toothR - the wireless community

By Martin Herfurt | Project start: April 4, 2007

toothR - the wireless community

This project has been started in late 2006. The idea was to revolutionize and democratize the business model of event photography. Instead of just semi-professional photographers, the toothR community solution enabled anyone with a Bluetooth-capable mobile phone to participate in event photography.

The company toothR new media GmbH was founded in April 2007 with support of the AplusB programme funding for innovative Austrian start-up companies.

Technical solution

For the solution to work, Bluetooth-based photo receivers were developed. These devices were based on OpenWRT-compatible hardware (ASUS WL-500g). Every device was equipped with two Bluetooth 2.1 EDR Class-1 USB-dongles. An OBEX-PUSH server implementation on the devices was implemented to receive photos from Bluetooth-capable mobile phones. The device itself was connecting via WiFi or cable-based ethernet to the Inernet in order to send the photographs to a SOAP-based web-service. At the server, the photographs were automatically being watermarked with the logo of the location where the image has been received. Additionally, all photos were flagged and tagged by people participating in the Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service.

Once, the photographs were cleared by MTurk workers, the watermarked photographs were delivered back to the location they originated from in order to be displayed on screens in the respective location. The screens in the locations were connected to small Linux-based PCs running a flash application in a browser in full-screen mode. This application was pulling images from the server and displayed them together with ads.

Optionally, users could register their phones by sending a picture of a QR-code that was generated in the community portal. This way, photos from the user were linked to the specific user account based on the Bluetooth device address (BDADDR) of the user’s phone.

Project Status: Discontinued (October 2010)