a company that has a great "location-based notification" system called Square Loop.  http://www.squareloop.com/ .  The reason we are support their technology is that they do not require the provider or others to invade personnel info by offering geo-mapping and location sensitive notifications on a voluntary 'opt-in" basis.  The scenario I use is let's say I was in Grand Central Station yesterday, but Lee was not.  Today, a notification goes out to warn everyone that a case of avian flu was detected in a person also in Grand Central Station yesterday.............

Via the Square Loop and MIR3 system, my phone and the network have enough intelligence to deliver this key notification to me because it effects me, Lee's phone is smart enough to know that it does not effect Lee, he will not be bothered with the notification.  This is a important means to allow geo-sensitive intelligence while maintaining some amount of personnel privacy.  I look at this type of escalating intelligence as the needed value-add to future mobile communications devices. 

As some of you may know, I will be speaking on the topic of multi-modal messaging, which we are highly involved in.  I will touch on the social networking aspects on multi-modal communications.  Stated succinctly, I contend that the multi-function of iPhone-like devices is just a starting point, we need to escalate not only multi-functionality, but also elevate the self-adjustable and adaptable intelligence of these devices......

GARY.

Gary Miner
MIR3, Inc.
858-724-1214 - Direct
858-357-1991 - Mobile
gary....@mir3.com
www.mir3.com
www.mir3.com/demo/soap/demo.php

Phil Wolff

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Feb 27, 2008, 9:49:08 PM2/27/08
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My top 4 feature requests:

1. Sensor overload. Movement, location, biometric, barometric, full radio frequency detection including notice when I'm being RFID scanned, Affymetrix-style food safety tests. The more my phone is aware of my condition and my environment, the smarter the apps that follow.

2. Wearable. Fashion, baby! I should have more phones than shoes, all doing the same things but with looks and form factors that fit my mood, my social set, my wardrobe, my activity. Form factors I want: pocket watch with fob, lapel pin, ear ring, tattoo, shoe lace, scarf, tie clasp, cuff links, mood ring, brass knuckles.

3. Immersive. Just as it aggregates sensory information, it should also be able to drench me in experience. Reprogram my clothing, overlay my view of the world with data and imagery, make my virtual friends look and sound feel at arms' length, accompany my life with music and art. And sometimes, just sometimes, help me turn everything off and just appreciate the silence.

4. Prevaricator. I want my phone to be vague or outright lie to some people. When I'm out picking up porn instead of groceries, attending a dissident political meeting, climbing a wall during a combat mission, investigating a crime family, or meeting with my divorce lawyer, very very few people need to know. In fact, I want my phone to have selective memory and occasional amnesia. This goes to identity, too. As my phone becomes used to authenticate me for payments and access to services, I must use pseudonyms, aliases, and other means to protect my identity. The alternative? The Nokia Death Stream.
--
Phil Wolff
managing editor, Skype Journal
http://SkypeJournal.com
pwo...@skypejournal.com
skype:evanwolf
+1-510-444-8234 San Francisco
+1-646-461-6123 New York
+44 020 8816 8780 London
+852 8175 8107 Hong Kong
http://www.linkedin.com/in/philwolff
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=724232370

Gary Miner

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Feb 28, 2008, 9:18:58 AM2/28/08
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Paul:
 
I concur with your points and want that phone!  I also want some practical ones as well.  For several years in Korea,the LG KP8400 is one of a few phones that contain a blood glucose monitor and the ability to forward those key reports to doctors as part of a more complete medical record keeping and storage process.

LG KP8400 Cell phone with blood glucose monitor
In an unusual, but sensible, marriage of technologies, LG has released the KP8400 cell phone in Korea that doubles as a blood test for diabetics. The phone includes a tester into which users can place a blood test drop on a strip, place the strip in a special reader on the phone (located near the phone's battery pack), and get insulin and blood readings on the phone display. Readings can then be uploaded to an online database for retrieval later on. Because of the added technology the rest of the phone isn't anything to write home about, but it's more than sufficient: 262k color TFT display, CIF camera, and 64 voice polyphonic sound. The CDMA KP8400 handset was co-developed with health care equipment company Healthpia, and will sell for the equivalent of about US$380 in LG's home market of Korea.
As a Type 1 Diabetic who is on an insulin pump, I want to have all control of my maintenance systems in one device that I can than use to analysis and communicate to others as I see the need.  Also, I am going to a real-time subcutaneous blood glucose system soon and it needs to communicate to those who can help IF I am in trouble (too low blood glucose levels kill many people every year). As a 'well controlled' Type 1 diabetic, I am always right at the edge of 'perfect' blood glucose levels to dangerous.  I am going to the real time BG system to assure that I do not get into a accidental low condition while driving or flying a plane, etc., but if for some reason, I flow too far below the level that I can 'adjust' those levels - i.e. eat a Hershey's Bar or drink orange juice, I want someone to come and help NOW.  If for some reason, I go WAY LOW in the middle of the night and I don't wake up because of the Real-time system's alarm is not loud enough to do so, I want others to know!
 
