THE IRISH TAXPAYER is funding a community portal concept woven around Microsoft Sharepoint and heavy templates. While the developers work on smoothing out the system, I wonder why mobile connectivity (after all, it's coined "Mobhaile" isn't it?) isn't the priority? There are very interesting mobile technology capabilities out there worth leveraging, many appearing in the SmartMobs spotlight every week, some percolating into Irish mobile developers, such as the free developer kits at Semacode.
No computer is more pervasive in Ireland than the cameraphone. Irish citizens are wired on the pavement and community-financed initiatives should connect people at that touchpoint. I see more value-for-money in that proposition than a tired templating process for community portals.
Semacode has flanked Mobhaile. The concept uses the powerful processors, substantial memory, internet connections, and Java-based applications on board the phones. You get a new platform for connecting the real world with the virtual world. Semacode gets this.
As Simon Woodside explains, "Semacode is a real-world gateway into the virtual world of Internet content. A semacode is a special symbol that can be printed on any ordinary printer. Semacodes are a flexible way to encode short strings of text — specifically, a URL — into a machine readable format. Any machine can read them if it has a camera, a software decoder, and an Internet connection."
If Mobaile built on top of existing camera phone and basic printing technology, the developers could blanket Ireland with semacode identifiers. These identifiers could create signs where they should be, leading camera phone users to a specified URL on the Internet automatically, with a single click.
People carry their phones with them everywhere. Why not leverage their connectivity with this kind of capability by kick-starting a Semacode community?
Howard Rheingold -- "Cameraphones and 2D Barcodes"
Dan Gillmor -- "Real world hyperlinks via mobile phone"
Semacode -- "Real world hyperlinks with a cameraphone"
Blogdex -- "Sem@code: WiFi + CueCat = UbiComp"