Yay! I got a comment on my blog. An anonymous commenter pointed me towards Smart Decode, a QR-Code like optical encoding scheme that can be read by ordinary mobile camera optics and can also be used to represent URLs, contact info, etc. You can see a few examples at the link the commenter was nice enough to provide. This reminded me of Shotcode which is yet another format for representing data with a simple monochrome pattern. While Smart Decode is only available to Smart subscribers (only in the Philippines, apparently), Shotcode lets you make your own codes online. Apparently they also have a proxy to adapt web pages for mobiles. You can create codes for "minimum", "medium" and "maximum (no images)" site optimization. Here are some shotcodes for this blog. They represent "minimum", "medium" and "maximum" optimization levels from left to right (or from upper left if they wrap to the next line). I don't happen to have a compatible phone with me at the moment (no support for my keitai :(), but you can download the application from their web site as well. I'll taking a trip to Amsterdam this weekend, so maybe I'll try it out while I'm there.


Japanese Phones Slimming Down

Since Softbank took over Vodafone, they have been promoting the image that they are a "slim phone" carrier. Slim keitai like the 706P, 705SC, 706SC, 707SC and 709SC (damn, Samsung makes a lot of phones) have been heavily marketed to enforce this. For a couple months it looked like Softbank was where to go for unobtrusive mobiles. Now DoCoMo has entered the slim keitai market with a vengeance. The 703iμ series, at 11.4mm for the Panasonic and NEC versions, and only 9.9mm for the Mitsubishi version, trump Softbank's thinnest 707SC at 11.9mm.

Sure they are not loaded with all the features, but they have the essentials (scheduler, phone book, somewhat decent 1.3MP camera) and the P and N models have music players can use microSD to expand their memory. I still like the Softbank 709SC I am using, but will be trying these out over the next few weeks.

By the way, the D800iDS was not all that. Cool idea, but the interface is a little slow and there is not much innovative use of the touchscreen outside of click-wheel-style menu scrolling.