|By Bill Ray||
|January 1, 2000 12:00 AM EST||
MS messages don't tend to overload the network. Being non-time critical means that delays during peak times can be tolerated. While a network may regret a campaign to get users to make more voice calls, more SMS messages generally mean just more revenue, something most mobile operators are in desperate need of. But in addition to the general "I'm on my way home" and "I'll be in the pub in half an hour" type messages, a new generation of services is about to proliferate, offering everything from music to theater tickets, all encapsulated within 160 alphanumeric characters (the limit of SMS).
Users send messages on their handsets, originally entering each character by pressing a key repeatedly (so pressing button 2 once gets you an "a" while pressing it twice gets you a "b"). Predictive text entry, now the norm, allows you to press each button once while the phone tries to guess the word you want from its internal dictionary. Thus, pressing 4 twice gets you "hi" as that is the only two-letter word made up from the letters on the 4 key (g, h, and i).
This produces some interesting bias in the words included in the phones (Spock is there, as is Klingon, but Sulu and Uhura are strangely absent), but has massively increased both the number of messages and their complexity. So obsessive is the act of texting (the very existence of the word shows just how ubiquitous the medium has become) that a recent UK quiz show had users texting the questions to friends, with the winner being the fastest to get a correct response!
The latest handset from Nokia (model 5510) has a QWERTY keyboard squeezed onto the front, while British Telecom now offers SMS to nonmobile users in the form of their latest home telephone. But sending messages to friends is the tip of the iceberg, with new services popping up almost daily and real money to be made by those who can see what's possible.
Ringtones Hit the Jackpot
Probably the best-known extension to SMS is the ability to send and receive ringtones. With mobile phones able to play a variety of notes, SMS was the logical way to send new ringtones to mobiles; after all, SMS was originally created to send settings to phones. But having different tones for different callers was only the beginning. It didn't take long for people to work out the format of those SMS messages, and for hackers to start putting together their own tones based on their favorite tunes. Now every UK tabloid paper has pages of advertisements in the back offering ringtones based on just about every tune you've heard of (interestingly, all without paying a penny in royalties to the tune owners), and almost recognizable.
These tunes are either purchased by phoning a premium-rate number (generally not from your mobile) and entering the tune code along with your mobile number, or by sending a formatted SMS message to a specific number (for this you're charged a couple of dollars). So now when a phone goes off on the train it's as likely to be playing the theme from "Buffy" as making the plain old bleeping noise.
New Services Try to Gain Ground
A natural follow-on from ringtones is logos, the tiny pictures displayed on Nokia (and some other) phones when they aren't being used, or when calls are received from particular numbers. It's been years since so much effort has been put into monographics (just black and white; grays and color are still on their way), and the designers of WAP sites could do well to take a look at what's being sold as logos for phones. These tiny graphics are also easily sent over SMS, and are available from the same companies offering ringtones at similar prices (and with similar disregard for copyright). While ringtones have been a bonanza, logos just aren't as popular, mostly because the user has to draw their friends' attention to them, which is less impressive than them noticing a cool ringtone.
SMS-based games have not enjoyed the success hoped for; SMS gets cheaper with volume, and few games can generate the kind of numbers that make sense in a commercial environment. For example, in the UK, Vodafone will pass on 4 pence of the 10 pence charge for an SMS if you handle over 500,000 messages a month, cutting it to 1.5 pence if you are handling only 25,000 messages, and offering nothing at all for lower volumes. Revenues can be increased by charging users more. The ringtone operators described above can rely on 73 pence of each pound with only 5,000 messages a month. But even 5,000 messages a month is going to require a very popular game, so SMS services aren't really open to the hobbyist/ enthusiast in the way WAP is.
However, where scale is possible, companies are even using SMS as an additional promotional channel, with SMS numbers appearing on posters beside Web sites promoting films or games; just send an SMS for more information to be sent back to you. Of course, with SMS you also get added to their mailing list, something most Web-site operators would cheerfully kill for. While sending messages is expensive, certainly when compared to e-mail, network operators are very flexible in their pricing, and some services can even be offered free on the assumption of gaining additional revenue from other sources.
A good example of this is networks that allow users to send SMS messages from Web sites without charge, on the assumption that most messages will require a response from the mobile handset, which will be charged for as usual. Several attempts to integrate SMS with Internet e-mail have fallen down on charging, though some limited services are available. Being charged 5 pence to receive spam isn't something consumers are prepared to do.
Taking services one stage further is the possibility of SMS tickets to events, with a unique number advertised on posters promoting the event. Users could send an SMS to the number and receive an electronic ticket to be displayed on arrival at the event. Charges could be made for the SMS message, or via prior arrangement with a booking agency. Such services aren't in operation yet, but the infrastructure is there and waiting to be used.
Extending SMS isn't going to be easy. While most handsets will support longer messages (by the simple process of cutting them up and sending them as multiple messages), there is not yet any agreed standard for enhanced messaging services (actually, there are two standards, but that's the problem!), so we are still left with 160 characters of text.
Searching for "the next ringtones" is occupying a lot of minds at the moment. Last week I even saw an advertisement for adult text services: "Our girls are standing by," read the advert, though I couldn't establish whether these were real girls, computer geeks, or even a simple expert system, and the company declined to comment on the amount of use the service was getting. But true innovation comes from taking a working system and applying it in a different way, and I'm looking forward to finding out who (or what) I'll be sending my next text message to.
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Apr. 27, 2017 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 5,398
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Apr. 27, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,543
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
Apr. 27, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,698
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Apr. 27, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 5,962
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 27, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,163
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Apr. 27, 2017 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,463
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 27, 2017 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 827
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Apr. 27, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,499
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 27, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 9,135
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Apr. 26, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,342
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 26, 2017 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,387
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Apr. 26, 2017 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,414
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Apr. 26, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,988
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Apr. 26, 2017 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,383
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Apr. 26, 2017 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,000
Apr. 26, 2017 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 554
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Apr. 26, 2017 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,181
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 26, 2017 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,205
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Apr. 26, 2017 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 678
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...
Apr. 26, 2017 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,271