Internet Future Strategies: How Pervasive Computing Services Will Change the World

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Leverage the next e-business revolution!

Dot.coms may be dead, but the Internet is alive and kicking. What's more, it's transforming itself into a worldwide "pervasive computing" network that will connect everything from mobile phones to TV sets—and offer unprecedented business opportunities. In this book, best-selling e-business consultant Daniel Amor identifies the revolutionary technologies and architectures—and the new business models—that will enable breakthrough success in the next Internet revolution. You'll discover how to:

  • Lay the groundwork for competitive advantage in an era of pervasive computing
  • Identify next-generation opportunities—from mobile commerce to home automation and beyond
  • Build pervasive computing applications that users will pay for
  • Leverage tomorrow's core technologies: XML, Jini, Bluetooth, Microsoft .NET, WAP, UMTS, and more
  • Future-proof your existing Internet infrastructure and applications

Daniel Amor presents several pervasive computing "vignettes," ranging from alarm systems to party planning—complete with business cases and technical solutions. He concludes with a preview of the social, political, privacy, financial, and technological effects that will accompany the new pervasive computing paradigm.

Internet Future Strategies doesn't just help you anticipate the future of e-Business: it delivers a clear blueprint for profiting from it.

Daniel Amor presents several pervasive computing "vignettes," ranging from alarm systems to party planning—complete with business cases and technical solutions. He concludes with a preview of the social, political, privacy, financial, and technological effects that will accompany the new pervasive computing paradigm.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The first ride on the Internet roller coaster has ended. (Perhaps you've noticed the dot-com passengers staggering off, dizzy and disoriented). The second ride is beginning. Call it "pervasive computing": a new set of wireless, broadband, home networking, and home automation technologies will create enormous new opportunities. (And, as usual, plenty of opportunities for costly blunders, too.)

In this book, Daniel Amor helps business decision makers craft a sensible blueprint for profiting from pervasive computing. Amor begins with an overview of these new technologies and indicates who's best positioned to profit from them. Next, he presents four fleshed-out vignettes of pervasive computing applications that seem especially promising, because they solve actual human problems (imagine that!) Example: a high-tech toothbrush that lets dentists remotely diagnose simple problems while you're brushing your teeth at home.

Amor concludes with some ambitious, fascinating speculations about how the Internet might look in 25 years. As Alan Kay once observed, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." This book could help you do just that. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130418036
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 8/1/2001
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Amor, a leading e-Business consultant for Hewlett Packard in Germany, is author of the worldwide best-seller E-business (R)evolution (Prentice Hall PTR). He is currently involved in several enterprise-class e-Business projects for Hewlett Packard throughout Europe and the Middle East.
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Table of Contents

I Where the Future Begins 1
1 The Next Chapter on the Internet 3
2 Mobile Commerce 43
3 Home Automation Systems 99
4 Technologies of the Future 119
5 Applications in the Near Future 161
II Future Strategies 177
6 Wedding Anniversary 179
7 The Thief 191
8 Party People 203
9 Toothaches 213
III Future Impact 223
10 The Future of the Internet 225
A: Future Strategies for Customers 237
B: Internet Addresses 245
C: Glossary 255
Subject Index 291
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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 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 and will be available from the time of publishing.

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Trends in Information Technology

The combination of high-speed computers and intelligent devices is the exciting trend of information technology of the 21st century. The so-called pervasive computing will provide smaller, faster and less expensive technology. Such devices, for example, are scientific instruments or online databases, all completely interconnected by wired or wireless networks and accessible anywhere in the world. This will have major impacts in education, manufacturing, and health care and others. These new trends are devoutly expected by modern industries, like biotechnology. On the other hand, there is a definitive need to focus on users and their tasks rather than only on computing devices and technology.

Business and the idea of services

Effective business is based on the challenging principle of facing relentless competition and still being better than all the business competitors together. Just exaggerating this notion slightly: each and every company which wants to be in the forefront - and remain there - must be able to offer and sell more products, with higher quality, in bigger numbers and in shorter time periods than its competitors. And with better service. Especially with better service.

