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Carnival of the Mobilists 145

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It’s Carnival time, and James Cooper of the mjelly blog has rounded up a great list of articles for the CoM this week.  James has added some vivid carnival images to his section breaks and delivered a great synopsis of the best in writing on mobility from around the blogosphere.  Enjoy!

Carnival of the Mobilists 145

Published by:

It’s Carnival time, and James Cooper of the mjelly blog has rounded up a great list of articles for the CoM this week.  James has added some vivid carnival images to his section breaks and delivered a great synopsis of the best in writing on mobility from around the blogosphere.  Enjoy!

Under the Radar: Mobility

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Dealmaker Media has announced the first group of presenting companies at their upcoming Under the Radar: Mobility event.  On November 12th, a one day conference will feature the presentations of 32 vetted mobile startups.  The first group is listed below.

Apisphere, LBS platform for mobile apps with a SaaS business model.
Avot Media, Intelligent search, near real-time streaming and personalization of video delivery to web-enabled mobile devices.
Billing Revolution, All-in-One solution to mobile commerce, from processing to CRM.
BrightKite, Location-based social network.
DialPlus, The ultimate smartphone: Relevant, context-sensitive info on your interface before, during and after a call.
Goojet, Widgetized Browsing: Trick out your mobile interface with your favorite website logos.
Mob4Hire, A Developer’s Dream: Crowd-sourced testing of mobile or cell applications.
Mojiva, The Mobile Ad Toolkit – Makes it easy to create and deliver location-based hyper-targeted mobile ads.
My6Sense, A.I. engine that studies your content consumption and ranks it into your interface.
Palringo, Rich messaging across all IM services, on your phone.
PhoneTopp, Hyper-charged platform for mobilizing business apps.
Purple Talk, Enables iPhone developers to track the usage of their apps through advanced analytics, and facilitates a free ad exchange program.
Skout, Location-based social network.
Soocial, Works behind the scenes to sync your Mac, mobile and 3rd party apps.
Toro, Near field communication applications.
Vuclip, Mobile video search and delivery.

Expert judges will quiz and challenge the startups selecting their favorites from categories such as iPhone apps, location-based services, gaming, social networking, enabling technologies, and marketing/advertising.

TechCrunch50 and CTIA

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TechCrunch50The second annual TechCrunch conference, TechCrunch50,  is set to debut 52 startups next week in San Francisco.  Along with the startups, TechCrunch has planned an amazing line up speakers from Silicon Valleyand Hollywood.  The conference is content rich with the schedule for each of the three days, September 8 -10, running from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM.The schedule for TechCrunch50 has just been released today and the details are availableI attended and covered TechCrunch40 last year and it was an outstanding 1st time conference with interesting companies on stage and in the demo pit.   This year will be even bigger and better.  The Demo Pit allows companies already launched or who didn’t make the cut for stage appearance during TechCrunch50 to demonstrate their products.  A new addition this year is the Exhibit Hall.  TechCrunch50 Exhibit Hall will feature 23 early stage companies and will be located in the West Hall of the venue at The San Francisco Design Center Concourse.MobileJones coverage of TechCrunch50 will include a collection of feeds from Twitter, Qik and Flickr by those attending the conference.  MobileJones will, also, feature video streaming powered by Mogulus and Qik.  If you are attending TechCrunch50 and would like to be added to our feed of feeds, send an email to mojo _at_ mobilejones dot com.   The TechCrunch50 site for MobileJones will be launched tomorrow morning and the site plus the streaming video next week are sponsored by Mogulus, Cradlepoint, Qik, Winksite and Windows Mobile.CTIA Fall 2008Intersecting with TechCrunch50 is CTIA FAll in San Francisco September 10 – 12.  Some of the special events around CTIA are on the schedule for mobilejones.  Showstoppers which hosts invitation only events at both CTIA and CES along with MobileFocus produced by Pepcom always offer great demos of the newest devices, applications and technologies.Are you attending CTIA next week?  Then check outEric Chan’s CTIA Party List to fill your social calendar.To get ready for the coverage of TechCrunch50 next week check back here tomorrow for the preview of TC50 @ mobilejones.com.  The URL will launch at http://tc50.mobilejones.com during the day tomorrow. The link will be live when the site is live.

