iPod Touch as a gateway device

I have had my iPod Touch since, what, October or so? Since then I have used as it came out of the box, paid to have the 1.3 w/software firmware update and I already plan to give Apple the cash the day that I can get the 2.0 firmware so that I can install all of the awesome twitter clients and location apps that will be rolling out in June. What have I learned from all of this? Every PDA I have ever used is just not worth the time of day at this point. What else? I must have an iPhone! I use the wifi functionality on the Touch for email and browsing anytime I am not at a computer. But open wifi is not ubiquitous, especially in a town like Morgantown. On campus I am golden as long as I am in a building, head out to take advantage of a nice day and you aren’t getting any work done (not a terrible lose mind you). Even if I did have a WAN card it would mean I would have to lug my computer around. No, the writing is on the wall, with the plethora of mapping and writing apps that are bound to come out and the inevitable 3G capability (not in Morgantown, but still) I will, when my current phone contract is up and I have the cash, be making the transition. Until then the Touch will continue to titillate me with its ‘almost there’ functionality.

Sensisphere – curved touch surface

Two University of Augsberg students, Benjamin Mayer and Martin Spengler, have developed a hemispherical touch display surface they call Sensisphere. Think Microsoft Surface, TouchTable, and other gesture-based displays, only curved. As the guys from Gizmodo point out, it really looks great when used for digital globe applications like Google Earth. Check out the video below:

Via Gizmodo

We Got Too Much Stuff!

The IDC has just released a report (PDF) that says the amount of digital data we’ve collected exceeds the amount of space we have to hold it all. Right now, we collect nearly 45GB per person. That’s an amazing amount of data. The expectation is that by 2011, we’ll only be able to store half of what we produce! Video and imagery accounts for the lion’s share of this growth.

Sitting over here this afternoon attempting to backup nearly a terrabyte of aerial photography, I can’t help but notice this problem might be something we in the geospatial community might what to keep in the back of our heads.

Via ars technica

Time again for CeBIT

Ah, to not be in Germany and be a tech starved grad student. CeBIT generally has way cooler stuff than CES, but unless something really catches my eye, I will probably hold off and do a CeBIT round up this weekend as opposed to the daily lists I did for CES back January. Either way you should definitely keep an eye out for the great new tech that will be announced this week (including the already confirmed Asus EEE PC 900)

CeBIT – About CeBIT

Wednesday CES Round-up

The toys that are rolling out are diminishing in number, but there is still one more day to go. Here are the bits that were covered today.


  • Delphi’s dual-view GPS – Driver sees GPS passenger sees…something else
  • Avis is upgrading their navigation systems
  • iRiver’s M20 GPS/PMP – iRiver’s last foray into LBS was their w10 which used Loki for location, the M20 will sport GPS
  • Visualization

  • NEC announces another giant monitor that is basically the same as Alienware’s
  • Solar Headaches to Come

    National Geographic is reporting that we can expect a season of intense solar flares for the next few weeks and months. This is all part of a normal 11 year cycle in solar flare activity, but it can lead to some distinct headaches in our tech heavy world. As the article notes, this is the first cycle where GPS is widespread – and GPS is one of the systems most easily affected by solar flares. It will be interesting to see how much impact these flares have on our day to day lives, particularly in the geospatial community. So, for the next few weeks/months, if you’re doing GPS field work, you might want to bring a book!

    Monday CES Round-up

    A few more goodies were highlighted today.


  • Mio to be folded into Navman branding
  • Mio has a “dual-front” GPS phone prototype
  • Magellan shows off eight new devices
  • More info on Garmin’s new toys
  • Asus 3D GPS and PMP
  • Monitors

  • Alienware shows off curved monitor – we have talked a bit about our experiences with triple monitors for GIS and visualization work (love it) but the monitor bezels are always in the way…hopefully alienware can keep this beauty under $1000 to make it a viable option for more than a gaming rig.
  • Sunday CES round-up

    So I have been following the bits and pieces on Engadget, Gizmodo and CrunchGear and have cobbled together my highlights from today.

    GPS: – toys toys everywhere

  • Delorme released a new EarthMate
  • Engadget looked at Garmin’s new line-up
  • Pioneer’s new voice controlled GPS with iPod and bluetooth support
  • MSI’s new line (I assume it is the motherboard manufacturer
  • Sony’s updated line
  • Hands-on with Nuvi 880
  • 3D Monitors – Active stereo is expensive and kind of a pain sometimes, so I hope that some the passive 3D technologies announced over the last few years will eventually make a mark in the market.

  • MiraCube is a new passive 3D monitor model out of Korea
  • Samsung Series 4 and 5 Plasmas to do 3D
  • Microsoft Keynote – two of Bill’s big things (out of 3) are location and touch…now if I could just find the quote to prove it

  • Surface still looks cool at least
  • TellMe, a Microsoft Subsidiary, uses GPS and voice recognition for daily activities (find and purchase movie tickets was the example
  • Bill G wrapped up the keynote with a visual recognition demo that ties into MS Virtual Earth and location based on visual queues which I would guess uses Photosynth technology in the backend