This is what pervasive computing has to be about: providing services. It is about making them common on a day-to-day basis, up to the point where they become ubiquitous and yet -- mostly -- unnoticed. We are already surrounded by all sorts of computing services in our daily life (e.g. flight reservation system, electronic car systems). Enabling these services to use existing and future network functionalities is the next logical step that only a few companies have begun to think about, let alone started to implement. The understanding of technologies and their social -- therefore potentially economical impact is essential for the success of every business concept. Companies have to integrate new technologies seamlessly into their existing conceptual framework to be able to survive the fierce competition that inevitably arises when there is money to be made.

Services in the life-sciences and health care area for example are of strategic importance for the years to come. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors likewise increasingly fall back on third parties to answer specific questions that are outside their usual knowledge base. Interestingly enough, a paradigmal shift is taking place at the same time: biology gradually moves away from a bench based to a computer based science, as well as biotechnology moves to a robot based and computer instructed technology. The common point of both these trends is the fact that specialized knowledge of a few experts is made available to a broad audience by interconnected knowledge management and the possibility to share and transfer vast amounts of pharmaceutical, genetic, medical and other information. One outcome of this development is the emergence of industrial bioinformatics and the enhancement of the vitality of biotechnology companies.

Business meets Science

Companies have to handle business needs like managing customer relationships, electronic commerce, supply chain management, and enterprise resource planning. On the other hand, science requires effective ways to organize, store, manage and retrieve the exponentially growing volumes of data that accumulates every day. Typically, advances in science lead to advances in technology, and these in turn enable business to create new products and services. However, customers tend to have a selective acceptance of new technologies as the life span of base technologies shortens with every innovation cycle. Not all technologies will therefore be able to generate profit and this is one of the major problems that solution engineers have to overcome nowadays. Companies can improve competitive positioning by use of enterprise-wide computational systems with strong organizational relationships.

The industrial bioinformation applications are a very good example of a pervasive technology. Industrial bioinformatics is not simply based on science, invention or capital, but rather on the combination of these forces. Bioinformatics is an example for one of the emerging service industries that brings together resources, technologies, information and highly skilled workers to form an integrated, high-throughput environment. The effort needed to analyze billions of molecular interactions demands researchers highly skilled in physics, chemistry and computer science working together. Lone researchers are consequently replaced by interdisciplinary teams working in more or less tightly coupled environments. Industrial bioinformatics is an intellectual fusion of biomedicine, automation technology and intensive computing allowing us to scan biology in its entirety and to dig for answers in the mass of data. It involves partnerships between diverse disciplines: application scientists and engineers, biologists and doctors, applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and robot engineers. One advantage of using industrial bioinformatics is the potential for broad corporate viewing of both data and data models, encouraging interactions among individuals and improving discoveries. Therefore the biotechnology industry is very rapidly developing the infrastructure, modifying the infrastructure, the robotics, the network management etc. to be able to handle these pervasive networks.

Service meets Customers

While the technological prerequisites have evolved and were improved continually, the most critical factor in business -- the customers -- still do not get the attention which they deserve. Many companies had to learn the hard way that rethinking the relationship to the customer is a complex process subjugated to continuous development. Only optimizing company processes is bound to fail whenever efficient customer relationship strategies are not applied consistently.

But generating services is not enough. The general bottleneck is teaching the customer to access those services, understand them, and use them on a regular basis. Have a look at today's first steps of integrated Internet services (which are mostly web based at the moment). Regardless how seemingly intuitive and easy to use they might seem, there is no prediction possible on how the human factor will react in certain circumstances. Take for example a company that invests heavily in its online order technology. Normally, the last page a customer sees is a summary of his order and a big button labeled "Order Now!" which commits the order when pressed. In a few obscure cases however, customers do not press this button but rather make a hardcopy printout of that very same order page in their web browser and send this by fax to the company. Needless to say the company really should ask why do customers behave like this, but these things do happen and will happen over and over again during the transitional phases of business/customer relationship over the Internet.

One of the most effective strategies to prevent problems like the above is called collaborative commerce. Collaborative commerce describes the interactions among and within organizations which surround a transaction and improves satisfaction by meeting the customers needs on the first point of contact and creates a competitive advantage by providing a continuous stream of services to customers. It has to be viewed as a critical piece of business initiatives.

