Mobile Media Update

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Working Athens SMS!

Well it looks like everything with Athens SMS is working. Try it out! Some of the videos are streaming, but most of them are not. I have found that the streaming videos are just not reliable enough. The proposal is just about completed as well.

Check out Proposal Here

Final videos will be shot and uploaded JUST before December 10th to ensure the most up to date content. Sweet!

More to come...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Good Afternoon NMI

I am covering several different topics in today's post. It must mean that I have been working hard.

1. Tech News
Well it looks like AOL has entered into the world of television as it is going to offer thousands of hours of television programming FREE over the internet. This is going to give Apple some nice competition for its $1.99 per episode television from its iTunes store.
Read the full article here.

The Dutch want to use SMS messaging to alert its residents in the event of a disaster. That seems pretty cool. I wouldnt want to look forward to getting a text message telling me that my entire block is going to blow up, BUT, it could save some lives. Looks like text messaging can be used for lots of different things.
Check it out the full article.

2. Athens SMS Progress

Well the system is 100% functional. Send a text message to the shortcode 284367 with a message containing info, shop, music, or food and you should be able to see everything. BUT! I am still in the process of recording and editing/uploading the videos. During the demonstration at the end of the semester I have also decided that I want to use the N90 phones to show this stuff off. The browser seems to display my HTML pages cleaner and easier.

3. Healthcare in Athens!

I have done a little research online about healthcare issues in Athens. Check out some of the stuff I have found.
[ Healthcare in Athens ]

Monday, November 07, 2005

Yep Yep Yep!

Lots of progress this week! Using the brand new Nokia N90, I began shooting videos of downtown Athens establishments. It seemed that I had to spend atleast 10 minutes at each place showing off the cool features of the camera. Everyone was impressed. I created the HTML pages for all the existing pages. I also have learned that many people are afraid to be on video themselves. This could be a potential roadblock for someone trying to update Athens SMS on a daily/weekly basis.

Some neat news out of the RFID front. According to an article on CNET (See Here), the National Health Service said it could "tag" patients with RFID chips to monitor their lifestyles away from the hospital. Sounded like a great idea!

Chris has recently gotten me hooked on Plazes (See Here). Essentially, it is a website that allows users to tag hot spots all over the world. Individual users can then sign on to a hot spot and see who all is within a certain radius of that spot. Addictive!

Looking forward to the NMI scholar video conference tomorrow afternoon.

Current Schedule:
Friday November 11 - All video recorded and uploaded!
Wednesday November 16 - Working prototype.
Wednesday November 23 (before thanksgiving break) - Proposal/documentation fine tuned

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

N90 & Progress

We got our first look at the beautiful Nokia N90 cell phone/camera/video camera/awesomenes!!! The phone takes amazing pictures and even records sweet video.

Not much progress this week that I can show on the computer but it looks like Athens SMS is well on its way. Video recording starts tomorrow and everything should be uploaded by Friday afternoon.

I tweaked QuickReach a bit, and it should be pretty easy to incorporate the newly shot videos seamlessly into the system.

I will give you an update when things become available.

Away I go!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Flock Market

Well another week has gone by and another cool browser has appeared to take on Inernet Explorer and even the Firefox croud. Check out Flock and see its newest features.

The Backstreet Boys have figured out a way to make some more money using text messaging. Using Text-2-Screen, a gigantic screen on their tour flashes notes phoned in by fans at $2.99 apiece! Thought this was a cool idea. I doubt people would pay that much to see their pics on Little Big Screen.

The iPod video has obviously caused a commotion in Hollywood. Offering music videos and even television shows to download. Wouldn't it be cool if we could get every TV show? Vodcasting is gonna be huge!

More importantly I have spent this week polishing up the "working" proposal for Athens SMS. Check out the entire proposal by clicking on the following link:

Video and content will be coming next!

Chris has been working away at getting streaming 3gp files to play on the NMI server and his personal server. It looks like we are going to be able to stream 3gp files from the NMI server! Using the 6620, a 3 minute .3gp file begins to play after just 8 seconds of loading. This should be perfect for videos of downtown. Here is a simple grid that shows what streaming I have gotten to work as of now.

