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One New Thing
Thursday, April 15, 2004
One New Thing: Musings on location-based services based on Handheld History

The Shifted Librarian describes this as “an excellent use of handhelds, location-based services, and text messaging”. I was reminded of a statue I encountered on a trip a few years ago which had a pole with a speaker beside it (much like the ones you’d see at a train station) and a button you could press to have the story behind the statue recited to you. It’s great that this sort of location-based information delivery can be made more portable: although as a patron I’m not sure I’d want to spend hours on a mobile phone listening to these because the mounting costs would soon outweigh the novelty! Since we’re still a fair way away from the Ghosts I mentioned a month or so back, what about other ways of making this information accessible to multiple users in one location that aren’t at such a cost – such as an internet or intranet site that can be accessed through handheld computers (or whatever device people have for accessing the internet). I’m imagining seeing a map of the area you are in on your screen, where you can select what you are looking at and play back audio and video about it from anywhere in the vicinity.

Of course coming from someone who has yet to learn how to make multimedia presentations, this could be a tall order. :)

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