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RealTime IT News

Apps to Help The Mobile Device Blues

SAN DIEGO -- Several vendors took turns at a conference here to slam the limitations of cell phones and then offer services designed to make them more useful.

"Your mobile phone is where photos go to die," quipped Chris Shipley, producer of the DEMO conference.

The majority of photos taken with cell phones today are sent via messaging technologies not built very well to handle or share them, said Faraz Hoodbhoy, CEO and cofounder of Pixsense.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company has developed a kind of media hub for managing photos on your cell phone.

Users just have to take photos the way they normally would, and Pixsense software works in the background to categorize the images and prepare them for sending without any clicking.

Since cell-phone photos are often taken in bursts, for example four or five at a time at an event, the software groups those together.

Pixsense also employs what it said is a new technology, called bio-compression, that compresses captured images automatically before they're sent from the handset for speedy transmission.

The company is working with carriers to provide the service to cell phone users.

A company called Realeyes3D launched qipit, a mobile service for capturing, storing and sharing documents using a camera phone.

Qipit is free until Nov. 15, at which point it's expected to show up in various service packages, though the company said it will continue to offer a free version.

With a standard camera phone, qipit facilitates the capture of images, anything from a diagrams on a blackboard to a restaurant menu, that you might want to refer to later.

The qipit digital copy can be sent as an e-mail, faxed or stored online in a password protected qipit account for access later.

But if managing pictures on your cell phone is a challenge, video is even more daunting. Enter the Eyespot Mobile Share application, which made its debut here today.

The software is designed to let users capture, view, receive and organize their online videos using their mobile phone. Video captured on phones using the Java and BREW mobile platforms can be sent or received to and from the Eyespot Web site.

Users can also subscribe to certain video feeds directly from the phone or register through Eyespot to have friends or other favorite creators' videos automatically sent to the cell phone.

Eyespot cofounder David Dudas said most video editing software "is scary" and "way too complicated."

The Eyespot mixer application is designed to run in a Web browser with very simple-to-use tools, including slow motion and free soundtrack music, which users can drop onto a captured video.

"We also make it easy to get video off the phone," said Dudas. "You shoot a video and three clicks later it's in your Eyespot account."

Juregen Ubranski, general manager of FON, said the company has established itself as the world's largest Wi-Fi community.

He described the company's efforts, now in a soft launch phase, to expand Wi-Fi access. The company's investors include Google and Skype.

For $5, FON will send you a small secure router to attach to your broadband connection at home. "We call it a social router," said Ubranski. "If you pay for broadband access at home, why pay for it on the road?"

The basic idea is that FON lets you share bandwidth with other broadband users. Once you're registered you don't need the router on the road, you just log in to the FON system to gain Wi-Fi access at no additional charge.