Diabetes is one of many health areas that phones can help with.  Once again, we require an open system that allows for any device to utilize the communication capabilities of phones to transmit key data SECURELY (meeting HIPPA and other standards) to the appropriate places to improve the quality of our lives. 
 
GARY.

From: EmergingCommunicat...@googlegroups.com [mailto:EmergingCommunicat...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Phil Wolff
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 6:49 PM
LG-KP8400.gif

Bob Frankston

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Feb 29, 2008, 12:53:33 AM2/29/08
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But it must not a phone – something that requires a billing relationship. If my life depends upon it it should be infrastructure. My life is more than just a billable event.

Gary Miner

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Feb 29, 2008, 9:04:40 AM2/29/08
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There is no billable event, it is a multi-functional, multi-modal device.  If I decide to use my 'communications' device to act as my video center remote control via blue tooth, it simply means that the device has more usability.  In my health example, I feel it is the same. A device that expends its functionality has a higher probability to always be with me.  If it is always with me, I am more likely to be reachable, via the device via some modality....hence than it is a billable event only if I do not have an unlimited bundle pan, which I believe we will all have soon.

From: EmergingCommunicat...@googlegroups.com [mailto:EmergingCommunicat...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Bob Frankston
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:54 PM

The Dean

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Feb 29, 2008, 11:35:17 AM2/29/08
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I must be a closet luddite. I want a phone. You know - talk and text.
Give me all the fancy bits including a barcode scanner but keep the
data bit separate. I want a simple phone interface with address book.
Let me paste numbers from the data bit to the dialer but don't let
that computer gismo dial or anything. Keep the two networks separate.
I want the phone to work all the time without virus software and o/s
upgrades and fixes every day.
Fancy gismo's - a TV transmitter - digital and analogue. Yes
transmitter - then I can use it to play stuff on the big screen.
Forget bluetooth or wifi for that - a TV transmitter. Let me use the
infrared to remote control and tune the nearest telly automatically.
When all the TV's are newfangled I'll use the wifi for that too, until
then...
Remember keep the phone functionality separate and pure - I bought it
to talk and text, not to have some carrier, who's not making a dollar
out of my wifi voip, deciding to 'groom' the traffic and bounce it
through a few dozen of his mates in Africa to degrade my voice quality
so I'll sign up for the 'special ' voip.
In a recession the first thing to go back into the consumers' wallet
will be those subscriptions to expensive mobile data packages. After
all it's hard to get a really suffering tone in your IM anyway.

And what about making it (the computer bit) secure? Haven't they been
trying to do that with pc's for a while - how are they going?

Don't get me wrong - I dreamed of touch screens and all this stuff
long before I bought the old brand new nokia 9500 and loved every
minute of that, but lets face it - without the TV transmitter,
surfing the net for info on a mobile is just short of painful - even
with a bigger than average screen mobile. They just aren't ever going
to get as big as the giant lcd in the lounge, at least they've got
enough storage for cd quality music and good quality vision.
That's all I'd need - the rest can be server side anyway. I'm easy to
please. oh, can you put my 10 megapixel casio camera in there with a
better telephoto lens if you're really asking..Uh! .Isn't it getting a
bit heavy by now?
Intel have some fuel for neat little powerful surprises coming out - I
wonder if they'll try making a phone with them or leave it to others.
I would like multi-channel wifi for some real file sharing and
download power and routing through all my neighbors and theirs. When
we're there I'll be happy to throw out the laptop - or send it to
Africa.

