Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 35, Tuesday September 04 , 2007

 

 

Talking tech

The world in my hand

His is the era of the “fourth screen”. No longer does one have to be confined to one place to access computer facilities. The 'fourth screen', being the mobile phone, now allows us to have it all 'on the go', around the clock, anytime, anywhere. The multimedia evolution brings it all, at last in a complete palm-sized package.

Primarily designed for telecommunication and text messaging, the addition of other diverse features have created a world of possibilities, making the 'fourth screen' one of the most popular platforms for enjoying digital content.

Ovi - one key opens every door
The largest in the industry of mobile firms, Nokia, is making its new experiences run full circles. Along with some fresh phone debuts, the company announced on August 29, in Singapore and concurrently in London, the imminent opening of a web services portal, which the Finnish giant is calling Ovi (meaning 'door' in Finnish). Ovi figuratively opens the door and allows you to use and share your digital assets wherever you are and with whomever you want. As a sub-brand of Nokia, Ovi offers a plethora of services that includes not just Nokia games and music but also creates a niche for people with a knack for the latest gadgets.

It will also open doors to web communities, enabling people to access their content, communities and contacts from a single place, either directly from a compatible Nokia device or from a PC.

As part of Ovi, Nokia announced the Nokia Music Store and N-Gage. These two services make it easier for people to discover, try and buy music and games from a blockbuster range of artists and publishers, including exclusive content only available through Nokia. Also under the Ovi umbrella is Nokia Maps, a navigation service that offers maps, city guides and more, directly on compatible mobile devices.

The first version of Ovi.com is scheduled to go live in English during the fourth quarter of 2007 and additional features and languages expected to go live during the first half of 2008.

With the introduction of Ovi, Nokia is expanding from a focus on mobile devices to offering a range of Internet services. The industry is converging towards Internet-driven experiences. And Ovi represents Nokia's vision in combining the Internet and mobility.

Nokia Music Store - the entire world's music in your pocket
Recently it was report that a traffic policeman had gone ballistic near the Farmgate crossing, randomly snatching earphones from rickshaw pullers. The reason, he explained, was that these music crazy drivers were adding to the chaos and confusion of the traffic jam. This incident just goes to prove the reach of this new technology.

Cashing in on this hunger for experience among the youth in Asia, music phones have become a runaway hit and not to forget a necessity among many, irrespective of their social class. It is said that 84 percent of the Asian youth love music and 57 percent want to replace their MP3 players with a music phone. Digital music sales are to exceed physical music sales in APEC countries by 2009; a research done by PricewaterhouseCoopers reveals the statistics.

It is in this space that Nokia 5610 and Nokia 5310 Xpress Music phones, which basically work like a jukebox stashed away inside a pocket, fits today's youths' bill perfectly. On top of these, Nokia's Music Store seems like an additional bonus.

The Nokia Music Store offers millions of tracks from major artists, independent labels as well as a broad range of local artists from around the world. The store is accessible via a desktop computer or directly from a compatible Nokia device, such as the Nokia N81 or Nokia N95 8GB multimedia computer. Browse for new music, buy what you like or add a song to your wish list to download later. Further, you can easily transfer your purchased songs to your mobile device and with the built-in music player, create play lists “on the go” and manage your music collection.

The store opens across key European markets this fall, with additional stores in Europe and Asia opening over the coming months. In Europe, individual tracks cost EUR 1.00 and albums from EUR 10.00, with a monthly subscription for PC streaming for EUR 10.00.

N-Gage - mobile gaming Experience
On the first night of the recent imposition of curfew hours, many office-goers, in particular the media people, where stuck at work till the wee hours. Since confinement leads to boredom, which needs an outlet, in a certain office at Karwan Bazar, the stranded ones were engaged in a killing spree, hunting and shooting one another down. For them, it was one of the finer moments of virtual reality, so that while their loved ones worried about their safety, they themselves had a ball of a time. Along with PC games, mobile phone games are starting to gain popularity.

Though mobile phone gaming as yet occupies only a small niche in the entertainment world, there's no denying that millions of phone users are in fact casual gamers. Nokia clearly wants to tap the true potential of the market. It starts off as a casual pastime, but as the interface becomes more attractive, the interest kicks in and soon you find yourself unable to rest until you have completed the final level of the game.

