Last night was the April SV Mobile Monday over at Berkeley. Tony ended up not being able to make it, but that’s what happens when you schedule rockstars, sometimes they get pulled away by forces beyond your control. It ended up working out alright however, cause even with just Ajit and Russ presenting and a start time of 6pm, I had to shoo people out of the room at 9:30 so that Berkeley could close up. Fantastic!
Ajit (blog) spoke about using GPS for user generated content. Not location for user generated content, but GPS either as an external add-on for a handset or hopefully directly built into more and more of them (N95 for instance). Location as a network service is starting to get deployed on more and more carriers, so it’s technically possible to deploy a location enabled application. However the cost structure for the location delivery and sometimes access to the mechanism used to retrieve samples is geared for a completely different style of app than most of us are looking for. Using GPS instead of network provided location information puts control of the application infrastructure back in the hands of the developer and user and allows more room for interesting usages.
Good point. However, using an external bluetooth GPS is a pain in the ass. Believe me, I do my best to play until I can figure out a way for the stuff I like to work, but I just can’t get using an external GPS receiver with a handset to be practical. So of course, I need to try an N95. You hear that Nokia folks? Sure would be nice if an N95 just fell out of the sky and into my hands. Wink wink.
And Russ came out to launch Mowser, a new mobile enabler site he’s been working on. The blog post he put up today has a bunch of info, including a link to the presentation he gave last night. His overall goal is adding some transparency to the transcoding process that’s commonly used to mobile enable traditional web content as well as putting control back in the hands of the content owners where possible. That covers stuff from leaving markers in the HTML generated as output and intelligently handling handheld stylesheets to try to respect the authors original intent all the way up through some custom hinting that a content publisher can embed specifically for the transcoder to pick up and use in generating the mobile version.
Mowser has a bunch of content links, and a search box on the front page, but the guts of the system are really the content adaptation. Russ is aiming to come up with something that’s less effort than making a mobile specific version, but also provides more control and is more pleasant to use than a lot of the other transcoders out there. I completely agree with the effort, I was working on the same kind of problems before I joined up with AdMob for a lot of the same motivations. There really hadn’t been too much advance on that front for the last year, very nice to see the stuff he’s put together getting picked up and propagated. Go Russ!!