I swear I don’t sit up at night and think of these uses for OneNote Mobile and a UMPC. They really just happen! Previously I used this hardware and software solution for a pool project at Home Depot as well as my fantasy football draft. I’m 2-1, for the record…not sure if it was the mobile tech involved or I’m just a good coach. ;)
Anyway, today I had to send out my Xbox 360 for repairs based on it freezing up last week. As promised, Microsoft sent me a pre-paid UPS mailer so I packed it up and drove to a UPS Store this morning. Then it hit me: I don’t have the tracking number and of course, I never carry an ink pen. Sure, I could have asked for one from the UPS folks, but c’mon! There has to be a mobile solution to capture the tracking number and then easily use the digital data to track the package, right?
While I didn’t have an ink pen, I did have my XV 6700 Windows Mobile phone with the beta of OneNote Mobile installed. The XV 6700 has a built in camera and OneNote can make use of that camera directly, so before I walked in to the UPS Store, I snapped a quick pic of the tracking label as shown:
When I got home, I connected my XV 6700 to the Samsung Q1 UMPC, which has both OneNote 2007 and ActiveSync installed. By default, ActiveSync is configured to synch any OneNote Mobile data, so the picture was imported directly into my OneNote notebook. Since I have quite a bit of info in OneNote on the Q1, I decided to search for the new picture. This is possible because not only is handwritten text searchable in OneNote, but text in pictures is as well. I simply searched for the word "Tracking" and of course the first hit was the picture of my tracking label!
Once the picture was found, I tapped and held my stylus on it for my menu options; I chose "Copy Text from Picture" and then pasted the text on the same note as shown below. Notice that OneNote tried to translate some of the barcode as well; that’s not important because I got the tracking number I needed.
Now it’s just a simple copy and paste of the tracking number into Google and the tracking info is there.
BUT WAIT: THERE’S MORE! Some folks like to track their packages via e-mail, but I prefer using RSS and a very useful site called SimpleTracking. [Last I checked, they were having issues with the UPS system however.] If you enter a tracking number on the SimpleTracking site, it will generate an RSS URL so you can track your package with RSS. Hmmm….there’s built in RSS reading in Internet Explorer 7, so a quick click and I’ve got an RSS feed in my UMPC to track my Xbox 360! Of course, you could add the feed to Outlook 2007 (or any other RSS reader for that matter), but I like to keep RSS outside of Outlook; it’s just my personal preference.
Now that you all have the tracking info, feel free to watch my Xbox 360 return home for what I hope is a speedy repair. Anyone know of a good Google Maps mashup that works with package tracking? It would be a totally fun time waster to watch the 360 travel along a Google Map! ;)