The Wireless Advantage
Wireless brings three new dimensions to the web: localization, personalization, and immediacy. The net effect is new opportunities for building trusted and sustainable relationships with customers and suppliers as well as efficiently utilizing an increasingly mobile workforce.
Localization is the ability to geographically locate wireless devices using either the global positioning system (GPS) or taking advantage of sophisticated cellular triangulation techniques to pinpoint location to within several feet. Travel-related software has been one of the first application areas to take advantage of localization. Wirelessly connected users can enter their street location on a PDA and receive information about nearby shops, restaurants, or clubs, sorted by distance and with walking directions. On the enterprise side, application servers now use localization to activate database triggers and push location-specific responses to mobile users.
Because wireless network providers already track user identity for billing purposes, applications can leverage this information to personalize content based on user preferences and/or patterns of use. For wireless consumer applications, tailoring content based on individual preferences and need opens up new value-added opportunities for cross-selling related item sales and up-selling more expensive variants of the initial product of interest.
Immediacy and Push
Another major advantage of wireless is its ability to immediately deliver or push information to users when they need it rather than when it's requested. On the desktop web, users initiate requests, pulling information from servers. With always-on wireless computing, servers can push information to users, similar to cellular services pushing the time to your phone every minute. Candidates for wireless push include e-mail header alerts, full-text e-mail, paging, and file downloads.