Nokia 5140i: Mobile For Fitness Enthusiasts

Sporty Nokia 5140i Mobile For Fitness EnthusiastsSweatband-toting sporty types will be pleased to learn that Nokia has introduced a new handset for active-minded consumers, the Nokia 5140i camera phone.

The beefy looking triband phone is housed in a dust and splash resistant casing and is described as “an ideal outdoor training partner” (personally I’d rather have Kate Moss jogging alongside me, but each to their own).

Tomi Paatsila, Vice President, Mobile Phones, Nokia, wound up his PR machine and let rip: “The Nokia 5140i offers active consumers a mobile phone that complements their on-the-go lifestyle. With its strong feature set and messaging capabilities, the Nokia 5140i enables outdoors and fitness enthusiasts to stay connected whatever their interests are – during hard-core training or just a leisurely hike.”

Sporty Nokia 5140i Mobile For Fitness EnthusiastsWater-bottle clutching joggers will appreciate the ‘Fitness Coach’ application, offering an ‘always-on’ personal trainer that (apparently) “encourages users to go the extra mile or finish the last set.”

The phone also offers easy connectivity to Polar Electro’s top of the line wrist computers, designed for fitness, running, cycling and outdoor enthusiasts, letting sweaty users view a graphical display of their performance on handset’s display

The Nokia 5140i interfaces with a variety of other Polar Outdoor Computers, such as the Running Computer S625X, Cycling Computer S725, Polar AXN 500, the Polar AXN 700 and the upcoming Fitness F55 heart rate monitor.

Naturally, the phone comes stuffed with all the usual widgets to keep ‘resting’ athletes entertained, with support for MP3 ring tones, a built-in FM radio and Push to talk (PTT) functionality.

Sporty Nokia 5140i Mobile For Fitness EnthusiastsThe phone also includes the Nokia Xpress audio messaging functionality, which enables users to record and send a voice message to others over the GPRS network

Currently warming up on the touchlines, the Nokia 5140i is expected to take off its tracksuit and take to the field some time in the second quarter of 2005 with an estimated retail price of €200 (£136/US$260).


Orange Launches Europe’s First Advanced Push to Talk Service

Orange have just launched their Talk Now advanced push to talk service, after nine months of trials in the UK and France. The trials were conducted in association with NHS Lothian, as well as more than 400 French businesses.

Push-to-talk technology allows customers to make calls to a group of handsets for the cost of a standard voice call, with instant communication – much like a walkie talkie.

Orange’s implementation of the service is one of the many variations of push-to-talk that are currently in existence, and is based on technology from Kodiak.

Although not standard, the company is keen to stress the advantages Talk Now has over carrier’s offerings. These include knowing when a contact is free or busy, and being able to record a conference call for sending to a colleague later.

The Treo 600 is the first model supported in the UK, though other models are expected to join it shortly.

Orange on Push to Talk

CeBIT: Unless Vendors Work Together, Push-to-Talk is Dead in the Water

Push to Talk Over Cellular (PoC) has exciting implications for phone and network providers: the technology allows subscribers to send a voice message to someone in their address book. The message travels over the network’s data service, so doesn’t require real-time processing and is obviously not interactive – it’s a bit like a walkie-talkie.

Network providers are already enthusiastic about the new services they will be able to create around this service – and the new revenue streams it will bring them. However, there is already some disagreement over what standards will be adopted and how network providers will exchange PoC messages between networks.

Herman Weiffenbach, vice president of Motorola highlights the problem in CeBIT News: “We now have eight launches in prospect, with 18 active trials under way, 12 of which are in Europe. We also expect a further 16 in the first half of the year. It is all looking very promising, but without standardisation, it won’t fly.”

One of the things that will kill PoC for sure if it’s not sorted out quickly is the current lack of cross-network service. For the time being, you can only use PoC services with recipients on your own network. Nokia, Sony, Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens signed an agreement to enable cross-vendor operability, but this seems to be all they’ve done – there’s been no progress since.

One of the great things about standards is that there’s just so many to choose from: Nokia is not taking part in trials with Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens – because they believe their solution is already the best. The three other companies probably have “En usko” to say to that.

Nokia Push to Talk at 3g

Siemens’ attempt to get into the lead

Nokia and Samsung Work Together on Push to Talk

Push to talk over Cellular (PoC) is felt by the mobile phone business to become an exciting advance for consumers and business user alike.  PoC give a walkie-talkie style connection between two phones.

Nokia have been working on the technology for a while and have developed an open standards approach, which they have put forward to the OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) for use by the industry. They currently have it on trial with 30 operators around the world.

To underline how useful it is, Nokia must be pleased to announce today that Samsung will be releasing products in 2004/5 that will use the standard.

MovieLink Offer Re-rental

MovieLink, the on-demand film service that delivers films via broadband Internet connections, is experimenting with different pricing models. They have launched an offer that permits their viewers to re-watch films that they have downloaded, paid for and watched. They call it MultiPlay.

If a viewer has the urge to watch a film again within 30 days of the original rental, they can pay a normally reduced price to have another 24 hours access to it and have the advantage that the film does not have to be downloaded again. Not all films that MovieLink carry are included, presumably because of licensing restrictions, and the cost of re-renting varies but start at 99c.


Apple Launch iPod Mini

The rumours of the mini-iPod have been proven as true with Steve Jobs announcing a small version of the iPod, the iPod mini at Macworld yesterday.

The smaller-than-current-iPod device will have an anodised aluminium body available in five colours; silver, gold, pink, blue or green and be capable of holding 1,000 128-Kbps AAC encoding, CD-quality songs on its tiny hard drive. It will also only weigh 3.6 ounces (102 mg).

The iPod mini runs the same software as current iPods, so no functionality is lost, despite its slight smaller backlight LCD screen (1.67 inch vs 2-inch and 138-by-110-pixel resolution, 0.22-mm dot pitch vs 160-by-128-pixel resolution, 0.24-mm dot pitch). In a further refinement to the design, the four buttons have been integrated into the touch wheel – Apple labels it Click Wheel.

Recharging times will be the same as the current model, but the mini will be able to pull its power from either the FireWire or USB 2.0 cable.

It will be available in the US in February and worldwide in April with a suggested selling price of $249 in the US and a UK price of £199 (inc VAT).

Apple also announced they have sold two million iPods and by way of a celebration they also announced that they will be upgrading the smallest capacity from 10Gb to 15Gb without increasing the price.

Apple iPod & iPod mini specs