Thread Tools
Reggie's Avatar
Posts: 1,437 | Thanked: 3,150 times | Joined on Jul 2005
I haven't held a Nokia N810 Internet Tablet in my hands, but it seems to me it represents some very astute decisions on the part of the Nokia team.

The 770 and N800 tablets have the largest, highest-resolution screens of any device in the pocket-carryaround category. That comes from an awareness of the high frustration that accompanies surfing the web on a too-narrow screen.

From day one, we've been asking how can Nokia take advantage of their units' display advantage?

Well, having used a Nokia-loaner GPS unit for several months, I can testify that one thing that benefits greatly from a larger, higher-resolution screen is looking at a map, especially traveling at 65 mph when you can't spend more than a moment or two glancing at it.

So building in GPS has a surface logic anyone can appreciate. But that's not what I think is astute.
View the full article.
Posts: 269 | Thanked: 139 times | Joined on Mar 2006

EXCELLENT article. It is rare to have the pleasure of reading something that goes beyond the specs, and into the experience, possibilities, business opportunities, and strategic importance of a given product. I wish there was more of this kind of thoughtful and thought provoking writing!
benny1967's Avatar
Posts: 3,789 | Thanked: 5,706 times | Joined on Mar 2006 @ Vienna, Austria
I'm not sure about companies collecting location data / travel profiles through a N810. If this business model would work, they'd have done it long ago with cell phones: You can track the position of a cell phone well enough to create such a profile for your customer. Also, a device like the N810 would very likely soon feature software to spoof/block GPS data.

Apart from this one point, it all makes perfect sense. I dont expect the Italian tour to happen in 2008, but it's not too far away.
Posts: 72 | Thanked: 9 times | Joined on Sep 2007
10 GB card? Huh? Did I miss something?

I've gone through 3 stages so far with the n800:

A. the initial excitement and interest.
B. the letdown that nothing exactly worked without tweaking.
C. the continual surprise when I find new uses for it.

Look around at the random testimonies, and outside of the hardcore fans, and the superannuated sysadmins (as someone who had to deal with one of the "new kids" DoS his own network with an NFS timeout of zero, let me take the opportunity to say, hey, we love you), there are people using these devices for all kinds of unanticipated uses. Last week, conditions changed faster than I could print out documents, and I found myself using the image viewer and holding it against a handwritten book copied nearly eight centuries ago, comparing handwriting. Everyone else is craning their head, changing sightlines between their laptops (where they could plug in) and their manuscripts, and I've got something with the resolution and the processing power in my hands to be able to do a side-by-side comparison. (and it costs less than most laptops, which is why I bought it).

When I try to explain the usefulness of the device, I don't just talk about the mobile web (although that is much of it). Rather, I focus on the fact that many of us use in our daily lives find ourselves in situations where we could use a computer, but where our primary point of focus is not the computer itself. Laptops are good for times when we need to focus on a computer (and when we can get a laptop to where we are).

A few other observations on the article: personalized advertisement is tricky terrain. The examples you give scare me. As worrisome as government spying is, companies spying on us is practically more preoccupying. Simply put, the multiplication of data on me in the hands of parties that don't share completely my interests multiplies my vulnerability. So, no, I don't like the idea, and I find it repugnant.

Also, in my experience, wifi in a non-home city doesn't work reliably. That's part of the reason for WiMax.
But yes, these devices with GPS and a reasonable map do great work in cities. Again, the resolution is decisive.

The problem with the design of these things today is that companies produce something, and then ask "how can we monetize it?" too fast (for example, make a music player -- a useful tool --, then give it a cool interface, but only enough computing/internet access necessary to sell more music). Consumers don't want to spend money. They want tools. They will spend money for tools -- that's what money is for. Make something useful, or fun, and make people aware of its utility, and you will sell it. Make something capable of making more money, and nobody will buy it. (answer to the objection: social utility is utility, and is one of the few forms of utility that marketing can produce)
RogerS's Avatar
Posts: 772 | Thanked: 183 times | Joined on Jul 2005 @ Montclair, NJ (NYC suburbs)
Benny and DingerX --

Spying is one thing. Trading information is another.

