Archive for cellular phones

I've seen the future and it's in Seoul!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 9, 2010 by yujinishuge

SK!

Today I visited the T.um.

The what?

T is a marketing icon for SK Telecom.  They have several shops called T-world, you can get T internet and TV in your house, and cell phones from SKT all have T labels on them.  It’s basically SK’s brand for telecommunications products.

The .um part stands for “ubiquitous museum”.  So I went to the SK Telecom Ubiquitous Museum.  There SK has set up a showcase of possible future uses of its products.  It was really impressive.

I’m really not jerking your chain here.  It really did kind of blow my mind away with how awesome some of the stuff in there was!

Now, you can’t just show up and visit, you have to go to the website and make a reservation.  They only seem to have weekdays at 11:00 available, but if you can make it there, it’s well worth the trip.

So let me tell you about what I saw in there!

Continue reading

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Apple I-Phone 4 vs. Samsung Galaxy S

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 30, 2010 by yujinishuge

The Galaxy-S is poised to sell well as an alternative to the i-Phone 4.

Okay, this isn’t exactly my opinion, but it’s my opinion of a translation of someone else’s opinion.

Another anonymous blogger that I follow, “The Korean” from the blog “Ask A Korean“, actually translated the original text from a Korean language tech blog called Alternative Hypothesis, run by Kim Sang Hoon, who works at the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper.  Trying to read it myself would have taken me probably all day, so thanks to “The Korean” for translating.

After reading the translation I can see exactly how Samsung’s marketing strategy is kind of genius.  Everyone knows that people want the i-Phone, and the Galaxy-S is… well pretty much the phone that people bought who for some reason or another couldn’t get their hands on an i-Phone.  That said, Samsung seems poised to clean up with it.

I’m not going to post the whole article, but the most interesting part of it follows: Continue reading

Korean DMB 2.0 service has begun!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 26, 2010 by yujinishuge

Man, I love me some advanced cellular phone technology, and Korea is leading the world with this stuff! I explained before what you could do with DMB 2.0, and the service has now started! LG has released the world’s first DMB 2.0 enabled phone!

LG electronics has released the first DMB 2.0 enabled phone, the LG-SU420 nicknamed the cafe phone. Here’s a demonstration video showcasing all the features! It has a 3.2 inch touchscreen and 3.0 megapixel camera as well. This phone looks really cool!

http://play.tagstory.com/player/TS00@V000421344

DMB 2.0 Improves Upon the Original!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 13, 2010 by yujinishuge

Just as I finished writing my entry on DMB, a friend of mine informed me that an improvement on DMB is in the works! It’s called DMB 2.0 and rather than bringing radio and TV broadcasts, it’s so much more!
The current DMB service allows one way communication, with a sender (the TV and Radio Stations) and the receiver (my dinosaur phone). But with DMB 2.0, two way communication is possible, and that doesn’t mean just text messaging. DMB 2.0 is truly a more advanced technology.

Find the latest weather or news while watching a drama (left). Answer a survey about which team you think will win the game (right)

After reading more (in Korean) about the differences between DMB 1 and 2, I’ve learned that while watching a program, it will be possible to get information about the program you’re watching. So for example, if you are watching the news, and you want more detailed information about whatever story they are broadcasting, you can click something and read more in depth.In addition, it appears you can connect to wireless internet at the same time as watching the content. So if you want to do some internet banking while watching your favorite drama, or an important sports program, it’s not necessary to interrupt the broadcast to run your errands. I guess this is especially important if you are the busy type that can’t wait to do your menial internet errands once you get home or to wherever you are going.
Finally, and most interestingly, DMB 2.0 can allow users to participate in live programs. For example, if there is a game show you are watching, and the show calls for audience voting, or audience advice, you can cast your vote or give your advice. Also there may be live chat rooms associated with the TV program which you can utilize to enhance your experience, and possibly make friends!

I think these handheld devices are getting more and more advanced and I think it’s quite amazing. What could possibly be the next step? I’d like to one day see a hologram phone which projects a 3D image of the person you are talking to, or a POV handheld TV that lets you change the angle of sight by turning the TV in your hand.

Jeez Louise Doc!

Jeez Louise Doc!

If you remember the movie “Back to the Future II,” some of these devices we are using now would not have been out of place in that film’s future scenes. While I don’t expect that by 2015 we will have flying cars and hoverboards like what appeared in that film, I think that as far as handheld media goes, we can easily be on par with Hill Valley in 2015, or in some cases, even better. It’s actually quite funny to think about past representations of the future, only to see that those visions of the future are actually horribly outdated. Another good example would probably be Disneyland’s Tomorrowland, which has a distinctly 1970’s feel to it.

