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Dec 14

USB LTE-dongleCongratulations to NetCom and TeliaSonera, they opened the first operative LTE-net (4G) in the world today. This net is now launched in Oslo and Stockholm with about 2/3 of the Oslo area covered! NetCom will continue this work and are aiming for 100% coverage in Oslo in the near future.

NetCom started selling USB LTE-dongles today (manufactured by Samsung) so that NetCom customers in Oslo can start using the LTE-net on their computers today. This gives you a theoretical speed of 100 mbps but I guess that the more realistic speed will be about 10-20 mbps.

I live in Oslo but I am a Telenor customer so I need to wait for Telenor to get their LTE-net up running.

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Jun 17

mobilityWhen developing applications for mobile devices you often find the need to use a rapid application development (RAD) platform to achieve your goals and meet the time to market requirements for mobility projects. I have been developing mobile applications for several years now and I have seen many development platforms/frameworks. There are many reasons why you often need to take use of a platform/framework; wide device support, rich and flexible UI, secure and reliable communication, back-end integration and so on. If you were to take care of all these challenges by your selves the application development project would be expensive and time consuming. This post is written with large commercial enterprise applications in mind.

You should be very careful when selecting a platform for your project, by selecting the wrong platform your in for failure. The most important you need to do is to define your needs and make sure that the platform your are choosing fulfills those (or at least the most of them). Many companies/developers have different views on how to develop mobile applications, make sure that your chose a platform developed by a company that shares your view on this.

No matter what OS, programming language or technology you are using I think that flexibility is the key word. Do your self a favour, chose a flexible platform. By flexible I mean that even tough you are using a third party platform you must be able to chose when to use the platform functionalities and when to do custom coding. The platform should be easy to build functionality on top of (extending) and you should be able to switch between the platform API and the Standard API (Java ME, Compact Framework etc.).

I have been on both sides, I have been developing a RAD platform and I have been using third party platforms. I worked for over three years in the core development team at mBricks AS. mBricks is a RAD platform for developing Java ME applications (also supports Blackberry and Android). In my opinion mBricks is a great platform because of the flexibility it offers. If I were to develop a Java ME application there would be no doubt in my mind what platform to chose :)

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Jun 06

netcomNetcom succeeded to connect to a commercial LTE-net, as the worlds’ first, just a few days ago. They did this by connecting a laptop to the Internet using a LTE-modem. Netcom have already several LTE-cells up running in Oslo. Netcom predicts their LTE-net to be fully commercial available in 2010 (in Oslo). The LTE-technology are delivered by Huawei and they work close together implementing the system.

Long Term Evolution (LTE) are often called 4G, the next generation mobile radio communication technology. This technology can theoretical provide you with 150 mbps which is amazing compared to Turbo 3G, the fastest mobile radio communication technology available today, with its’ 7,2 mbps!

lte-cell

The drawback with LTE is the high cost infrastructure because the limited range for each LTE-cell. I guess this technology will only be made available in the major cities the first years. Lucky for me I live in Oslo and hopefully I will be able to test the LTE-net soon. I wonder if Telenor will go for LTE-technology as well (I have read that Telenor will test the LTE-net this summer)?

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May 30

iphone-enterpriseI have always liked iPhone with it’s superb user interface and wide range of applications. Just after a few months on the market iPhone sat a new standard for usability concerning mobile devices and applications for mobile devices. In my opinion iPhone changed the user patterns for mobile devices and quickly helped maturing the mobile application market ( mBricks’ thoughts about what Apple have achieved for the mobile application market with their iPhone).

For quite a long time I thought that iPhone would only reach into the private market with consumer applications distributed via AppStore. Based on the low percentage penetration in the total market and the proprietary solutions I never thought that iPhone would set any noticeable foot prints in the enterprise market. I might have been wrong…

HansaWorld ,which provides integrated business solutions for the accounting, ERP, CRM, e-Business, retail (POS), production and hotel sectors, have now regarding to digi.no (Article in Norwegian) enabled some of their ERP and CRM functionality for iPhone and iPod Touch clients. This technology have been available since early 2009 and it made me wonder if Apple will be able to take some shares on the enterprise market.

By enterprise market I do not point to calendar, e-mail and sync applications but to custom built business solutions like ERP , field worker, process control and data capture applications.

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Apr 28

mobile devicesIt is a tough technology race in the mobile software business that have been ongoing since the early years of applications for mobile devices. I have been developing mobile applications for several years and asked my self many times; who will win this race? After all these years I still ask my selves (and others) the same question, I guess that is why I enjoy this business so much :)

I were asked at work today if I could help contributing on a presentation about mobile application trends, therefore I will write some of my thoughts regarding to this. The technologies I find most interesting are: Android, iPhone, Java ME, Symbian and Windows Mobile. Let’s have a closer look at these.

htc androidAndroid

This is a software platform and operating system based on the Linux kernel. Android were announced in 2007 by Google but are now owned and founded by the Open Handset Alliance. This technology is quite new and the first official handset have just reached the markets. I think that with the smooth design, open source licensing, Google and several large manufactures behind this will be a technology to recon with in the future. Android have already a large amount of developers and applications in their community. It will be very interesting to follow Android and see what kind of market shares they will be able to get in the next years.

