Reuters and Nokia are partnering on a new mobile journalism project that gives journalists tools to gather and report news in the field without lugging around a few tons of equipment.
The mobile toolkit is based around the Nokia 95 mobile phone. The full kit includes a Bluetooth keyboard, a Sony microphone (with a custom N95 adapter), a tripod for recording video and a portable solar panel for charging the phone.
When I was out in the field almost every day I used to carry around a trusty minidisc recorder, microphone, PDA and Bluetooth keyboard. I could take notes, write scripts, and record audio on the go. And all of my equipment fit into a small bag. But I couldn't easily edit audio or send it back to my radio station from the field. For that I would need a laptop. It's pretty cool to see Reuters exploring the boundaries of mobile technology. Sometimes it makes a lot more sense to have a portable device like a PDA or cellphone than a computer. They're smaller, lighter, and typically get far longer battery life.
You can check out stories reported using the mobile toolkit during a trial period this summer at the Reuters Mobile Journalism page.