Reacting to customer needs

It seems of interest that the drive to use pervasive computing is not the IT-people in the company but rather the business process engineers or the business evolution teams thinking about it. What they are looking at is an opportunity to offer new services, to offer additional services and get new customers. A good example is the life science industry. Genomic information provides many potential targets for drug discovery. One of the challenges is to convert this information into drugs that treat diseases. Diseases that affect people. Knowledge of the genetic factors will allow the development of drugs that deal with the roots of the disorders. The comprehensive knowledge of genetics available today is distributed worldwide on public and private databases and accessible via the Internet. In the future, tight linking of these resources will allow biomedical research to find a molecular definition and diagnosis of diseases rather than the mainly clinical definition and diagnosis. The advantage will be a cost-effective medicine and the ability to prevent particular diseases, in the end being useful to people actually suffering from that disease.

The point of genes is to provide cells with instructions for molecular functions, e.g. making proteins to kill other infected or degenerated cells. Biomedical researchers now need the expertise to merge information technology with science in a productive way. These new pervasive methods should be complemented with deep support and collaboration from experts in allied fields. There is an ever increasing need for the development of new, more efficient and more sensitive computational methods as our understanding of the complex biological interaction within living organisms grows.

The everchanging world

Modern biotechnology brought costs down by a 100-fold in the last ten years in biomedical studies. As a result, functional genomics primed automation and miniaturization. Data generated in the high-throughput areas of biological research has to be processed using automated modular components to ensure (1) high quality data (2) low computation cost and (3) quick exchange of applications/modules while reacting sensitively to changing market conditions or the availability of new methods, programs and technologies. Flexibility of process support is a key requirement for current and future business applications of industrial bioinformatics.

Properly deployed mobile computing allows this flexibility to be streamlined. Pervasive computing brings the data from its source to the field truly ubiquitously through an enterprise data center, to those who need it most. Starting with the use of devices for managing corporate information like sales orders, the devices will be used for a variety of applications like inventory and medical computing, and ending up in a data mobility model. In a production pipeline for instance, where capturing barcode data plays an integral role, the mobile devices can be used for location or tracking the customized product. Using an open wireless Ethernet the data can be synchronized with the corporate network.

Managing the company information flow

For industrial computing and service applications, pervasive computing solutions are essential to extending the value of ERP systems. In a typical company, a number of technologies exist as islands of information with quasi inexistent interconnection. The transfer of data to, from and within departments in a recognizable and secure format has challenged scientists and software developers. Custom interfaces are mostly expensive to develop and maintain. Furthermore, the communication with corporate software solutions like manufacturing execution systems (MES), enterprise relationship management (ERM), supply chain management (SCM), sales force automation (SFA), computer aided selling (CAS), computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), management information systems (MIS) and e-commerce requires intimate knowledge of each software component.

One possible approach for linking two systems that both use a relational database, is simply to use SQL directly to read and write the data between the two systems. Two major problems arise when doing this: 1) complexity and integrity problems rise exponentially when more than two systems are to be linked and 2) more importantly, all security and business agreement rules that are contained within applications are circumvented. In the past few years however, the XML (extensible markup language) standard has emerged as a widely accepted method for transferring data in business applications.

There is a necessity for a minimum of communication between service provider and service customer. In some cases, this communication can be reduced to the point where fully automated processes can kick in (for example with XML formated messages), other cases can only be solved by intensive coaching, e.g. through contact centers. Even within a higher level of automation advanced search engines, intelligent agents, and researcher profiler tools must exist. Although intelligent systems approach aspects of human beings, people are still the best adaptive general problem solver. By implementing pervasive computing capabilities, one can dramatically improve the access to ERP solutions by mobile staff giving the customers a significant competitive advantage.

MWG as a dynamic service provider

MWG-BIOTECH is a leading provider of biotech products using eBusiness and CRM solutions for the research community. The company uses a comprehensive suite of business process management, applications integration and customer relationship management tools, training, and consulting to accelerate the drive towards eBusiness, enabling customers to reap the full benefits of MWG-BIOTECH's service.

The evolution of industrial bioinformatics to a customer care service seems to be a spectacular development now. Collaborative commerce has emerged to meet the growing demand for biomedical researcher interaction. Companies like MWG-BIOTECH are turning to collaborative commerce in order to boost biomedical researcher satisfaction. Drowning in a sea of irrelevant information about a gene or a gene function in which he or she is interested, the researcher has to find out all the possible information about this particular gene worldwide. In the field of DNA arrays, for instance, where the complexity of the product and services rises dramatically, a divergence does exist between the information available and how much biomedical researchers can adsorb and interpret in the context of their particular needs. The result of the so-called complexity gap means that some biotech companies end up with orders for product configurations that cannot be produced.