I visit the NY Times and Washington Post websites and they know every click I make, not just every story I open but every one I follow through 5 jumps (Dan Froomkin's daily White House Watch).

If they didn't use this information to decide which stories get the most (and longest) play on their website, they'd be fools. And this is much higher-quality feedback than they've ever had before for their print product and what writers are really earning their bonuses.

I'm trading this type of information for access to the stories; it behooves them to know how to keep selling to their already-existing customers (which is a lot cheaper than getting new ones). (OK, I'm a "customer" because they're selling eyeballs to advertisers.)

In this piece, I actually wrote "what if [they] gave you" a tablet in exchange for this information.

Well, maybe this hypothetical frequent-flyer program would want more for $479 than just some locational information. But somewhere between $0 and $479 is a point at which I'll trade.

Right, I don't want to be spied upon. And like everyone I know, I don't want to be bombarded with intrusive advertising. Just because you know I'm in Chicago doesn't mean I want you to start sending me Chicago-based alerts.

But if I'm checking my web-based mail and all the ads on that page are for restaurants within 5 miles of where I'm sitting right then, I'm not going to complain. So maybe the frequent-flyer program is selling my GPS location (for the duration of the trip) to one of the ad brokers, who guarantees the advertisers that (A) I'm close and (B) I'm an out-of-towner and likely to be eating out. There's all kinds of ways for them to sell this information without compromising my anonymity.

And all I'm saying is that the computer-based GPS device like an internet tablet is lots better for this kind of focused marketing or info collecting than a phone.

Can the information be abused? Well, sure. But it doesn't have to be. We have to be alert. But we don't have to be paranoid. And for what it's worth, we live in a very commercial world.
N900 Guide Brief intro to the Nokia N900 (
Maemoan since July 2005 )
GeneralAntilles's Avatar
Posts: 5,478 | Thanked: 5,215 times | Joined on Jan 2006 @ St. Petersburg, FL
It's a big jump from clicks and pageviews to accurate, up-to-the-minute, personal location. It's one thing to know what you're browsing, and entirely another to know where you are.

The whole concept scares me. GPS would be great for aggregating location-based data, but feeding your lat/long to a remote location all day every day is not so appealing. Who knows who has access to that data and what their motives might be?
Posts: 59 | Thanked: 1 time | Joined on Apr 2007 @ Tauranga, NZ
A well written article thanks for that.

To be honest I had my N800 shipped from the UK to us here in NZ (as we always seem to get forgotten about with new tech) and pretty well have used it exactly as described in the article.

As an example - we had a family holiday in Brisbane during May. My parents flew in from the UK armed with screeds of paperwork and travel guides - armed to the teeth with information.

On the flipside we spent about four hour on the computer at home finding out what and where we wanted to go.

Downloaded and PDF's websites, guides and the like.

Fired up MaemoMapper and pulled in Level 0 - 6 maps for that part of Queensland.

Stuck in a few POI's of shops we wanted to visit and generally got ourselves armed.

Off we flew with ALL our travel guide information sitting on an 8Gb card along with a pile of movies and music to keep the 5 year old happy in flight.

It was a risk (thankfully before the dodgy firmware SDHC issue) and had the N800 gone astray or packed in we would have had to resort to begging the olds for help.

But it didn't. In fact the N800 became a travel guide like no other I've used. It bailed us out of getting lost a few times by firing up the BT GPS.
=DC='s Avatar
Posts: 564 | Thanked: 8 times | Joined on Nov 2005 @ Fayetteville, GA
Awesome article! I loved reading this. GPS definitely adds yet another huge dimension to the Internet Tablets and mobile technology in general. The location based advertising era is finally here, and will change how the world works once again. The theme for 2008 will be "Get on the map!"
NET9 - The Future of Mobile Information Technology - Is Your Code Solid Gold?
Internet Tablet Art Gallery - Artwork Made Using Internet Tablets
3pm - So good, it's illegal

Thread Tools

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:53.