TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Smart Web to Usher in Host of New Services-Gartner

Smart Web to Usher in Host of New Services-Gartner

Lisa Minter (
Sun, 31 Oct 2004 17:22:31 -0600

Smart Web to Usher in Host of New Services-Gartner

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A smarter Internet and a host of
cheap, Web-enabled mobile devices will allow users to access a whole
range of services on the move, research group Gartner Dataquest said on
Sunday, ahead of its ITXpo symposium.

At the annual gathering in Cannes, France next week, Gartner analyst
Alexander Linden will identify several of the long-term technology
trends and innovations whose seeds were sown in the days of the tech

A smarter Internet will allow consumers to collaborate to pay for
services costing just a few cents, making a whole range of new
offerings viable.

"We can start selling products we could not sell before. iTunes
(Apple's online music store where songs cost $0.99 apiece) is just the
start," Linden said.

Navigation systems which now offer only a rudimentary selection of
road services such as fuel stations and tourist sights are just a

Mobile users will one day be shown the way to the nearest doctor on
weekend duty. Parents will be able to contact the nearest child minder
to take over at a moment's notice.

Consumers will be able to select and rate a wide range of services
such as restaurants or shops.

"It will influence competition. Companies will have to
compete more on quality and location than brand," Linden said.

Some Web sites already offer a glimpse of the future by having
customers describe and rate restaurants they visit, in a real life
version of what Google and do by tracking clicks and
customer purchases.

Consumers and businesses should expect this kind of Internet
intelligence to come to the real world.

There is also a new opportunity for investors. On the new Internet,
they will not need expensive investment software to find and compare
data from company financial reports.

The building blocks for a more intelligent Internet are standardized
data from a plethora of sources which can be recognized and connected.

For now, we are in a technology cycle in which all kinds of
information network are built and tied together for ubiquitous access
to the Internet, Gartner says.

It expects the distinction between fixed and mobile Internet to slowly

The first signs of this can be seen in some Web sites which recognize
how a consumer accesses a site, either by PC or cellphone. They
adjust the size and content of the page accordingly and automatically.

The next cycle of connectivity, where all systems understand each
other, has barely started, while the following cycle -- in which this
intelligence is embedded in every device -- is still a dream.

"We always say we live in the information age. But in fact we live in
an information wanna-be situation," Linden said. "It will take a
century or more to get to ubiquitous intelligence."

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