New Mobile Phone Tactile Development Platform From Immersion

Motiv is a new development platform from Immersion. This should make creating more engaging UI and games on Android mobile devices easier and faster.

I am particularly interested in the ability to create different frequencies of vibration easily. I have worked with other Immersion software in the past including rumble and touch sense.

One of the things that make their development platforms so attractive are the easy dashboards that allow developers to select a set of elements, like keyboards or vibrations.

Spatial Integration of UI

There have been many implementations of gestural interactions with computers and data.

Oblong has g-speak

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

Microsoft Surface

Indeed, the hippest phone around, the iPhone is exciting mostly (and arguably) because it provides the ability to interact with information more realistically and naturally.

What we are missing is the ability of the information to then respond back realistically. Haptic feedback is the missing piece.

There are some attempts that are promising. we have had video game controllers that move and shake when you fire your gun or crash your car. This was taken to the next level at this year’s CES by D-Box. Their new Motion Control Chairs work with games, and Blue-Ray discs to provide an immersive experience.

There are game vests that use compressed air to make you feel the experience and 3D glasses to see the information more realistically.

We’ve tried holograms, but even the big splash on CNN was not real.

We need to bring all these aspects together so we can start having the experiences of the HoloDeck from Star Trek. I want to completely escape reality. Make my Second Life like my first life. Meat space is overrated, don’t you think?

Blackberry Storm is Here!

waiting in line

I am headed to the Verizon store right now to get my hands on the Storm.

Five reasons this device could really be an iPhone killer:

  1. It has a better camera –
    The iPhone 3G comes to the table with a puny 2 megapixel camera and, at the moment, doesn’t offer video capture. The BlackBerry Storm, however, features a 3.2 megapixel camera with video capabilities, variable zoom, auto focus and a flash that has the ability to provide continuous lighting while recording video. For many smartphone buyers, a decent camera is becoming a more important component. And the BlackBerry Storm does it right. In the day and age of content sharing, the Storm makes it easy to snap and upload high-quality photos while also sharing video — a win-win.
  2. It has better ‘push’ email for corporate email accounts -While the iPhone is capable of making e-mail look and work pretty much exactly as it does on a home computer and supports e-mail from Yahoo, Gmail and AOL, along with most IMAP and POP mail systems, it’s BlackBerry that takes the biggest piece of the e-mail pie.The Storm continues BlackBerry’s 10-year legacy of mobile e-mail, working with BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise. It also ties in e-mail access for consumers with most popular personal e-mail services. While the iPhone does now integrate with Microsoft Exchange, it doesn’t have the proven track record of corporate e-mail greatness that BlackBerry brings to the table.
  3. You can edit documents, spreadsheets, etc -The BlackBerry Storm comes preloaded with the DataViz Documents to Go suite for editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from the handset. For mobile workers, this capability has become a must. The iPhone, however, offers document viewing, but not editing for Microsoft Office applications, though there are downloads available that will enable editing.Still, having that capability out of the box puts the BlackBerry Storm one more notch above the Apple iPhone 3G.
  4. The Storm’s touch screen is “clickable’ -Maybe a minor feature, but the BlackBerry Storm’s “clickable” touch screen could be a deal breaker when considering what smartphone to buy. Sounds a bit petty, but you know you want to check it out — it’s the world’s first. I am truly excited about this considering the haptic research I have been involved in relates directly to this technology.The clickable display responds like a physical keyboard and supports single-touch, multitouch and gestures. The BlackBerry Storm’s clickable touch screen depresses slightly when the screen is pressed, allowing users to feel the motion, and is released with a click, similar to that of a physical keyboard or mouse button. The clickable screen gives users confirmation that they have made a selection. Certainly, someone at Apple central will devise an application that makes the screen clickable, but having the first device with that feature will make it a draw.
  5. Blackberry will launch its own app store -Last month, RIM unveiled plans to launch its own application store, similar to the AppStore for the iPhone and the Android market for the Google Android-based T-Mobile G1.BlackBerry’s Application Store Front will enable users to find and download applications to their smartphones. It’s set to launch in March 2009. The storefront will let developers set their own prices for applications, similar to Apple’s AppStore, and developers will retain 80 percent of the revenue their applications bring in. BlackBerry users will be able to buy directions directly from their smartphones and pay for them through eBay-owned online payment service PayPal. Apple’s AppStore caught flack for offering dozens of applications deemed as useless and unproductive. While there’s no proof yet that BlackBerry’s application store won’t fall into the same hole, BlackBerry has said it plans to allow companies with BlackBerry Enterprise Server or BlackBerry Professional Software have control over which applications users can download and use.

