Saturday, July 07, 2007

iPhone Smartphone problem for Olympics

On the second day of the China East Asia New Media Conference in Brisbane one of the speakers on a panel before me mentioned the Apple iPhone as an innovative product. Departing from my prepared talk, I pointed out that the Open Moko Neo1973 Smartphone may be more significant. The Neo may be seen as a poor man's iPhone, when in some ways it is more capable.

However, given iPhones are getting attention and may well be the first hand held web device most people see, I thought it was worth preparing a short item on how web pages can be adapted to the iPhone.

If such phones become common by 2008, the organizers of the 2008 Olympics could have a problem. The TV rights have been sold by the IOC. But if thousands of people use video phones to transmit coverage of the events, it would be possible to mashup a reasonable Olympic coverage from them. This would likely be illegal and something the TV companies which have paid billions of dollars for would not be happy about, but which BOCOG could do little about.

Even if this is not feasible for 2008, it is certain for the London 2010 Olympics. This is something the researchers from Westminster University, and other institutions researching for the 2012 Olympic Games in London should look into.

As an example of the type of technology which might be used,Microsoft's Photosynth Technology Preview shows how thousands of photos can be automatically combined to create a high resolution three dimensional image:
Our software takes a large collection of photos of a place or an object, analyzes them for similarities, and displays them in a reconstructed three-dimensional space.

With Photosynth you can:

* Walk or fly through a scene to see photos from any angle.
* Seamlessly zoom in or out of a photo whether it's megapixels or gigapixels in size.
* See where pictures were taken in relation to one another.
* Find similar photos to the one you're currently viewing.
* Send a collection - or a particular view of one - to a friend.

From: Introducing Photosynth, Microsoft Live Labs, 2006

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