Addressing this compulsion for the game content, Nokia's N-Gage offers an easy way to find, try and buy great quality games directly from your compatible Nokia device. N-Gage, made-for-mobile games service will be available globally in November 2007.

Selecting the N-Gage application on your compatible Nokia device, you can preview the available games, connect with your friends, read reviews or download free demos. Buying games is easy, either with a credit card or by charging to your monthly phone bill. Companies like Electronic Arts and Gameloft are making some of their biggest brands available through N-Gage.

Linking Bangladesh to it all
Bangladesh is quite an important peg for Nokia. It is an upcoming market where a lot remains to be tapped; particularly with the youth. Our youths are ever hungry for the experience that is so easily available elsewhere on the globe. In order to stay connected and to be in tango with their other Asian compatriots, Bangladeshi youths are always on the lookout to try out the 'latest and the greatest' in the line of gadgets, and feeding their cravings are the newer mobile devices. Putting all the cool stuff in the cell phone comes down to experiencing multimedia in style. That is 'savvy' with the young generation.

In order to experience Nokia's entire new multimedia range in Bangladesh, the broadcast service does not have to depend on operators alone. Nokia has already enabled popular youth hotspots and cafes with Wi-Fi (wireless connectivity) facility, so that the experience becomes a matter of ease.

Price will always be an issue for the mass but as technology evolves prices will come down and the minimum price tag will change. This leaves us with a chance in the future to experience multimedia in those $25 sets.

Meanwhile let us not turn the grey market in to an issue; products coming through grey market might not always be your answer. Moreover the grey market affects both the manufacturers and the government.

For now let us just 'Go Play' with the fourth screen.

By Raffat Binte Rashid back from Singapore

 

About the debutants
Nokia's four new mobile devices launched on August 29, in Singapore and simultaneously in London, are specifically optimized for entertainment, music and games. They have expanded memory, large screens and extended battery performance to provide quick and easy access to entertainment content.

Nokia N81 and Nokia N81 8GB
The Nokia N81 multimedia computer is a true mobile entertainment powerhouse. With a sleek, polished surface and keys that light up when you activate them, accessing content on the 3D multimedia menu is fast and intuitive. The Nokia N81 is configured to find, buy, manage and play music and games purchased from the Nokia Music Store and N-Gage games service.

Nokia N95 8GB
The Nokia N95, the world's greatest multimedia computer, just got greater. With all the key features of its predecessor, including a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, and an innovative 2-way slide, the Nokia N95 8GB now offers up to 8GBs of built-in memory.

Nokia 5310 XpressMusic
With a sleek aluminum finish, the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic phone is only 9.9mm thick and weighing less than 71 grams, fits comfortably in a pocket or purse. A mini music powerhouse, the Nokia 5310 XpressMusic offers up to 18 hours of music playback, memory for up to 3,000 songs.

Nokia 5610 XpressMusic
The Nokia 5610 XpressMusic comes ready to rock with an iconic Music Slider key making music easy to access with a flick of the thumb. Aluminum side panels accent the all-black high gloss finish and large 2.2-inch 16 million colour display it offers crystal clear sound and up to 22 hours of music playback and memory with capacity for 3000 songs on an optional 4GB microSD card. More than just a phone and music player, the Nokia 5610 XpressMusic features a high-quality 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus and dual LED flash.

Nokia Opens WIFI Zones in Select Cafés around Dhaka City
Nokia launched four Wi-Fi zones at select Cafés in Dhaka City. The Wi-Fi areas will be free for consumers who own an authorized Nokia N Series handset. These are powered by Agni Systems Ltd. and will provide high-speed internet connection.

These Wi-Fi zones will be complete with an experience booth showcasing three of Nokia's N Series devices, the N 95, N93i and N73, Bose speakers and a 14” screen. This experience corner is open to all patrons of the café to experience the multimedia services of N Series devices.

The Wi-Fi zones are located in Kozmo Lounge, Dhanmondi, PM Lounge, Kamal Ataturk Road, Banani, NSIS, Shoppers World, Gulshan and Déjà vu Café, Gulshan Avenue.

LS Desk

 

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