Check out the Streaming Test Grid Here!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Project Proposal

Michael Lentz
Athens SMS


Athens, Georgia is not just a city. It is a destination. A culture in itself. The city is home to countless restaurants, a variety of shopping experiences, a burgeoning music scene, and a plethora bars. Not many cities are blessed with having such a diverse atmosphere right next to a world renowned university. Many people that visit the city of Athens unaware of what the city has to offer. Local businesses are always chomping at the bit for new customers. Restaurants advertise across various mediums encouraging patrons to try their latest lunch special. Music venues strive to promote local bands and build a local “scene.”

The cell phone has shifted from a luxury item to basically a necessity in this day and age. Because cell phone usage is so prevalent, couldn’t we harness the cellular technology to help spread the wealth of information about downtown Athens? Wouldn’t it be cool if you could get text messages containing info and video content about restaurants, the music scene, bars, and shopping in downtown Athens right on your cell phone?

How It Works

A Step by Step process

1. A “stranger” equipped with only his cell phone walks into downtown Athens.
2. Signs in and around Athens would advertise the Athens SMS shortcode (284367), and explain its process.
3. To find out about Athens in general, the stranger would send the message “info” to the number 284367.
4. QuickReach would analyze this request and would automatically send back a service message containing a link.
5. The link could be opened using the cell phone’s internet browser and would display info about downtown Athens.
6. Within each particular link to a restaurant, music venue, store, or bar would contain video content and daily specials etc.
7. All text messages would be sent to the shortcode 284367. To get other content just look at the list of possible message choices.

info - Straight to Athens SMS homepage [HTML w/pics & links]
food - Links to restaurants [Video with "My Top Restaurants"]
music - Links to Music Venus [Video with "This weeks music entertainment]
shop - Links to stores for shopping/perusing [Video with special shop of the week]


Athens SMS requires several key pieces of technology for it to function correctly.

Cellular Phone: The mobile communication device that we carry with us every day is crucial to this operation. A cell phone with text messaging capabilities and the ability to play 3gp movie files. (RealPlayer etc)

QuickReach: Cingular’s application that allows users to communicate with a system to send and receive SMS messages.

Video Camera – Any device that is capable of recording video

Streaming Server – Server that allows video to be streamed instantaneously to cell phones


- Using Cingular’s QuickReach console, Athens SMS is only limited to cellular costomers using Cingular’s service.

- There are hundreds of businesses in downtown Athens. It would be impossible in the allotted time frame to focus on them all. It would be a challenge to pick out which establishments would be seen in Athens SMS.


-Need somebody to help filming video content between Nov. 2 and Nov 16. Only one other person is needed
-Need someone to help set up Streaming server (not good with that stuff)
Video camera

Time Table

Nov. 2 – Have all locations determined.
Nov. 9 – HTML for all pages and portals written. Completed QuickReach set-up
Nov. 16 – Have recorded all video segments. Upload. Fine Tune
Nov. 23 – Kinks = None (Should be finished)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Operation Athens SMS

This past week I focosued a little bit less on the cool technologies that we have learned and a little bit more on the logistics and organizational hierarchy of the entire Athens SMS project. I went about finding info on a smooth running Athens SMS by conducting a "non scientific" study amongst my closest friends.

I wanted to figure out the simplest way of getting information from a given source. In quick summary this is what I have concluded about the Athens SMS project so far.

1. Users will ALWAYS send text messages to the shortcode 284367 (Athens)

2. Users must be a part of the Cingular wireless network

3. Unrecognized responses will always be sent to the Athens SMS "Homepage" that will include links for Food, Music, Shopping, Bars, etc

Here is a short list of items that "stranger's" can input in order to recieve info on athens.

info - Straight to Athens SMS homepage [HTML w/pics & links]
food - Links to restaurants [Video with "My Top Restaurants"]
music - Links to Music Venus [Video with "This weeks music entertainment]
shop - Links to stores suitable for shopping/perusing [Video with special shop of the week]

Individual shops, restaurants, and music venus will each have a personal page that can be accessesd by typing the following. (Usually will be just the name of the store, but some will be abbreviated for convenience or necessity.)

barberitos - Barberitos
jimmy - Jimmy John's
mia - Mia Madonna
italy - Littly Italy
40watt - 40 Watt Club
theater - Georgia Theater

On another note, I think it is a must that we focus some of our attention on creating a side project for vodcasting. Apple is expecting to release an iPod with video capabilites very very shortly! Lets get on this bandwagon!

I know I am slow at getting around to this one, but I finally created a blog where I could send pictures from my cell phone to blogger. Check out the many hot pictures at the follwing site.