This is a guest post from Kentucky Space. Follow them: @KySpace or via their Facebook page. As the guy responsible for social media at Kentucky Space, I've long been interested in media-and-space, and enjoy using the new social tools and iPhone and Android-based phone applications that make the vacuum just a little more accessible.
For example, follow @twisst on Twitter and you'll be notified when the ISS is passing over your location. Go outside at dusk or dawn and you'll be stunned at how brightly the station reflects our star's light as it glides over Earth's dome. Or follow @XI_V. Google translate the tweets and the diminutive cubesat will offer up its internal voltages and temperates, or whether its camera is armed and ready to snap a picture.
Imagine when a real terrestrial network for CubeSats is available - in addition to the obvious boon of continuous, global contact with amateur satellites, there is no telling what kind of added information, even information of commercial value, that might be made available in the future. GENSO are you listening?
When Kentucky Space flew from Wallops on a suborbital last spring, I turned its calls home into a ringtone that you can download too. From the first decibel, I know when certain people are ringing. I hope that some of the Google Lunar X-PRIZE teams might consider making "spacetones" from their craft available!
The very nice and modestly priced iPhone application Pocket Universe has added the ISS to its list of astronomical objects available as "augmented reality."
Free applications, or "layers," built for the Layar platform can add relevant information to a host of physical objects in a smart phone lens. Download the free phone browser linked from the company's site and you'll also be able to add quite a few published layers, one of which is the AGI layer (seen here) that displays satellites currently orbiting the Earth. It's a surreal, almost startling experience.
But in my view, it's just the beginning! Adding actions to those two dimensional objects is the logical next step - what kinds of things do you think should happen when you touch the visual placeholders for real, orbiting spacecraft - links to websites, special messages, puzzle pieces? How do you see point-and-see space work for you?