Name_being_withheld_to_protect_my_job@sumadvanstmobuyalltekumpany
(|:<{]

adrian cockcroft

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Feb 29, 2008, 11:46:43 AM2/29/08
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I've written a less technical approach to my EComm08 topic and am
presenting it at BIL this weekend, hope to provoke some discussion and
ideas about what people will do with next generation machines in their
pockets. I'll include the results in my EComm08 talk.

http://millicomputing.blogspot.com/2008/02/bil-talk-millicomputing-future-in-your.html

One of the ideas I included is networked video out, similar to this
comment from The Dean about wanting to view phone output on TV. I
think TV's and projectors will add WiFi and a protocol for high
quality local video streaming from laptops and "converged pocket
mobile devices with real operating systems" (which I call mobile
millicomputers)

More on BIL at http://www.bilconference.com

Cheers
Adrian

Bob Frankston

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Feb 29, 2008, 12:51:01 PM2/29/08
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Bundle plan? That’s still in the billable event sphere. There’s a big difference between an unlimited ticket on the railroad and my buying a Hummer or Land Rover so I can drive where I want. The point about Internet connectivity is that I can use the same protocols to do monitoring on a boat in the middle of the ocean as I can in the middle of a city.

<BR

pgolding

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Mar 1, 2008, 9:23:02 AM3/1/08
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Hi Lee

I read Brough's blog response to this question. He reframed your
question by suggesting that the word "phone" was too limiting. That's
true if you have something else in mind other than telephony, which
clearly the commentator's on this thread all do. I'm not dismissing
the importance of discussing the perfect mobile device - and there
have been various attempts to universally categorise and define such a
device - but I think that it would still be an interesting discussion
to brainstorm the ideal *phone* too.

We have grown used to two things. Firstly, that telephony is just
about vocalising at a distance, and that's it. Secondly, that
telephony networks are meant to be transparent - that they are only
meant to collapse distance (tele) to nothing, not anything else. These
two ideas have led to a strong mindset that telephony is a done deal -
there's nothing more to add. This mindset is so pervasive that even
VoIP is seen to be 'telephony' over a transparent network, just we're
doing it more efficiently using IP etc. Furthermore, many commentators
with software/IP backgrounds often talk about voice as 'just another
mode' of communication. In other words, they have collapsed all the
potential of voice into a single dimension - just another mode. In an
era of massive computing power and signal processing advances, there
is still so much that can be done with voice, especially if it were
available to innovators via an open platform, not a closed switch.

Think of it this way. Berner's Lee asked the question 'what can i do
with the humble page of a science journal if I use a computer?' and we
ended up with the web page and a loci of innovation that seems to have
no bounds. What if we ask 'what can i do with the humble conversation
if i use a computer?' and we end up with the......????

Given that conversations take place in all kinds of contexts and
places - the fact that we have a mobile device with us makes it the
ideal platform with which to reinvent voice-based communications.

adrian cockcroft

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Mar 1, 2008, 10:01:54 AM3/1/08
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The central position of short one-to-one voice based conversations in
this discussion is an anachronism imposed by the limitations of
technology, complexity and cost.

Conversations include various forms of presence/location indication,
instant/SMS messaging, email, social-nets, voice and video, and are
inherently many to many.

Look at the feature set and usage patterns of tools like Skype to see
the trend. Turn on a skype video call with someone and just leave it
on for a few hours in the background, no need to actually talk all the
time. I've done this with my wife when I'm staying away from home.

Think about a portable always-on full featured copy of Skype in your
pocket, broadcasting your presence, location, ambience (local sounds)
and video of your surroundings. Think of kids growing up with that
capability and their ability to manage and filter presence streams.
How about having your partner's presence running in your background
all the time, intimately binding you together. It may creep you out,
but give some teenagers that capability and you will see a new breed
of behaviors.

Adrian

Paul Golding

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Mar 1, 2008, 10:46:02 AM3/1/08
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Good point Adrian. Conversation and voice are not synonymous. Multi-modal conversations, lifestreaming, and telepresence are undoubtedly the future of 'augmented' human interaction - not necessarily at a distance either.

On top of this, there is still plenty of innovation to be had in the vocal part of human interaction, which largely remains untouched by technology except carrying it over long distances - telephony. There has been little technological innovation based on speech processing, whether in the control plane or the content plane. Much of the efforts with VoIP have focussed on the control plane only - SIP 'signalling' and so forth, and we haven't seen much yet in terms of voice mash-ups etc. But, we also haven't really done much with the voice itself.

That aside, there's plenty of mileage to reinvent the 'phone' part of mobile devices whilst a distinct 'phone function' exists, most likely for a few years to come due to the momentum behind the thing we call 'mobile telephony' versus 'mobile computing.' iPhone has given us 'visual voicemail', which seems useful, but there are lots of other ideas out there and many still to be invented.

Lee

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Mar 1, 2008, 11:02:49 AM3/1/08
to EmergingCommunications.Public.General
Paul can you expand on what you mean when you said "But, we also
haven't really done much with the voice itself."?

