Now appearing in 3D

Chris Nuttall at the FT wrote an interesting piece the other day, looking at a number of 3D technologies that are being shown at this year’s CES.

Further indication that 2009 is set to be the year of 3D comes via Contagious today –  Pepsi and DreamWorks have collaborated on a 3D advert, to be aired during the infamous SuperBowl ad-breaks.

They’re distributing 125million free 3D spectacles so the yanks can enjoy the ad, which in a nod to collaborative money- saving will also feature a trailer for a new DreamWorks movie.

James Cameron has been talking about 3D movies as a solution to attract audiences to flagging cinemas for seemingly years now, though early trials left audiences feeling nauseous, I believe.  Last year I was lucky enough to attend a screening of U2 in 3D at the Imax.  The 3D experience was effective, stunning, awe-inspring; however, I’m yet to be convinced that it is anything other than novelty.  I can’t help but think that the ‘awe-inspring’ effect distances a cinema audience – as the artifice of the movie is heightened – rather than fully immersing the spectator within the action and emotion of the movie.

Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong.  It would seem that 3D TV for the home and mobile is gaining pace (Chris includes an interesting stat in his article following Quixel research into consumer demand for 3D), and the allure of 3D gaming should be obvious to even the most devout non-gamers.

It certainly will be interesting to see how the 3D story evolves this year.

*digs out retro red and green specs*

Google to turn UK operator?

Ofcom’s auction off of the most desirable band of UHF spectrum is starting to cause a stir.  As we switch from analogue to digital, media pundits are speculating as to whether companies like Microsoft and Google will snap up the soon-to-be-free broadcast spectrum.  Why?  This spectrum has a much longer wavelength which means better penetration of walls meaning excellent coverage as well as high speed wireless.

 

In the US, Google placed a bid on the spectrum but also lobbied the FCC hard to ensure that the spectrum, once won, would be be left open to any non disruptive device (mobile, PDA, laptop, handheld games devices) and that all devices using the network should be open to third party software.  For Verizon, who won the auction in the US, this meant that they couldn’t lock devices into their network or protect them against any third party software, securing Google a medium for its ad revenues.

 

An article in this weekend’s Observer, Media and Business James Robinson wonders if Google, using the Google phone, could turn operator:

 

Crucially, the chunk of analogue space being sold is high frequency, meaning a high-quality signal that can reach a wider area easily. The spectrum currently used by mobile phone companies is weaker, meaning more base stations need to be built to ensure customers receive a good service. They are expensive to construct and difficult to roll out, often meeting resistance from planners. The new spectrum in effect provides a ready-made network, requiring few modifications or additional capital expenditure, and that could allow a new entrant to establish a national presence within a few years.

That has prompted interest from some of the world’s most valuable companies, including Google, which is placing huge resources behind its new Google phone. Senior industry sources confirm it is considering a bid. Google’s new handset, which will compete with Apple’s iPhone, will give users access to services such as Google Earth, which could be adapted to provide customers with information on everything from road maps to where to find local shops and restaurants. It would be cheaper to sign a deal with an existing mobile provider, as Apple has done, piggybacking on its network and sharing profits. But buying a licence outright would allow Google to keep all the revenue, give it greater control over marketing, and could even allow it to drop monthly rental charges for the device.

That may not be as risky, or as expensive, as it sounds. Google’s search engine is funded almost entirely by advertising, and applying the same business model to its phone could generate enough revenue to fund this plan. A Google handset with no contract would be hugely popular, placing it in the hands of millions of consumers and creating a valuable new captive audience for advertisers.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/dec/07/uhf-network-television-switchover-digital

Given the current economic climes and the memories of the cost of 3G licences still fresh in telcos minds, next year’s bidding will certainly be interesting.  Who will have the cash to place the winning bid?

Making the most of your mobile

Reuters has a piece this morning on the the success of mobile apps on touchscreen phones.  The article’s prediction of their growth in volume I’m sure is spot on:

Consumers can expect to see many more mobile apps in the coming months, as the sheer creativity of small, third-party software developers should keep the market buzzing for some time.

With our economy, and perhaps environmental, worries the replacement cycle of mobile phones is likley to get longer as today’s story from IT PRO , covering research released by Gartner, confirms:

According to Carolina Milanesi, research director for mobile devices at Gartner, the global economic downturn has “affected sales in both mature and emerging markets during the quarter. Replacement sales in particular were affected, while first time users continued to see the value of acquiring a mobile phone.”

I posted a couple of weeks back about Homedulgence and how people will be making the most of what they have at home during these financially tighter months.  The use of mobile phone apps is one of the best ways pimp your phone and make the most of what you’ve got.  Thankfully ownership of a touchscreen phone isn’t mandatory.