$5 Million Funding Pool – Knight News Challenge

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What would you do to innovate journalism if you had the funding? The Knight News Challenge is in it’s third year of a five year plan to provide $25 million in grants for geo-focused open source projects which drive innovation in journalism.  I’m very excited to be involved in this year’s competition as an application screener along with a team of web and new media thought leaders. Led by News Challenge program manager, Susan Mernit, the screener team met in San Francisco on September 5th for a day of training and discussion.

This is a great opportunity for mobile developers to achieve funding for projects that apply location services and the strengths of mobile devices for capturing and delivering media in real-time.  The core requirements for a winning application include the following.

  1. Must be a digital innovation applied to journalism
  2. Must apply to a specific geography which can be replicated to other geographies
  3. Must be built on open source technologies

For more information on how to apply for the News Challenge visit the web site.If you need assistance in framing your application or refining your idea, the News Challenge is also providing a virtual “Garage” where applicants can interact with mentors.

FlyScreen brings Web Services to the Not-So-Idle Screen

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It hardly seems like a week has elapsed since TechCrunch 50 brought together 50 (actually 52) of the best and brightest technology starups the internets have to offer, yet here we are 7 days after everything wrapped up and still information is trickling out.One piece of particular interest is the latest from MOPocket creater Justin Oberman, a mobile application called FlyScreen which allows users to add their favorite web services to their phone’s sleep screen.The basic idea is that all that time your phone spends in “idle” mode could be better put to use displaying dynamic content of your choosing, providing zero click access to the content accessed most. Widgets are added via myflyscreen.com and displayed in sequence on the screen when it would otherwise be displaying a clock, animation or some other battery wasting triviality.Widgets are built specifically for the platform. The key advantage is that developers would only need “web level” programming knowledge rather than native calls for each device. FlyScreen is currently only available for Symbianplatforms, but a Blackberry version is in the works as is a version for Android once the platform isactually available.So what does the business opportunity look like? Widgets have been hashed and re-hashed numerous times over, normally with the biggest issue being how to actually monetize content.  In the case of FlyScreen, Justin is not looking just to branding opportunities as already used by numerous other widget producers, but has also included the equivalent of Google AdWords unobtrusively located at the top of the widgets displayed. Given the huge number of Symbian devices currently in use, the market is there to be seized.The company also has plans to license their idle screen technology as an alternative to advertising which is likely to be a more compelling business model for users and investors. FlyScreen is currently in private alpha, but mobilejones.com will provide a hands-on review of the application soon.

Tonchidot delights, confuses at TechCrunch 50

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winner of the TechCrunch50 were to be chosed on audience cheers alone, Tonchidot’s Sekai Camera would certainly have won by a mile.The Tokyo-based company started as they meant to go on – with much enthusiasm, much gloss and a whole lot of stuff that makes little sense outside of the Akihabara district.The presenter (whose name we never really found out) started with a strong assertion – “Look Up, Not Down!!!”. He then ran a video demo and read the remainder of the presentation in heavily fragmented English, explaining the core ideas and technologies behind the “Sekai Camera”.The Sekai Camera is an application for the iPhone which correlates information about your geographical location, proximity to others and tags which have been added by other users to create a faux-augmented reality which encourages you to wander around with the phone thrust straight out in front of you. It’s not certain what effect this will have on your chances of getting a date.  All roads do lead to Rome, afterall.The greatest issue faced by Tonchidot is how to deal with the ever-changing world around us. As soon a someone has tagged a location with information (for example a favorite store), you can be assured that something will change. Most likely the shop will go out of business and be replaced by something else. When asked how they will deal with this, the response from Tonchidot was “We have a patent” to the delight of audience who erupted in laughter.Many have written with great doubt that the world envisioned by Tonchidot is just around the corner.  While Sekai Camera is boldly ambitious, the technology for realizing immersive real world interaction does exist and has been deployed in limited applications. The illusion is likely that the camera actually contributes little to the information displayed.Another company Earthmine founded in 2006, Berkeley, CA is delivering a platform upon which a product like Sekai Camera might be based.  The video below demonstrates one of two products from Earthmine called Flash Viewer API. A second API, DirectData API, from Earthmine provides the street-level imagery and 3D data required for a “virtual camera to the world.”    Earthmine APIs are available through a private beta and an application is available on their site for developers interested in testing the platform.Less fantastic than those of the web-centric and less mobile savvy audience at TC50 might believe, I’m with Tonchidot and will echo their reply to the judges who could not imagine such an application. “Join us!”