Using Panoman to get panoramic pictures wherever you are.

If you’re looking for a software that makes creating panoramic shots easy with a phone such as the N95 then Panoman is an interesting option. It’s a software that you install on the phone and helps you take a series of pictures before stitching them together.

It does this by showing you a band with up to twelve possible images. As you take the first image keep the camera steady and pan to the right until the red border is filled with the next image. It automaticaly takes the picture. Repeat those steps and then press stop. Once that’s done the software stitches the images together.

View from Cuvaloup de Crans

Here is one example of what you can get with nothing more than the phone.

Why having a web server on the n95 is a lot of fun

Yestereday night when I should have been sleeping I downloaded a web server for the Nokia N95 8GB and so far it’s been a lot of fun (albeit a little slow). It has blogging, messaging, photo galleries and more and here’s a little run down of what the interesting features are.

if you’re logged in then you see a number of features:

Blogging:
This feature allows you to write blog posts and post them. Commenting is possible.

Camera:
There are two options, the first one allows you to take pictures remotely. I can take pictures from my laptop when I want to.

The second is photo requesting. this feature allows for those visiting your website to ask for a picture of something, for example “I want a picture of the restaurant”. Take the phone, take a picture of the restaurant and send it to the person that may be coming soon.

The Gallery:
The gallery has three options. The first of these options is that you select which pictures you want to share. The second option is to share all phone memory pictures whilst the third is to share all memory card pictures.

Guestbook
I haven’t played with this feature yet but it’s pretty self explanatory.

Contact me.
There are two ways by which for someone to contact you from the mobile site. the first is by short IM and the second is by SMS. Both of these work quite well even with slow connection speeds.

Presence
The presence Availability information consists of “Active profile – Silent”, in other words that the phone is silent. That would mean there’s little chance I’ll hear the phone if you call. “Calendar availability – Available lets you know that I’m available. “Call state – Call inactive” means that you can call me since I am not currently using the phone.

Webchat
allows those on the site to chat with the web server user.

Calendar
The calendar is a quick way to see what events are planned and for when

Messaging:
It’s a nice way of seeing the messages people have sent you and when, in other words you can see all the sms you’ve received on your phone remotely. It’s not something you’d share with the world. Unread messages appear in bold.

Phone Log.
Allows you to see all phone traffic on your phone with the usual three distinctions

Contacts, allows you to see all your contacts.

Conclusion

With more ubiquitous wifi and more forgiving data plans we can expect more and more people to carry the webserver with them. If I take pictures of an event you can connect to my phone and look at the pictures I’ve taken. It’s also an easy way of sharing those embarrasing photos with friends. There’s no video support yet but that’s sure to come and there are other options ready already.

Editing from the phone is fast so blogging from the phone makes more sense than via a laptop, in relation that part of your site. There is also an RSS feed which means that those following you can automatically download any content you generate for viewing when your phone is out of range of free wifi or you select not to use the data plan.

The downside is that it uses battery and the connection drops fairly frequently. Data plans that are only a few megabytes large would soon end up costing you more than it’s worth. The connection speeds are slow so doing anything is laborious.

For more information

Finally re-united with my Macbook pro

After over a month without the macbook pro it finally appears to be working again. Both the motherboard and the superdrive have been replaced. i’ve upgraded to the procare package and I’ve decided to have a secondary machine running linux as a backup. 

It’s a shame that apple authorised resellers would take over a month to put my machine right bt now it’s done and I’m not going to think about upgrading mac machines for the next two years… unless I come to a large amount of cash in which case I’d rethink that. 

What I am more interested in now though is what can be done with mobile phones and mobile devices. In particular I was really happy to have the N95 8gig because it allowed me to cut out the laptop all together. 

The point is that now all devices should be self contained, able to do everything without the need for a laptop. For weeks I couldn’t get the latest podcasts or keep up with feedreading. Even checking e-mail was less practical. Now is the time to see how far we can go in doing everything from a portable device. 

Nokia and the Sportstracker

A few weeks ago I was in Paris and when someone pulled out the iphone I commented that it’s a bureaucratic tool but wasn’t sure why. The n95 is a flexible fun phone to play with especially when looking at Sportstracker. It’s an application I use every time I walk around. I’m not alone. Over a million people downloaded the application.

Eventually more than 1 million people downloaded the program and used it for sports the developers never dreamed of, such as paragliding, hot-air ballooning, and motorcycle riding.

As a result, Nokia developers are realizing that aiming the application at amateur athletes was too narrow. They are thinking of rebranding the application as a kind of life-tracker. Based on the response to the software on Beta Labs, that may well help drive users to Nokia’s Ovi Web portal [also in beta testing], which is the basis of Nokia’s attempt to carve out a big piece of the evolving, mobile Internet. “It shows people they can do much more [with their handsets] than just make phone calls,” says researcher Kaasinen.

source

If i start a trip from work or home there’s a good chance I won’t let sportstracker report where I am live because I don’t want people to know certain details of my life. When I’m on holiday however this is a different matter. If I’m walking in St Moritz and I want my twitter or social media friends to see where I am then the sports tracker tells them where I am. With Flixwagon, Qik or Bambuser they can watch video of what I’m seeing as I’m seeing it.

