A movie claimed to be the first ever cinema-standard film to be shot solely on the iPhone has been premiered by celebrated South Korean director Park Chan-Wook.
"Night Fishing" is said to have the same picture resolution as conventional movies but took just 80 people, 150 million won ($133,000) and 10 days to create.
Park Chan-Wook said he at first approached the project, a 30-minute film about a surreal encounter between a fisherman and a female shaman (medium), for fun.
"New technology always offers wonders and useful features. Testing them is part of the amusement," he told Yonhap news agency in an interview after Monday's premiere.
But the director, best known internationally for "Oldboy" and "Thirst" which each won Cannes festival prizes, discovered unexpected benefits.
"It was a new experience compared with making a meticulously planned movie. Even a casual and spontaneous shot delivered a surprise," he said.
"It felt like there were more choices."
The scenes were shot simultaneously with two iPhones from different angles, but staffers also contributed with recordings on their own iPhones.
"Some of them had an unexpectedly interesting angle," said Park Chan-Wook, describing the process as more democratic since everyone with a smartphone took part.
PROne, the agency representing Park Chan-Wook, claimed the iPhone movie would be the first ever to be shown in cinemas.
Park Chan-Wook, however, said the medium would not outweigh the message.
"Making a film with smartphones might generate more interest at the moment. But as time goes by, stories and actors on screen will be seen as more important," he told Yonhap.
KT Corp, sole local agent for the iPhone which has sold 1.8 million units in South Korea since November 2009, partially funded the film.
The movie, co-directed by Park and his brother Park Chan-Kyong, will be shown in 10 cinemas nationwide from January 27 for four days.
In other iPhone news, Google has updated its Google Goggles mobile application that is so smart it can solve your Sudoku puzzles.
The app, launched in December 2009, was designed to analyze pictures, search the web and return information about the objects found in the photo.
The new Goggles 1.3 client for Android devices is faster and smarter than previous editions.
The process of barcode scanning has been sped up within the app and now provides "almost instant" results.
All versions of Google Goggles will now also recognize images in print ads and newspapers: snap a picture of a magazine advert and you will be linked to web search results about the featured product or brand.
For the time being, only print ads appearing in major US magazines from August 2010 are supported.
All these updates are great, but Google's favorite Goggles feature (and one that is sure to impress your friends) is the application's new-found ability to solve Sudoku puzzles.
"Now, Goggles on Android and iPhone can recognize puzzles and provide answers to help make you faster than a Sudoku champ. So if you ever get stuck, take a clear picture of the entire puzzle with Goggles and we'll tell you the correct solution," says Google in a January 10 blog post.
Google shows how its application can beat a Sudoku champion with its puzzle-solving application in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdftOloAH9Q
The makers of Word Lens -- an Augmented Reality translation application for the iPhone -- have implemented similar optical character recognition (OCR) features within their app and achieved amazing results. Word Lens is able to recognize characters within a photo and translate them from English into Spanish, or vice versa, on the fly.
Google Goggles version 1.3 with improved barcode scanning for Android devices is available for download in the Android Market now.
Print ad recognition and Sudoku solving has been activated and will now work on the Google Goggles app for Android and the Goggles component of the Google Mobile App for iPhone. -- AFP RELAXNEWS