Therefore, MWG-BIOTECH has invested both in computer technology and in the founding of a center of excellence to support collaborative commerce interaction with customers. The philosophy behind this idea is the effective transport of information from one specialist to another. It is one aim of MWG-BIOTECH to develop a framework of accepted, trusted and easy-to-use tools supporting an enterprise wide knowledge management system successfully integrated in the research process of modern life sciences.

Finding of facts

It is the ability to easily upgrade services another notch that makes the Internet and pervasive computing services both powerful and attractive at once. Even if some services may sound simple, they may be bundled together in an integrative way to form powerful packages meeting the needs of customers. The book provides insights in the fundamental working mechanisms of ubiquitous services as they are designed and created right now.

A person with facts does not need opinions, and facts are the principles that serve as the cornerstones of this book. The author presents them in a way that is useful for the expert reader as well as the beginner, providing a sound foundation and supplying details where needed. 'Pervasive Computing' is the logic continuation of his previous bestselling textbook 'The E-Business (R)Evolution' and I hope the reader will have as much enlightment and fun as I had while reading it.

Bernd Drescher
Life Science Information Director, MWG BIOTECH AG
Munich, Germany, 13th March, 2001

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2002

    The future is here! In this book!

    Daniel Amor provides a short introduction to the future that is about to happen. He provides some insight into new technologies, but more important into new business cases. He even provides simple ROI calculations, which is great. I am a professor at university and can use these cases with my students. A pity that there are only four in the book, but I found two more on his web site for free. Good work, keep it up!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2002

    Internet Future Strategies: How Pervasive Computing Services Will Change the World

    Daniel Amor provides a very innovative way of presenting technologies and business cases of the future. Instead of describing Technology on a technology level and Business on a business level, he provides cases, which are easy to understand and include architecture blueprints for both, Technology and Business. Anyone that is interested in understanding the future of the Internet will be able to do so, both laypeople and professionals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2001

    Internet Future Strategies: How Pervasive Computing Services Will Change the World

    Pervasive computing is a concept that is so broad, so inclusive, that it is hard to define. From the readily appreciated idea of personal digital assistants that are hooked up to the internet via digital cell phones to cars with GPS devices that tell computers where they are and receive back data on avoiding traffic jams, the potential for the field is vast. And exciting. Daniel Amor, an internet expert who works for Hewlett Packard in Germany, has put together a beautifully written, elegantly thought out book on what pervasive computing will be. He covers a huge territory from the web today to the migration of wired services to wireless space: mobile architecture, mobile apps, home automation, business automation, services to be, and structures to be. There are imaginative case studies of services that pervasive computing will permit: web-based reporting of credit card theft, objects with tiny chips reporting their whereabouts to police when stolen, even toothbrushes with medical diagnostic chips reporting to a user or a dentist what is wrong with the user's teeth. The last case suggests the current problem with pervasive computing. The technology to make it happen exists, but users have not demanded anything like it. The talking refrigerator that orders more milk is widely ridiculed. Do we want a toothbrush to call a dentist? Socks to call a podiatrist to report a case of athlete's foot? An antacid pill that could report to an physician? The solution is to have third party administration of all this intimate data, Mr. Amor says. Many would disagree, suggesting that the cure is not to collect it at all. Currently, wireless security is not as strong as hardwired network security can be. And even that is fragile, given advances in password cracking. In a developing world of wireless services, pervasive computing is likely to grow in unpredictable ways. At the threshold of this new world, Daniel Amor's Internet Fuure Strategies has done a masterful job of mapping what may be. His work is superb, his insights often remarkable. If pervasive computing is part of your work, get the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2001

    More than just technology

    Pervasive computing is becoming more and more popular. We are running the risk of repeating the mistakes of the Internet technologies, by focussing not enough on the business case. The results can be seen everywhere. Daniel's book tries to overcome this problem. This book does not only cover the development of wireless applications, services and content. In addition it provides concepts on how wireless application service providers can grow by providing innovative services. Also included are strategies for supporting and managing pervasive commerce. A must read.

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