Ever seen a QR-Code? Those odd-looking “square bar-codes” made up of a bunch of little squares? Did you know that many cell phones today can see one view one through their camera and then react accordingly? Reactions include displaying a message or even sending the user to a URL. If your phone doesn’t do this natively, there are programs that you can add. (On my Windows Mobile phone I’ve installed iNigma to handle QR-Codes.)
The RMIT library in Australia posted a QR-Code on one of their desks and told users that they could win a prize by reading the code. (I know what it says but you need a student number to claim your prize.) What a wonderful way to learn how many of your users know how to take advantage of this technology.
Why not try this in your library? Just head on over to the QR-Code Generator to make your own.
I’ve found myself preparing several presentations on mobile technology lately and one of the central topics of these presentations will be what you can do with cell phones. My phone is a Motorola Q9c which runs the Windows Mobile OS. The biggest problem has been how to show what’s going on on a 2 inch screen to a room full of people. I’ve finally found a solution for Windows Mobile phones named MyMobiler. Just install this small program and then connect your phone to your computer. Once connected launch the program and you’ll be able to:
- View your mobile screen on your desktop.
- Control your mobile by using desktop keyboard and mouse.
- Copy/Cut/Paste text between mobile and desktop.
- Capture mobile screen as a screenshot.
- Create a screencast of you using your phone.
- Drag and drop files to your mobile.
- Support ActiveSync / IP Connection
- Support Mobile Explorer (File Browse)
This little program has removed the need for me to take any more photographs of my phone with my digital camera. I can’t wait to try controlling my phone live on the screen in a future presentation.
How’d you like a way to set your phone to ring at a certain time to remind you of something or to get you out of that blind date that might not be going so well? Give wakeruppr a try. As with most Web tools I tell you about, just fill in the form, click the button and wait for it to work. At the time you chose your phone will ring and when answered will read back to you the message you entered into the form.
As for cost here’s the skinny:
“Calls placed from the Wakerupper homepage are free, however the premium service carries a charge of 5? per minute. Keep in mind also that your telephone company may apply regular charges for receiving a phone call.”
Not impressed with the built-in tiny battery meter icon in the system tray on your laptop? How’d you like one that floats on your desktop and becomes brighter the less power your battery contains? If so, check out the free Power Meter Plus from Matt Collinge.
I surf the web all the time on mobile devices wether that be my personal Motorola Q smartphone or the Commission’s iPod Touch. Some sites work well, some don’t. Ever wonder how well yours will do? Just head on over to the W3C mobileOK Checker, enter your site’s URL, and get a report. The report is code-centric so knowledge of XHTML and CSS will help you understand the results.
Got a DVD you want to watch on your iPod? How about that funny video from YouTube you downloaded from YouTube that you’d like on your phone to show all your friends? There are many tool out there to do this but the recently released Vio Mobile Video Converter from the folks at The Pirate Bay claims to be the easiest to use, fastest, and best quality results tool out there. I’ve played with it and it does seem to live up to the hype.
Got a cell phone with Internet access but you never use it because that browser on the very small screen is virtually impossible to use? (This of course rules out those of you with iPhones.) Did you know that many popular Web sites have "mobile" versions that are just as functional but are presented in a format that actually works on your phone? Here’s my list of the sites I regularly use on my cell phone along with a few additional suggestions from other mobile Web surfers I know.