Submitted by cordis on Mon, 22/06/2009 - 10:33pm
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Based on information from ICT Results
Coordination, Cooperation; Information and communication technology applications ; Innovation, Technology Transfer; Scientific Research; Telecommunications
The Simple Mobile Services (SMS) project, funded under the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) strand of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme to the tune of EUR 2.88 million, targeted the creation of modern tools that would make the lives of mobile users trouble-free.
The outcomes are refreshing for the research sector and industry.
Unlike web services that change constantly, mobile applications are lacklustre at best.
In order to move past the existing obstacles, the SMS partners have developed a platform and a suite of supporting tools to deliver a simpler alternative - one that will be equivalent to tools and services provided by the World Wide Web, including Web clients, Web servers, HTML, etc.
SMS shows a lot of promise, particularly because the tools that are being developed by the project partners will not only benefit users but the industry in general.
Not only is SMS easy to use, but it is also dependable and easy to set up. The system is currently being used with two of the world's top mobile phone operating systems: Windows Mobile and Symbian.
The consortium is also mulling over plans to link the system with Apple's iPhone.
'We wanted to make our Simple Mobile Services platform open source and universal, so [users] do not depend exclusively on service providers,' Dr Nicola Blefari-Melazzi, who coordinated the project, told ICT Results.
According to the consortium, the only thing that companies wishing to use the SMS system have to do is set up a server in their IT department.
SMS can be used by anyone because the system works with or without network operators.
An obstacle currently hampering mobile services is how network operators control the available technology. The end result is incompatible systems that users must re-learn each time they change operator, the partners said.
One of the tools developed by SMS is Mobile Electronic Memos (MEMs). These electronic notes allow users to obtain information about services, people, websites, etc, as well as to exchange information with others.
The partners said the users are able to obtain, annotate and store MEMs that are associated with their current environment. Case in point is how users can 'capture' a business card of a colleague or associate. The users could also capture a MEM generated by a service they are using, including the confirmation of an airline booking, for example.
Mobile, Open and Very Easy (MOVE) is another technology developed by SMS. MOVE is a browser for mobile services running on mobile devices. Users have access to services based on their profile and current context like location and time.
Another innovative tool is SIM-based security. For instance, SMS partners Sagem Orga GmbH (Germany) and Telecom Italia developed verification and certificate systems that are hardwired to the SIM card in users' phones and provide solid security support to authenticate MEMs.
The consortium tested the platform with 100 students at the University of Roma II in Italy. The students were able to keep each other informed about class cancellations or changes, and exchange ideas and information.
With the positive feedback obtained since the project ended last February, businesses have already expressed an interest in using the SMS system. The consortium is currently exploring options for commercial use of the product.
'We want to build an open-source developer community around the technology, and of course we would be interested in talking to anyone who is interested in our work,' Dr Blefari-Melazzi said.