“Navigating Life” is No Longer a Metaphor

    by Leslie Rule
    March 30, 2008

    Once upon a time, four travelers began a global quest…

    So says the video that launches, Urbanista Diaries, the second phase of the Nokia’s advertising campaign for its N82 series phone. The first phase of the campaign followed four of Nokia’s favorite bloggers on a trip around the world armed only with, “their wits, guile, and a Nokia N82 multimedia computer.” (Two of the four were already blogging on Nokia and mobile devices, and all four skew toward mobile geekiness, although with a fair amount of the artiste sprinkled on top.) Their mission? Capture the stories and the beauty of the places they visited, making sure to use the N82 in the process. This the four did in relay form documenting over 22 stops.



    The claim is made, more often than ever (especially by those companies having a vested interested in making the claim), that the convergence of gps, photography, video, and the web will change the way we experience our world, definitely changing how we report and document those experiences. As says Arto Joensuu, global e-marketing director at Nokia, “Urbanista Diaries offers… a great illustration of how the multimedia computer enriches your Internet experience by bringing context and location-based information to your reach.”

    In addition to instantly sharing mobile images through email and blogs, Nokia has integrated its Sports Tracker software into the concept; once installed on the mobile device (or to use Nokia terminology “multimedia computer”) speed, distance, and time are automatically stored. Images taken with the camera can be instantly uploaded and placed on a map. With date, time, location, and images all tagged, you have the story.


    For this second phase of the campaign, Nokia is partnering with four large media organizations: CNN, Wallpaper.com, National Geographic, and Lonely Planet. Anchor Richard Quest and techie Dale Fountain from CNN will be v- and mo-blogging the news from all over the world as part of inthefield.blogs.cnn.com. Wallpaper.com (online fashion and design site with print version of magazine) are reporting on fashion week in London, Paris and Milan in real time. From National Geographic, scientists Dr. Renée Friedman in Egypt, Biochemist Valerie Clark in Madagascar and Primatoloist Catherine Workman in Vietnam will be documenting their work using multimedia and mapping, and enabling in-the-field collaboration in real time. Pretty amazing. And finally, Lonely Planet will have five of its trekkers participating also.



    It’s important to note that the last four phones released by Nokia all contain integrated gps units. Garmin, the world’s largest maker of gps devices recently developed the Nüvifone, its own phone. And with the iPhone, the big news in the latest update was the partnership with Skyhook Wireless, which brought its “location-aware,” platform to the iPhone. The iPhone is now uses wifi hotspots and cellphone towers to triangulate location, good to within 20 meters.

    Nokia is leaving the realm of geeky (but artistic) beta-testers and introducing gps-enabled and location-aware devices into traditional reporting environs like CNN and wallpaper.com. As handset makers embrace navigation and location-aware sensors as a standard part of mobile devices, more and more everyday people become multimedia documentarians: chroniclers of both time and place. Reporters and bloggers should be all over this…even if you think only in words.

    Navigating life (and the news) has begun.

    Tagged: location-based services locative media nokia

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