Regards

Lee

On Mar 1, 4:46 pm, "Paul Golding" <goldi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Good point Adrian. Conversation and voice are not synonymous. Multi-modal
> conversations, lifestreaming, and telepresence are undoubtedly the future of
> 'augmented' human interaction - not necessarily at a distance either.
>
> On top of this, there is still plenty of innovation to be had in the vocal
> part of human interaction, which largely remains untouched by technology
> except carrying it over long distances - telephony. There has been little
> technological innovation based on speech processing, whether in the control
> plane or the content plane. Much of the efforts with VoIP have focussed on
> the control plane only - SIP 'signalling' and so forth, and we haven't seen
> much yet in terms of voice mash-ups etc. But, we also haven't really done
> much with the voice itself.
>
> That aside, there's plenty of mileage to reinvent the 'phone' part of mobile
> devices whilst a distinct 'phone function' exists, most likely for a few
> years to come due to the momentum behind the thing we call 'mobile
> telephony' versus 'mobile computing.' iPhone has given us 'visual
> voicemail', which seems useful, but there are lots of other ideas out there
> and many still to be invented.
>
> On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 3:01 PM, adrian cockcroft <adrian.cockcr...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>
> > The central position of short one-to-one voice based conversations in
> > this discussion is an anachronism imposed by the limitations of
> > technology, complexity and cost.
>
> > Conversations include various forms of presence/location indication,
> > instant/SMS messaging, email, social-nets, voice and video, and are
> > inherently many to many.
>
> > Look at the feature set and usage patterns of tools like Skype to see
> > the trend. Turn on a skype video call with someone and just leave it
> > on for a few hours in the background, no need to actually talk all the
> > time. I've done this with my wife when I'm staying away from home.
>
> > Think about a portable always-on full featured copy of Skype in your
> > pocket, broadcasting your presence, location, ambience (local sounds)
> > and video of your surroundings. Think of kids growing up with that
> > capability and their ability to manage and filter presence streams.
> > How about having your partner's presence running in your background
> > all the time, intimately binding you together. It may creep you out,
> > but give some teenagers that capability and you will see a new breed
> > of behaviors.
>
> > Adrian
>

Paul Golding

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Mar 1, 2008, 11:53:30 AM3/1/08
to EmergingCommunicat...@googlegroups.com
Yes - basically anything to do with processing of the language and vocalisation to extract/recognise speaker, meaning, terms, content, emotion, tone, and make this accessible via a programming model to subsequently alter or augment the conversation with audio or non-audio content. Just imagine the possibilities!

Rather than distract this thread, we can defer to another topic, as I'd also like to talk about 'the perfect phone' too :)

Lee

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Mar 1, 2008, 12:47:56 PM3/1/08
to EmergingCommunications.Public.General
IMHO that is not a distraction but a perfectly valid thought track.
PuddingMedia.com is an embryonic start which seems to work in a
similar fashion to Google AdWords, but analyzes voice (rather than
text of an email) - so if you start talking about restaurants it can
flash up sponsored possibilities automatically.

Regards

Lee

On Mar 1, 5:53 pm, "Paul Golding" <goldi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Yes - basically anything to do with processing of the language and
> vocalisation to extract/recognise speaker, meaning, terms, content, emotion,
> tone, and make this accessible via a programming model to subsequently alter
> or augment the conversation with audio or non-audio content. Just imagine
> the possibilities!
>
> Rather than distract this thread, we can defer to another topic, as I'd also
> like to talk about 'the perfect phone' too :)
>

Tim Panton

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Mar 1, 2008, 2:17:21 PM3/1/08
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on that note , there's a really nice demo on the intervoice site where
he books a flight with his cellphone.
The interesting bit is that he does it hands free, while looking at
their booking web app on his cell's browser.
The interface lets him choose what medium to use, so he says the date,
but clicks on the flight selection.
All along the Ivr and the screen are kept in sync.

Simple, but stunning.

if anyone wants, I will try and dig out the URL.

Sent from my iPhone

Lee Dryburgh

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Mar 1, 2008, 2:30:15 PM3/1/08
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URL would be nice.


--
Skype + Gmail + LinkedIn +
Facebook + Twitter + Delicious
= leedryburgh

Tim H. Panton

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Mar 1, 2008, 3:55:59 PM3/1/08
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Found it.

http://www.intervoice.com/index.php/post_show_demo.html

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lee Dryburgh" <dryb...@gmail.com>
To: EmergingCommunicat...@googlegroups.com
Sent: 01 March 2008 19:30:15 o'clock (GMT) Europe/London
Subject: [eComm.General] Re: What would your perfect phone be?

