Archive | March 2009

Transmit files through voice calls (Data Over Voice – DoV)

In some (less developed) countries the majority of mobile phone users do not yet have access to GPRS. For instance India and Africa.

However, it occurred to me it will be possible to write an application on Series 60 to transmit files using audio FSK through the normal voice channel of the phone. This may be a very interesting technology option for certain type of use cases. This would remove the requirement for the user to have a GPRS subscription. Only requirement for the user would be to have a voice subscription and software installed for decoding and encoding the audio FSK stream.

File exchange would be possible between mobile phones (P2P) or between a desktop computer/webserver with modem and a mobile phone. Optionally this data stream can be encrypted for security.

On CeBIT 2009 there were a lot of suppliers for Crypto GSM solutions. However, I did not see any supplier for a solution which only uses the voice channel. All suppliers also focused on voice encryption. No suppliers had any focus on file sharing which could be equally important, I guess.

Mobile TV

Slowly handsets which support mobile TV services are appearing in the market. Nowadays, however, there are a lot of competing technologies. We have broadcast TV for mobile: DVB-H in Europe. This allows only for watching live TV programs. On demand TV is not possible. Also many handsets nowadays have WiFi access. This allows for watching both live TV programs as well as on demand TV by streaming (YouTube and many other video sharing communities are prime examples of on demand TV). A major disadvantage for streaming is the hosting and storage requirements. They are much higher for streaming TV as for broadcast TV.

DVB-H has a feedback channel which allows for interactivity between the TV watcher and the TV program. Electronic Programme Guides (EPG) are delivered through this feedback channel.

The new ways of delivery of TV into the home is often referred to as IPTV or Internet TV. Where Internet TV would be the correct terminology for TV delivered through the public internet (like YouTube) IPTV uses a closed network infrastructure, i.e. a cable company has its own cable network and can use IPTV to deliver both live TV and on demand TV into the home.

IPTV and Internet TV uses protocols like RTP/RTCP. The signalling for pause, slow motion, wind/rewind is assured by RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol).

Interactive videos

I have visited CeBIT 2009 in Hannover this week. Although the number of visitors was not as high as in previous years the exhibition floors were reasonably crowded. The most interesting themes I found were webciety, open source, eHealth and home automation solutions.

In the webciety hall state of the art web solutions could be found. An very interesting idea is to have interactivity within videos. Using JetStream Video (HD) you can modify a video mid-stream.

Imagine you can show off a kitchen, furniture, interior designs using video and have the customer select colors while interacting on the internet. Or you can display additional information about products within a video. If a consumer like that jeans he or she can click and the website shows where to buy such a jeans. Possibilities are endless. In sports games you could click a player and display statistics and background information about a player.

There are multiple products in the market which make mid-stream video modification possible. Interestingly many of the companies (Impossible Software, TVNEXT) come from Germany and are situated in or near to Berlin. Some of the companies are member of the German IPTV association: Deutcher IPTV Verband.