For those who just want to know the final details, there is a great specification sheet


* 360º
* Photos
* Videos

* BlackBerry 101
* Specifications
* Where to Buy

Features Available

BlackBerry Storm

* Wireless email
* Organizer
* Browser
* Phone
* Camera (3.2 MP)
* Video Recording
* BlackBerry® Maps
* Media Player
* Built-in GPS
* Corporate data access

Size and Weight

* 4.43″/112.5mm (Length)
* 2.45″/62.2mm (Width)
* 0.55″/13.95mm (Depth)
* 5.5 oz/155g (Weight)

Data Input/Navigation

* SurePress™ touch screen
* On screen keyboard: portrait SureType® and Multi-tap, QWERTY landscape

Voice Input/Output

* 3.5mm stereo headset capable
* Integrated earpiece/ microphone
* Built-in speakerphone
* Bluetooth® v2.0; mono/stereo headset, handsfree, phone book access profile, and serial port profile supported
* M3 (Rating for hearing aids (PDF))

Media Player

* Video format support: MPEG4 H.263, MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.264, WMV
* Audio format support: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, WMA ProPlus


* High resolution 480 x 360 pixel color display
* Transmissive TFT LCD
* Font size (user selectable)
* Light sensing screen


* Polyphonic/MIDI ringtones
* MP3 ringtones
* Vibrate mode
* LED indicator

Approximate Battery Life

* Up to 15 days (Standby time)
* Up to 5.5 hours (Talk time)


* Expandable memory – support for microSD™ card
* 1GB onboard memory
* 128 MB Flash (flash memory)


* RIM® wireless modem
* Tethered modem capability

Email Integrations

* Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Microsoft® Exchange
* Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for IBM® Lotus® Domino®
* Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Novell® GroupWise®
* Integrates with an existing enterprise email account
* Integrates with existing personal email account
* Integrates with optional new device account

Device Security

* Password protection and screen lock
* Sleep mode
* Support for AES or Triple DES encryption when integrated with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
* FIPS 140-2 Compliant (FIPS Validation in Progress)
* Optional support for S/MIME

Wireless Network

* UMTS/HSPA: 2100 MHz
* North America: 850 MHz GSM®/GPRS networks
* North America: 1900MHz GSM/GPRS networks
* Europe/Asia Pacific: 1800MHz GSM/GPRS networks
* Europe/Asia Pacific: 900MHz GSM/GPRS networks
* Dual-Band: 800/1900 MHz CDMA/Ev-DO networks

Additional articles and videos are available here:
Blackberry Storm Articles

Handset Innovation Review 2008

telecom imageiPhones have started a revolution.

As of yesterday, we have the feisty upstart, the G1

For those who are interested in what mobile computing will look like in the future, or to help create it yourself;

The Telecom Council of Silicon Valley presents the Handset Innovation
Review, sponsored by Kotra.

Thu, Oct 9, 8:30am-5:00pm, Santa Clara

As the delivery vehicle, handsets a critical part of EVERY industry
stakeholders value chain. Handsets are such a rich topic; we could
talk about them all day and still have covered nothing but Nokia! In
this meeting on handsets we’ll try to bite off a more manageable
piece of the handset space, and one that is very important today: The
Handset development lifecycle and how to insert innovation into

The iPhone set off a flurry of handset innovation: from UI to touch
screens, faster processors, Wifi, sleek designs, and an end-to-end
ecosystem. Now, the data is unmistakable, and every vendor wants to
mimic the look and feel of the iPhone, while every carrier wants to
see the spike in service use that the iPhone UI stimulates.

* So what are the elements that make phones successful?
* Is beauty only skin deep? Or changes start down in the silicon?
* How can entrepreneurs influence future handsets?
* Who controls and owns the UI?
* Touch, Haptics, icons, screen size, buttons, keyboards. What are
the physical elements of success?
* What are handset CVC and R&D groups looking for from Silicon Valley?

Join us as the Telecom Council, our Mobile Forum, and a roster of
speakers and experts discuss the topics above, and as the delegates
in the room decide how the UI of tomorrow will look and feel.

If you are interested, you can see more information here:

5 Days Until Android Premiere

android image
The much-hyped (ripe for disappointment) Android operating system from Google is set to release on a new T-Mobile phone developed by HTC on September 23rd. The overwhelming popularity of the iPhone and the 3rd party applications from their iTunes App Store has led Google to follow a similar path in allowing developers to create mobile applications that they will offer through a similar Android Market.
Google specifically decided to call it a ‘Market’ as opposed to a store, since they will not be restricting developers in their content, nor will they take the 30% cut that Apple takes for all the applications offered on their App Store site.
Announcement on Information Week