Bob Frankston

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Mar 1, 2008, 5:12:30 PM3/1/08
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Using voice is cute and useful -- but it's a nicely constrained example so
we need to be careful about generalizing from it I find these task-oriented
examples to fail badly outside their comfort zone.

I want, for example, to interpose my own software assistant between me and
sites. Web 2.0 is poised to be an utter disaster in bringing us back to the
days before screen scraping when I had to manually interact with every site.

In this example I would like to mix in seat guru.

The end of the demo was pure fraud -- he gave a really bad example of what
would happen if it listed every seat but then he said that he chose what
information. No -- it was carefully staged and does not generalize because
it's all defined by a service provider.

And in the end he called a live agent because, well, dagnabit, it's he had
to speak to the man behind the curtain.

-----Original Message-----
From: EmergingCommunicat...@googlegroups.com
[mailto:EmergingCommunicat...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of

Lee Dryburgh

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Mar 1, 2008, 5:23:05 PM3/1/08
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Bob question for you - when you say "Web 2.0 is poised to be an utter

disaster in bringing us back to the days before screen scraping when I
had to manually interact with every site." what do you mean out of
interest? A lot of Web 2.0 sites rely on screen scrapping to gather
data (brittle and very time consuming) or at the best per site API
calls (e.g. to overlay Craiglist apartment rentals on Google Maps) -
whereas the Semantic Web technologies provide a way to share data that
does cascade, with perfect data interchange.

Regards

Lee

Tim Panton

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Mar 1, 2008, 5:26:49 PM3/1/08
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I agree, it is staged.
But if it were higher value goods,
he would be talking to a real sales agent not an ivr. Then it starts
to make more sense.

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 1, 2008, at 22:12, "Bob Frankston"

Bob Frankston

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Mar 1, 2008, 6:15:47 PM3/1/08
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Obviously I said it that way for dramatic effect but I’m also concerned. I screen scrape to get my financial data because the downloadable information is far less rich. But even now I have to struggle to get things like check images and PDF files. Of course it doesn't help that the data is presented as unlinked transactions with no documentation on how to map the information to the statement presentation and much information is omitted.

 

But it's worse when I want to get billing data -- I often encounter perverse code that seems to be there simply to frustrate me. For example if I want to login to get my Verizon bill I find that if I click "sign in" after filling in fields it goes blank -- I have to enter the data from the keyboard instead.

 

What I want are the sites to be constructed with APIs that let me do everything the user interface providers. I also want standard APIs for billing information -- there was once hope for this in attempting to define XML formats but they went anal -- the problem of people wanting standards before implementations instead of allowing learning.

 

But instead of getting APIs we're now getting glitz aimed at eyeballs. Imagine if you all you got were bitmaps instead of text -- the kind you see when you need to prove you’re a human in order to recognize a series of distorted letters.

 

This is what was striking about the airline demo – it was a very smart server but no hint of being able to do the reservation using your own application or even mash-ups. I like mash-ups though they tend to be tethered to providers— read the ToS or try to use the maps I your own apps a PDA (with or without phone functionality).

 

BTW, Mike Dertouzos used the airline demo to show why computers should be smarter than we are and pander to us.

 

This is also at the heart of the NN (Network Neutrality) debate. Comcast wants to tune their network to meet their presumed idea of what the user needs rather than just providing enabling technology. We see with CellCos too – just saw feature in the Boston Globe about how Nokia is trying to intuit the innermost needs of customers to sell a lot more phones. That’s OK – as long as I can build my own. But there is no value in generic – the value is in creating solutions.

 

That’s the point of http://www.frankston.com/?name=AssuringScarcity as the carriers try to make sure they own the value and prevent the users from doing so.

Bob Frankston

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Mar 2, 2008, 4:17:46 PM3/2/08
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I realize I forgot to mention that my phone started play music. Apparently if my PC sees an SD it (or the people who provided the OS) cannot imagine that an SD is anything but a repository for music so the media player automatically discourages it’s guts upon any surface it finds unless you prevent it. This is extreme anti-social behavior.

 

But it does remind me that we’ve been talking about phones and nothing but phones.  If I do want to listen it’s more likely I want to listen to NPR and/or a podcast—very similar except NPR makes an arbitrary choice for me and permits conversations. Why isn’t it easier to do that and, in fact, why aren’t we talking about replacing radios (and their video-enhanced cousins)? Of course I do want to be able to play the audio through other devices like in my car and I also want alternative control surfaces. Too bad Bluetooth killed that marketplace by giving me a silo rather than, like 802.11, merely giving me a transport.

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