Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

Fring for iPhone + Ecamm’s Huckleberry Mirror = Two-way Video Chat

Just read this little ditty over at engadget: Fring brings one-way video calling to the iPhone

Fring for iPhone is a free VoIP app. It’s latest version allows one-way video conferencing to other Fring-ers, and also to Skype. Why one-way? Well, because iPhones dont have a camera on the front: you turn the camera towards you, your friend can see the video of you, but you can’t see your own screen. Wack.

This seals the deal; the iPhone 4 must have a front-facing camera. I had really hoped the iPhone v3 (3GS as it is known) would have this feature. But I don’t have an iPhone 4, or even a 3GS.

Upon reading about the new Fring, I was reminded of a cool product I picked up a couple years back: the Huckleberry.

Huckleberry for iPhone?

ecamm: make a Huckleberry mirror so my iPhone can video chat

The Huckleberry is nothing more than a mirror with two little plastic feet/clamps. It attaches to the top of my MacBook and allows the inward-facing camera, through the magic of reflection, to see in the other direction. I used this to turn my macbook into a (quite awkward) videocamera, and to show people stuff (objects, areas of my room, other people) during video chats.

I’m sure the guys at ecamm have already heard the Fring news, and I know they can make a mirror for the iPhone:

prototype iphone mirrors

Ecamm's 2007 prototype setup, with homemade videoconferencing software

So how about it Ecamm guys? The software is now there for all non-jailbreakers (Fring is free, in the app store), the camera is there (facing the wrong way), and you’ve already got the general idea with the mirrors. Ideally, you’d make Huckleberry for iPhone have adjustable feet to accommodate the spectrum of cases and skins available. Hell, if it’s adjustable it’ll even work on other (Nokia) phones with a similar dilemma.

Even after iPhone 4 comes out with a forward-facing camera— or really— especially after iPhone 4 comes out with a forward-facing camera, there will a market of iPhone/3G/3GS (and iPod Touch once it gets its camera) users who want to join the videoconferencing party.

Perhaps my MacBook Huckleberry can be modded to fit on my iPhone… I’ll update this evening with results ;)


Harry Potter iPhone/iPod Touch App Ideas

Update: It’s been done. Not as polished or rich as I’d like to see.

The Harry Potter iPhone App sucks. Here’s some ideas for a killer app (or apps).

The current app sucks because it doesn’t do anything. It’s narrowly more than an iPhone-optimized website or a commercial, offering some movie posters and clips. That’s about it; no wonder they’re giving it away.

An official HP wizard wand app could rock.

  • Include graphics of the characters’ actual wands, but also make it customizable (see Lightsaber Unleashed app).
  • Give it good sound effects and different-colored flashes of light for different spells. As everyone knows, Avada Kedavra is accompanied by a bright green flash, and instant death.
  • Killer features:
    • Voice control: I’m trying to figure out if the new APIs allow this. You’ll have to correctly  pronounce the spell to cast it.
    • Accelerometer control: You’ll also need just the right flick of the wrist for spell casting. In the absence of voice control, this alone would be cool.
    • Bluetooth and/or online multiplayer fucking BATTLES: Yeah. The lightsaber app makes a crashing noise when you pretend-fight with someone, woo! Harry Potter app has stats and skills and shit. Could be a turn-based or real time battle. This would be fun for non-HP fans alike. Imagine standing across the room from your Bluetooth-linked rival, preparing to duel. Or maybe you’re in your basement in full robes, battling online. Hope you’ve been practicing the correct (accelerometer-measured) techniques.

Now we’ve turned the giveaway, boring, shameless promo app into a game, that has lasting power. A single-player mode is also a no-brainer, and would be an excellent training ground to master all the spells. Include the trailers, posters, etc in the game as unlockables, or just as value-added stuff.

Well-executed, this app would take shit over. More ideas to follow.