Things we like

Charging Your Mobile Devices Just Went Mobile?

by Ben Baltins. 0 Comments


Not since Maxwell Smart have shoes and phones been so seamlessly conjoined than with this latest invention out of Kenya. But unlike the shoe-phone, this invention is brilliant in its practicality.

Kenyan entrepreneur, 24 year-old, Anthony Mutua, has developed a tiny chip of crystals designed to be worn in the sole of the owners' shoe that can generate and store energy as the wearer walks. Whilst this isn't for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle (we'd suggest trying a car charger), the technology is perfect for the herdsmen of Mr Mutua's home country. With mobile use booming in third world countries where cars and electricity are scarce, this is great news.

The energy from the crystals can be transferred directly to the users' pocket via cable or, because the crystals store energy, can be used to charge devices post walk/jog. The chip is also transferable between shoes and can charge several devices at once.

The commercialisation of the crystals is funded by Kenya's National Council of Science and Technology with mass production expected to commence soon.

5 Gmail features that we found both useful and amusing

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Mobile Embrace has recently joined a growing number of businesses that are switching their email to Google’s cloud.

As more businesses switch to cloud email and Gmail continues to rise we decided to join local companies like AAPT, NZ post, Macquarie University, the University of Melbourne, Flight Centre, and Ray White and migrate to Gmail.

Here’s 5 Gmail practical and entertaining tools that we found during our migration:

1. Google Documents – A long standing feature of Gmail that allows you to open and edit all popular file formats. It’s a particularly powerful feature that lets you easily share documents and edit documents together in real time all from within a browser.

 2. Chat Search – Valuable conversations and links used to be frequently passed around our internal chat system and frequently lost. Gmail’s chat feature saves all this information and collates conversations for easy access next to emails. 

 3. Tree Theme – This is particularly popular in our office and makes you feel like you’re outside when you’re inside. It gives your email beautiful background pictures of the sky that change depending on what the weather is like in your local city.

 4. Undo Function – A lab function that allows you to undo your last sent email if it’s been sent in the last few seconds. Useful if you suddenly release you’ve left something out of the email you've just sent.

 5. Mail Goggles – A particularly amusing function that keeps you from sending emails when you probably shouldn't. Basically, you specific a time period and if you try to send email within that period it makes you do a couple math problems before it sends the message. Perhaps something we should all enable on Friday afternoons.

Have you switched to cloud email yet? What do you think of Gmail? 

Our Mobile Future – A Look At Pico Projectors & Social Media

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With Apple is purchasing patents on pico projectors and Facebook mobile users skyrocketing from 65 million in ‘09’ to 200 million in ‘10,’ the two videos below provide some great insights to what our future might look like.

The 1st takes a punt on pico projectors showcasing a Mozilla Sea Bird concept phone: 



The 2nd takes a look at Facebook and what it could mean for mobile:



What are your thoughts on Pico projectors?

Nielsen: Australian Mobile Internet Usage Hits Record Level

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New mobile traffic figures show that accesses to mobile news sites have reached record levels over the election period. Points of interest:

 1.     Overall traffic jumped 19% in August with Nine MSN up 27%, SMH up 21%, and The Age up 18%.


 2.     ‘Major spikes’ in mobile internet usage occurred around the election and then again on 7th of September when independents announced their final decisions.


Results from Nielsen Mobile Market Intelligence service: Click here to view the report

Take home points from Mobile Monday Sydney – 6th of September

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Take home points from Mobile Monday Sydney – 6th of September

Harold Dimple from mHits opened the night discussing mobile payments for the un-banked. This was followed by a blackberry 6 presentation and a light hearted smart phones debate.

mHits – Harold Dimple

The statistics from Dimple’s presentation were astounding. 5.3 billion people worldwide don’t have a banking system, and use cash for all payments. In developing nations like Papua New Guinea this leads to cash loading in heavily armed environments, frequent robbery and sometimes fatalities. He touched on some of the stark facts about Papua New Guinea (PNG):

1.There’s 6.5 million people speaking 850 languages

2. Workers support up to 10 relatives and travel huge distances to distribute cash

3. People queue for sometimes days to buy their prepaid electricity

    The solutions of mPowa are based on an early SMS form for GSM called USSD. The system opens up a live connection allowing users to pay companies and transfer money to their relatives. There’s been real success with 60% of PNG’s prepaid electricity payments now done through mPowa.

    Although Dimple touched on how Subway is soon to deploy similar technologies in Australia, it’s difficult to get away from the stark realities of developing nations and the huge social and economic future mobile has in this environment.

    Blackberry 6 – Michael Momsen

    Momsen presented an impressive presentation on blackberry 6 and wowed the audience by rapidly giving away 3 new handsets. He covered blackberry’s great new APIs, and provided 6 reasons for choosing blackberry:

    1. Updated messaging UI

    2. End-to-end push platform

    3. True application multitasking

    4. BBM – blackberry only messaging

    5. Carriers increasingly giving users unlimited data plans

    6. Battery life exceeds competitors like iPhone

      The questions from the floor touched on the application store submission process with Momsen saying that blackberry would go further than its rivals communicating directly with developers on application submission.

      Smart phone debate

      The final part of the evening was a fairly light-hearted smart phone platform debate. The most amusing comment came from a Nokia advocate claiming nostalgia as a key element for supporting Nokia as a smart phone player.

      Big thanks to the Mobile Monday team Shane Williamson, Oliver Weidlich and Gia Villondo for putting together another insightful event. Looking forward to the next one!


      Paul Phillips

      Public Relations Manager – MobileActive