Mobile IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Zakia Bouachraoui, Kevin Benedict, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Mobile IoT

Mobile IoT: Article

Brave New (Wireless) World

Brave New (Wireless) World

I've always been an adventurous spirit. In some circles that translates to brave; in others the definition leans more toward brainless. This thought crossed my mind most recently while discussing the expanse of wireless Web services with a friend. There had been a recent flurry of activity to provide content and services available via wireless devices, and a thought experiment quickly ensued. How extensive is the state of the wireless world? How successfully could a person rely solely on the content and services provided by the wireless Net? Where could we find a sorry sucker who'd give it a try?

Post-PC Man?

I must admit I'm addicted to my PC. Nothing short of the center of my cosmos, as a developer it is my livelihood. As a citizen of a modern society, it is my gateway to the world at large. Living without the vast amounts of information would be a struggle, to say the least, more like catastrophic in a worst-case scenario. But, like
a brave (brainless?) guinea pig, I unplugged my PC.

"What are you doing, Dave?"
"Braving the wireless world, HAL."
"I'm sorry, Dave, but I can't allow you to do that" **zap**

Armed with a Palm VII and a WAP-enabled phone, I was free to leave my desk and explore the "outdoors world," often a topic of legend and lore in my younger, pre-Internet addiction days. First things first, though. As much as I could do without a computer, I wasn't ready to face my even darker demon, e-mail. I had ThinAir installed on my Palm Pilot, a nice application that provides POP3 access to any mail server. I was wireless - but not isolated. The best part of this experiment was actually identifying my own usage patterns on the computer. I use it most extensively at work, mostly for sending e-mails, writing up specifications, and programming. Minus the occasional Napster download or a few day trades here and there, nothing without which I would shrivel up and die. I sought out ways to make sure I didn't suffer - nothing about martyrdom is appealing.

FusionOne provides Web-based storage as a centralized location for synchronization of all your files (Word documents, in case your boss asks; MP3s, if she doesn't). There was no way that I could figure out to browse to a Web site, download an MP3, then ask it to be saved to FusionOne absent developing an interface myself, most likely CGI scripts and Web clipping applications.

Watching stocks and making trades, however, was far easier than expected. Despite my inherent hatred of the Palm Pilot's shorthand system, which I compare to cursive hieroglyphic Sanskrit, I was able to make a few trades combining E*Trade's Palm Pilot application and my cell phone to actually make the purchase.

WAP vs Palm

Other typical online activities were pretty easily available on the Palm Pilot. I found it far more useful for anything interactive than my WAP phone. My WAP phone is set up to send me the weather for the day and my daily horoscope every day at a specified time. It's much better suited for one-way "pushes." The Palm Pilot had a bigger display and (as much as I hate to admit it) an easier input mechanism. There's nothing good to be said about pressing 9 three times for a Y.

My curiosity was piqued by AOL's latest nosedive into the wireless world with their large deal with Sprint PCS, my phone carrier. The Sprint Wireless Web "portal" listed AOL auspiciously as the third option in their main menu. My attempt to send an e-mail from my AOL account failed miserably and, tired of typing with one finger, I gave up in frustration. I found myself longing for a stylus, the lesser of two evils.

I must say that in terms of real-time access to news stories, the wireless Web is really the way to go. I had no problems keeping up to date, browsing to stories of interest and "clicking" through to get a more detailed story. I was concerned about the length of some of the stories on the Palm Pilot - anything over 150KB a month from Palm.net and they have dibs on my first-born child. I had the foresight to switch my phone plan to include free wireless Web for the duration of my experiment.

Frustrations aside, I opted to go to a movie, listings for which were conveniently available by both cell phone and Palm Pilot. I opted for the Palm Pilot, for time's sake. I also installed Amazon.com Anywhere, Amazon's PQA for wireless shopping. Mission Impossible 2 wasn't all that great, but I was sure the soundtrack would be. I was slightly apprehensive about transmitting credit card information over a wireless connection. (Later I would do some additional research into the security built into the Palm VII and be much reassured.) The transaction went off without a hitch. It was slow compared to what I could have done with a desktop, I thought to myself, still not forgetting what it felt like to be shackled to a desk in order to enjoy the Internet.

No Such Thing As a Free Lunch

Experiment over. A day in the life of a man free from wires had given me a different vision. The freedom to wander came at a price, namely speed and usability. I was reminded of the  Internet's earlier days. Access to your information from any computer was a convenience but came at a price - ironically, speed and usability. The parallel was clear. And there's my outlook. Welcome to the second revolution (or was that continued evolution?) of the Internet.

More Stories By Jeremy Hill

Jeremy Hill, WBT's Generation Y editor, has a heavy interest in WAP development and wireless Internet access. He has served as senior Webmaster for large hospital chains as well as government agencies where he helped implement large-scale wireless Internet projects. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan. He resides in the Los Angeles area, where he is currently pursuing a
graduate degree in computer science.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
@CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX, two of the most influential technology events in the world, have hosted hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors since our launch 10 years ago. @CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX New York and Silicon Valley provide a full year of face-to-face marketing opportunities for your company. Each sponsorship and exhibit package comes with pre and post-show marketing programs. By sponsoring and exhibiting in New York and Silicon Valley, you reach a full complement of decision makers and buyers in ...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
LogRocket helps product teams develop better experiences for users by recording videos of user sessions with logs and network data. It identifies UX problems and reveals the root cause of every bug. LogRocket presents impactful errors on a website, and how to reproduce it. With LogRocket, users can replay problems.
Data Theorem is a leading provider of modern application security. Its core mission is to analyze and secure any modern application anytime, anywhere. The Data Theorem Analyzer Engine continuously scans APIs and mobile applications in search of security flaws and data privacy gaps. Data Theorem products help organizations build safer applications that maximize data security and brand protection. The company has detected more than 300 million application eavesdropping incidents and currently secu...