HP Labs introduces a new service that will enable mobile web access without GPRS

By Abhinav Lal | Updated Jul 12 2010
HP Labs introduces a new service that will enable mobile web access without GPRS

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HP Labs India has developed a new technology that will allow users of non-GPRS enabled phones to browse the internet, via SMS and voice services, instead of the traditional webpage browsing method. Called SiteonMobile, it is based on cloud computing technology, and will enable the masses to access the internet.

You are probably wondering how this would work, and might be thinking that most pages would overload a user’s phone with SMSes simply to load…Well, if you were, you’d be right - only sites optimized for this sort of viewing can be accessed via SMS, by designing what are called ‘TaskLets’.

These task-based interactions on the website are chosen by the site owners, and will allow users to access only that relevant content/function, instead of the entire page. This is the basis of the entire technology, and that’s why the service’s tagline is “packaged web interactions on mobile.”

All this, in three easy steps, as highlighted on the SiteonMobile webpage (click to enlarge):

These TaskLets can be accessed by PC, as well as any internet-enabled device out there. The Director of HP Labs India, Sudhir Dixit, had this to say about SiteonMobile, and its relevance to the Indian market: “About 54 per cent of the phones sold in India are ultra-low-end and less than three per cent are Internet enabled. There is a strong need to deliver the value of Internet experiences on low-end devices used by users in emerging markets like India.”

Check out the service's site for more information. While the services are currently free, no known sites have been optimised as yet. The ‘invitation only alpha release-product’ access is limited to site owners as of now, and not for end-users. “We make your web content reach billions”, is how they are enticing site-owners to create TaskLets and customize their webpages. Expect full-fledged services to start soon.

 

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Abhinav Lal

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