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Apr 22

ferroelectricEver dreamed about a computer with zero boot-up time?  This can be reality if the researchers at Cornell University succeeds in their research on ferroelectric material and silicon. They have now been able to lay a ferroelectric material directly onto silicon. It’s the first time ever this have been done.

Ferroelectric materials are polar and the polarity can be changed from positive to negative by an electric field. The good thing with ferroelectric materials are that the polarity stay fixed when removing the electric field. Meaning that if the computer are using this technology for memory you can turn off the power and the current state will still be in the memory. When you turn the computer back on booting-up are not needed and you can directly continue were you left.

The researchers are stating that it’s still a long way to go and a lot can go wrong before this can be used as a switch in computers.

Read more about this at Forbes.com: Boot-up time: Zero seconds

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Apr 02

ipsGPS (Global Positioning System) is a well known technology used for tracking and navigating. Everyone that have used GPS knows that the signal is blocked when you are inside a house, in a garage or surrounded with tall buildings. IPS (Indoor Positioning System) is a technology used for positioning were GPS can not be used. The most common technologies for IPS are radio, infrared or ultrasound signals.

Lets have a quick look at the three different IPS technologies.

Radio

IPS based on radio signals can use WLAN or Wi-FI. Advantages using this: Low cost, exists a lot of places and covers large areas and could work across multiple buildings. The disadvantage is low accuracy.

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Apr 01
Image: Georgian Institute of Technology

Image: Georgian Institute of Technology

I love mobility in terms of tiny devices that I can bring with me everywhere. I don’t go far without at least having my mobile phone with me and most of the times I also bring my mp3 player. I walk around in my own little world with my favourite tune playing in my ear and just a push of a button away from talking with my friends or checking my e-mail. Then it happens… my mp3 player runs out of battery and I’m stuck on the subway listening to all kind of stupid conversations people around me are having on their phones. I fetch the phone from my pocket to call some friends, but WTF the phone is out of battery too!

How could situations like this be avoided? Off course I could remember to charge all my devices before I leave my apartment but I seldom do. I don’t like the fact that I need to connect all my devices/gadgets to the charger. It’s a mobility killer! Wouldn’t it be fantastic to never need to worry about running out out power? This could be reality, the only question is when will it happen?

I have known about the nanotechnology for a while but only for a few days ago I read some articles stating that this might be possible in the near future.

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Mar 19

microsoft_surface

Earlier today I was at the MSDN Live Oslo conference (earlier post about MSDN Live Oslo) and between the sessions we went around to the stands that several Microsoft partners had in the lobby area.  On one of the stands they had the Microsoft Surface table displayed. Along with my colleague and other curious conference attendees we tested the Surface table for quite a while.

It didn’t take me long fall in love with this table! We played around testing the applications installed and exploring the possibilities. I think this table had 32 touch points so several persons could use the table at the same time. At one time we were 5 persons using the music player. We could look at albums, send songs to the play list and easily send an album over to the person on the other side of the table. My thought about this: I want this integrated in my living room table! Can you imagine how cool it would be if you are throwing a party and all your guests can browse your music albums and together make the ultimate play list :)

surface_music

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Mar 19

wissb_rfid_3A few weeks ago I attended a partner meeting at RFID Innovasjonsenter AS (web page only in Norwegian) which is a center for research, development and testing on new RFID solutions. We talked about a new RFID show case room/center that is planned to be in operation by the start of 2010. I’m very excited to see what the result of this will be. They are planning a 500 square meters area showing how RFID can be used through the whole life cycle of a product.

But what really caught my attention was the METRO Group Future Store Initiative founded in mid-2002 with more than 85 companies from retailing, consumer goods, IT and service sectors. The aim for this initiative is to drive forward the modernization process in retailing. They say that RFID is the key technology for future retailing.

An important element in their research is the real, – Future Store located in Toenisvorst (Germany). This is a store with 8600 square meters of selling area and it’s filled with new technology that ordinary people can use while they are shopping. They have a Mobile Shopping Assistant application which can be used to prepare shopping lists at home, scan products at the store and accelerate the check-out process. They have a smart freezer that I really like. This is a system to ensure top quality on the fresh meat that are packed and placed in a self-service refrigerated counter. When the meat are packed they place a Smart Chip on the package and the chip can be read by integrated RFID readers in the refrigerator. The Smart Chip is using EPC (Electronic Product Code) that can contain all kind of data. Here is an example on data stored in the Smart Chip.epc1By using this system the Master Butcher shop will get a message when they are running low on some goods so they can quickly start producing more fresh meat packages. They will also get a message when any of the goods are closing in on the best before date.

future store shopping cartThey also have several different ways of paying for the goods you buy at the Future Store. You can pay by using your finger prints, self scanning or by using the Mobile Shopping Assistant.

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