Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Monday, February 14, 2005

100 Mobile Product Ideas...#7...

Yesterday I was away from home, visiting friends. I promised my wife that I would call her "as I got near" home, as I was bringing a guest back for dinner. She needed time to prepare etc. My wife is very hospitable and a good cook.

Problem is that I didn't remember to call until I was nearly home - "I'm ten minutes away". That was probably nearer 5 minutes in reality - not very fair on my wife either way. With her magic, she still managed to prepare some really good food.

Then I realised that with location-sensing, my approach could be programmed automatically. It doesn't actually require tracking of my whereabouts, just a trigger to sense when I enter one of the cells within the defined range. That's no extra overhead on the network, as cell-based sensing is essential for mobility management anyway.

But, how should my wife by notified?
Using the phone of course!

The great thing about Parlay is that a 3rd-party call could be initialised. This means that the network is told to ring my phone and my home phone. In fact, it seems a good idea to keep this switch on all of the time. When I think about it, my approach to home always causes me to make that call - "I'm nearly home". This must be a common occurence for spouses, partners, parents, children who approach home.

The great thing about Parlay is that (in theory) I could go program this app myself. Otherwise, this is specialised call processing stuff deep in the bowels of the network that external developers would never gain access to. In other words, Parlay opens the network, at least from a programmatic point of view. Commercially....that's another issue....

The thorny issue with Parlay applications like this, or any that go beyond simple discrete messaging paradigms, is the billing. How will the operator charge for this service and share the revenue? I shall post more on this later. There is no single solution, but we can attempt to look at models that might lead to open networks in the near future.

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