People move freely throughout metropolitan regions, paying little attention to arbitrary boundaries of cities and the region. To see how just how people interact throughout a metro region, Geneva, Switzerland created a visualization of human interactions in the area based on the use of mobile phones. The result, called Ville Vivante, or City Living, is stunning. Ville Vivante Trailer from Interactive Things on Vimeo. The visualization was created using digital traces left behind when using the city's mobile infrastructure. The city tracked mobile connections, almost in real time, over a single day. During that day in Geneva, subscribers to Swisscom, a major mobile provider in Switzerland, made 15 million connections from 2 million phone calls. But the point wasn't just to create a beautiful video. Tracking the digital traces left behind by mobile phone use could help the city answer important economic and political questions. Here are three ways the city says they … [Read more...] about Visualizing the mobile phone use of a city
Mobile phone use
Sounds like the feds are getting more serious about the issue of using your mobile phone to text or talk while driving. Although 38 states have already passed laws that regulate the use of cell phones while behind the wheel -- part of their efforts to cut back on distracted driving -- U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has renewed his calls for a federal law to ban the practice. According to several articles covering a speech made by LaHood at a distracted driving summit in Texas, the transportation secretary believes a separate law is necessary for mobile phones because of the explosion in usage and the because it believes there were at least 3,000 fatal traffic accidents in 2011 directly related to mobile phones. A Reuters article covering LaHood's speech quoted his rationale: "Everyone has a cell phone and too many of us think it is OK to talk on our phones while we are driving." I don't think any one of us would argue against the need for people to apply more common … [Read more...] about Should the feds ban mobile phone use while driving?
Chinese airlines have allowed passengers to use mobile phones during flights since last week, following the decision of the Civil Administration of China (CAAC) to relax regulations. Air China permitted users to switch on their mobile devices from Sunday, following the lead from China Eastern Airlines and Hainan Airlines, who loosened regulations last week, said a Sina news report. Air China was the last among the four biggest airlines in China to loosen its rules Until last week, mobile phones were required to be completely switched off during flights on any Chinese airlines. Now, passengers on board Chinese aircraft can use portable electronic devices including smartphones and tablets as long as they're switched to airplane mode. Many Chinese airlines are also offering in-flight Wi-Fi services to tap the huge market; recent reports showed that the three largest airlines in China -- China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Air China -- each reported passenger boardings … [Read more...] about China finally lifts ban on mobile phone use during flights
Finding your Xfinity Mobile phone in your home is now as easy as talking out loud.Comcast's new Phone Finder feature lets subscribers of its wireless service locate their devices by speaking into their X1 voice remotes. You don't have to set anything up. Simply say "Xfinity Mobile, find my phone" into your remote control, and the device will ring. A pre-recorded audio message from Xfinity Mobile informs whoever answers why they're receiving a phone call. If you have multiple lines for multiple people, you can ask the service to locate a particular person's device, such as, "Xfinity Mobile, find Ron's phone." You can also search by saying your 10-digit phone number out loud. Comcast launched its Xfinity Mobile service earlier this year, making it the latest company to expand into a new service in the bid to be all things to the customer. It's a trend you've seen with telecom provider AT&T bulk up its video offering with DirecTV, or Verizon getting into the media … [Read more...] about Lose your Xfinity Mobile phone? Use your voice to find it
For two hours Tuesday, New York's always-noisy Times Square could become one of the easiest spots in the world to find a friend. Boost Mobile, a so-called mobile virtual-network operator owned by Sprint Nextel, will offer a two-hour demonstration of buddy-tracking technology created by a start-up called Loopt. The start-up, founded by two Stanford University graduates while they were still students, is the latest to offer a mobile-tracking system that enables people to do things like get a bead on friends' whereabouts. It certainly won't be the last. For nearly a decade, technology visionaries have talked of a day when people would be able to use their cell phones to get directions, track their friends, keep tabs on their kids or simply find the nearest coffee shop. Now those services are finally starting to take trickle into the marketplace. "The most common text message that people send is, 'Where are you?'" said Mark Jacobstein, executive vice president of corporate development … [Read more...] about Mobile phones that track your buddies