That’s because you bring your friends with you with these new technologies. The digital lifestyle is more inmportant in how we relate to people and whilst in a place like Switzerland it may help to isolate people in high adoption areas of such technologies it has the reverse effect. Look at the Social media scene in London as just one example. It’s just a matter of time before other manufacturers catch up and these toys become mainstream.

Sports tracker and Google Earth

Six thousand steps later and I’ve created yet another track via the Sports tracker application for the N95. What’s fun is that within a few seconds of arriving home I can bluetooth the KML file to my laptop, open it in google earth and I’ve got an arerial view of the wintery walk I took

The walk I did earlier

If I could get a wintery map then it’d be perfect as the ground is covered in snow.

Update: I tested the “upload to service” and that’s interesting too. All the tracks are stored there and you can upload images and more. If you know a few people using the service you can compare your tracks with them. Failing that you can share with the world and see what they’ve added.

The youtube application on the N95

For those of you with good data packages an application that could be a lot of fun is youtube on the n95. I was out and about and decided to check the youtube site and I was given the option to download their beta. I managed to play vides but I had no sound.

What they offer are:

– upload your videos from the phone

– watch your friends’ videos

– view relatd videos

– view received videos

– search for content.

In other words you can do everything you’d want to from the n95 that you’d do from a computer. It does look like an interesting application although unless you’ve got wifi this is a very expensive gimmick. It’s nice to try nonetheless. Let me know if you try it and tell me what you think of it.

Sports tracker on the N95

It’s fun to walk fast and far, especially in the countryside where there are fewer people to avoid. I often walk for fourty minutes to an hour at the end of the day to think about the day and process all that’s happened. Recently though I realised one of the shorter walks is almost 3000 steps thanks to the N95 pedometer.

That’s because with the N95 you have a built in GPS and the ability to download applications. One of these is the sports tracker that allows you to track a number of variables across four to six screens. There’s the map view, map view with relevant details, co-ordinate view, speed view, pedometer and then three or four graphs, some for time in relation to speed, distance over time and height in relation to speed.

You can zoom in and out of the graphs as you’re walking. If you do this more than once it creates a series of tracks that you can easily translate to KML and importe to Google Earth so the world can see your walks. Of course keeping your privacy from some people may be desirable.

It’s a fun little addition to the n95 although the biggest drawback is you need to have it out in front of you to keep track of the satellites.

The Nokia N95 and some fun to be had.

Seesmic’ favourite phone at the moment appears to be the Nokia N95 and after months of thinking about whether to get the Iphone or the Nokia I turned to the Nokia because of everything it allows you to do. It’s a GPS, web streaming camera, time lapse camera, e-mail and web browser among other things. It’s also easy to use with services like Jaiku.

Streaming

Video stremaing from computers is becoming commonplace and as a result we’re growing tired of that piece to camera straight from people’s desk. That’s where Bambuser, Qik and seesmic come into play.

Bambuser is still in alpha and has an intuitive easy to use streaming interface giving you an easy selection between the main camera and the front camera. It’s very simple to use and I’ve played quite a bit with it but there are lag issues where the stream doesn’t keep up.

The settings can be adjusted quite specifically by the user allowing for quite a bit of experimentation.

A second service is Qik. This one has a nice user interface and has in built buffering. This means that as you stream the application buffers and indicates the delay between what you are seeing on the phone and what is being seen.

This service has too main options. Optimised for quality or optimised for creating a reliable stream.

Seesmic has already been discussed but it’s a good video sharing website. It allows for conversations to take via video similarly to instant messaging. The Seesmic application still needs some work but if you’re using shozu you can record your seesmic posts and FTP the files to the site for others to enjoy. I’ve done a few posts from the car once I’ve arrived at work and the results are good, except for a loss of synchronisation… but that’s in camera rather than seesmic.

 Jaiku

Jaiku was developed by people who worked for Nokia and it’s similar to twitter but with a better front end mobile wise. The application automatically displays where you are, whether you’re free or busy to answer calls and you can follow conversations.

Photo Camera 

One interestig feature of the camera that I haven’t used is the ability to take a picture every ten seconds. In other words to create time lapses that last as long as you would like. I haven’t tried the option but the idea is interesting.

GPS 

I haven’t played with the GPS so far but so far it looks nice enough, I’ll write more once I know more.

So far I’m happy with the N95 because of all it can do and I’m looking forward to using it extensively in the near future. As I learn more about the phone and what it can do I’ll write most posts.