So there you have it. DMB 2.0 will change the way we view handheld media.

Cell phone TV… FOR FREEEEEE?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 12, 2010 by yujinishuge

My poor old cell phone!

This is my cell phone. It’s more than two years old. In fact it’s falling apart. There are scratches in it, there’s dirt caked up in the battery port. I want to get a new one soon. I’ve asked my company to get me one of those new innovative cell phones like LG’s MAXX or Samsung’s OZ Omnia. I don’t know if the company will be receptive and fork over the dough for frivolous gadgets, when all a cell phone really needs is calling and text messaging, but hey, it’s better than me paying for it myself, right?

Anyway, my phone is obsolete garbage. However, if I were to take this exact same cell phone in its present condition to the US, I’d have one of the best non-smart phones in the country. Of course the I-phone or the blackberry is better than my two year old cell phone, but my cell phone is better than even those in one way. I can watch live TV on my cell phone… for free… and it’s not in any way illegal, nor does it require that I hack into its OS or buy a slingbox. How is that possible you ask? My cell phone has this tiny side button labeled DMB. One touch and my phone turns into a tiny TV.

So what is DMB then? DMB stands for Digital Multimedia Broadcasting. It is a an advanced broadcasting technology developed by Korea for the purpose of sending TV, radio, or other data to handheld or otherwise portable devices (including cellular phones). It was developed during a national IT project sponsored by the Korean government. Mobile TV service began in Korea in 2005. DMB is now a standard feature on many Korean cellular phones, including ones you can get for free.

There are two types of DMB; one is S-DMB, in which the device uses satellite signals, the other is T-DMB which uses radio signals. Obviously the S-DMB devices are more expensive and work in a much larger range. My phone’s DMB feature has problems working outside of urban areas, or inside of buildings when I am far away from the window.

When do I use my phone’s DMB feature? Well, don’t tell my company, but I used it during work to watch some of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, the 2009 World Series, and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. DMB is great, but I also have VOD TV service from my internet provider, so if there’s something I can wait to watch later, (such as an episode of a weekly TV show), then I just wait until I go home and watch it there. Watching sporting events that aren’t live just isn’t as fun, so that’s what I have been using DMB for mostly.

Even my archaic dinosaur of a phone gets live TV signals for free!

DMB technology can also be used by another device which has become popular in Korea, the car navigation system. When users aren’t using the navigation features, they can use the screen as a TV. This is great for parents who have to go on a long drive with noisy children, although personally, I’d be afraid that I’d watch TV while driving, which would be dangerous.

DMB on my phone is extremely clear, and there is only a short signal delay. When I compared it with the live TV I get in my apartment, my cellular phone was only a few seconds behind. I’d accept anything even 30 minutes behind, unless of course there was an imminent nuclear attack.

Anyway I am sure the cable or broadband TV lobbyists are trying their best to keep cable channels from being broadcast on DMB, but I think it would be a better medium to use even in our homes. We could do away with all the wires and cables necessary to bring cable signals to our TVs (At the moment, in my home, there is the cable modem, the router, and the TV setup box and all their associated cables and power cords, creating a huge ugly tangled mess, and wasting electricity even when they aren’t in use.) I imagine that once cable channels start to be broadcast on DMB, a DMB signal box that sends the DMB signal to your TV will become popular, if the streaming resolution can be improved upon to accommodate larger screen sizes. Then we will see TVs that already come with DMB capability. Thus DMB will not only be the standard for only portable devices but also stationary ones. But that’s only my prediction. Some people say that flow TV itself is a dying medium and the future is in TV on demand. But we’ll always need flow TV for sports and news.

In the USA, live TV seems to be a premium service that people have to pay for. I don’t really see the logic in that, other than that cell phone companies want to wring money from their customers as much as possible, keeping them in the dark, about the free features that people more advanced (in terms of cellular phone technology, that is) countries receive for free.

Other countries that use DMB in either a trial basis or as a standard service include Norway, Germany, France, China, Mexico, Ghana, The Netherlands, Indonesia, Italy, The Vatican, Canada, and Malaysia. As DMB’s popularity increases, it is very possible that it may one day become a regional or even global standard for mobile TV. Until then, I’ll be using it to watch sports when my boss isn’t looking.