Daniel Amor
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  • Internet Future Strategies
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  • Title: Internet Future Strategies
    Author: Daniel Amor
    Publisher: Prentice Hall, New York, 2001
    ISBN: 013041803X
    Pages: 318
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Pervasive Computing Is Persuasive

The idea for this book was born when Hewlett-Packard was looking for ideas for the so-called "CNN Vignettes," where a set of 60-second short stories was requested. I wrote four of them with the following ideas in mind. The short stories should present the next chapter on the Internet: the so-called e-services. They should explain the difference between Chapter One and Chapter Two. If we look at these differences we can show that in Chapter One, the current Internet, customers have to serve themselves on the Web. The cutting-edge concept/vision described in Chapter Two is how the Internet automatically services the customers and life therefore becomes easier.

In The E-Business (R)Evolution, which I wrote in 1999, I tried to open e-business and e-commerce to all readers. The book introduced the paradigms and concepts of the Internet as we see it today and how it is used in today's environment. The Internet as we know it today is based on computer-to-computer communication. Over the next few years, this PC-based communication will become part of a much larger network that will connect not only PCs, but also mobile phones, refrigerators, stoves, and television sets. In the last two chapters, I introduced the readers to a concept called "pervasive computing," which encompasses the technologies mentioned previously and introduces new business models.

One of these business models is mobile commerce (m-commerce), which allows people to use their mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to buy goods and services over the new extended Internet. Key for the introduction of m-commerce are new technologies such as the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), which allow the transport of information to mobile phones (WAP) and high-speed links between mobile phone and servers. The UMTS standard allows transfer rates up to 2 Mbit/s, which is about 40 times faster than an ISDN connection today. WAP was introduced in early 2000, and UMTS will be rolled out in 2003.

But m-commerce does not mean that Amazon.com will now sell all books over the dishwasher instead of over the PC. Many companies think in this direction, and after reading the book, you should understand why this is not the right strategy. New business ideas are required. A mobile phone user will probably want location-based products and services. If the mobile phone user walks through New York City, information, products, and services that are near him are more interesting than a book available somewhere on the Internet. One of the most advanced countries in the world, regarding m-commerce, is Finland where many location-based services have been introduced to the general public. The mobile phone can be used, for example, to buy a soft drink at the airport. Just walk up to the soft drink vending machine, call a certain phone number, and the soft drink will be released. Young people in Helsinki, Finland, can use a party finder service to locate a party nearby, based on some preferences, such as music, type, and size. When walking in downtown Helsinki, the user can have the mobile phone notify him about parties within the vicinity.

This book presents these and other examples in a broader context. It is not only about m-commerce, but also about all types of pervasive computing architectures and implementations, such as home networks and virtual enterprise networks. They all share the same infrastructure and the same basic technologies, such as Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML already plays an important role, but it will become even more important in the future as the devices connected to the Internet become even more heterogeneous.

Who Should Read This Book

Solution architects and implementers who need to know how to make the current e-business/e-commerce implementations future-proof will find here the key concepts and architectural designs required for expanding existing infrastructure and technologies. The book is not about programming, although it features some small excerpts to make the concepts easier to understand. E-Services and pervasive computing will change the way people work on and think about the Internet; solution architects will learn about the technologies and the new business models.

Individuals and companies can learn more about the new possibilities of the e-services revolution, which is about to take place. Technical and business managers in companies will also benefit from the book, since they are the people who prepare the long-term strategy for their companies. CEOs will recognize the new paradigm behind the stories.

Online startups will also profit from the book, as they will learn how they can create competitive e-services and how to integrate their existing solutions into an e-service. The book will give them an insight into the new business paradigm and the new economy, which are about to emerge. The major question for all technologies in this book is: "Why should I use it?" There are enough books on how to use a technology; many people know how, but many forget to ask why. Sometimes it makes sense to avoid new technologies, because they only add extra overhead to the work that needs to be done. Whenever people explain a new technology to you, do not ask how it can be done, but why it should be done.

How This Book Is Organized

Part I opens the "next chapter" of Internet history as it explains the new technologies and business concepts: mobile commerce, home automation, and a variety of enabling technologies, some of which are already taking their first steps.

Part II presents four vignettes for the business-to-consumer world (B2C) or for the business-to-business (B2B) world. Each vignette illustrates a problem and its solution by the Internet of the future. Then, we look at real-world solutions possible today and envision future solutions. We examine a business plan for those solutions and extend that architecture to other business cases.

Part III speculates on how the Internet might look in 25 years and discusses the impact it will have on society, politics, finances, and technology.

The book contains many examples and links to web pages. As the Internet is changing every day, I cannot guarantee that every link will be available at the time you read the book. As a convenience to the readers, I have set up a web site that contains a list of all examples used in the book and will update the list at regular intervals. In addition, the web site will contain links to other e-business sites and more information on the topics in the book. The URL of the web site is http://www.futureinternetstrategies.com/ and will be available from the time of publishing.


First of all I would like to thank my wife Sabine for the continued support of my crazy ideas. Although it is sometimes difficult to maintain the work-life balance, I try as hard as I can to be there for her whenever she needs me. I wrote this book besides my real job as a consultant and solution architect for Hewlett-Packard in Europe. Sabine, I want to tell you that I love you.

I would also like to thank all readers of the The E-Business (R)Evolution and Dynamic Commerce. The feedback on these books was well received and I hope I havenât made the same mistakes again. If you want to get in touch with me, please go to my web site and use the feedback form. I usually get back to you within a day. If it takes longer, I may be traveling, so please be patient, because I travel a lot. A discussion forum is also provided to enable the discussion among readers. I have also set up a university area where students and lecturers can exchange information and download presentations for educational purposes.

I would also like to thank Jill Pisoni of Prentice Hall who supported the idea and helped me with all the details in getting this book published. My thanks also go to all other people involved at Prentice Hall to bring this book to the market. The people at Prentice Hall were also very responsive and helpful, and I want to thank them for the continued support during the writing of the book without which this book would not have been possible.

I owe Hewlett-Packard, my managers, Isabelle Roux-Buisson and Albert Frank, and my colleagues a big thank you for their support and the many general discussions on business on the Internet that were conducted in the coffee breaks and during meetings that made me change some parts of the book while writing it.

Last, but not least I would like to thank Thomas Kessler of Smart-SMS and Uta Winter of MediaTechBooks for reviewing the book at various stages and their input for changes during the writing. I would also like to thank them for their invaluable support, ideas, and suggestions.

Daniel Amor
Chief Technologist eCommerce
Hewlett-Packard Germany
Stuttgart, Germany, 23rd February, 2001