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First Personalised UMTS Services Tested


The first prototype of personalised UMTS Services was tested on the TU Delft campus. A number of congress visitors and a group of students were able to use UMTS and GPS to find their way to a lecture or restaurant, contact other visitors, get a tour of the campus, play a game together or watch a movie clip on internet. Both groups reacted enthusiastically.

UMTS will be introduced in the Netherlands this year. UMTS makes fast and wireless transmissions of large amounts of digital information possible. During the last few months, a research project was conducted on the TU Delft campus to determine which UMTS services people would want to use. The project was conducted together with T-Mobile, who placed two of its antennas on the campus, providing connectivity to the T-Mobile UMTS network. After extensive preparatory research, a portal for visitors to the campus was designed and tested within the framework of the Project Mobile Information and Entertainment Services (MIES). The users could, for example, receive the tour of the campus, during which they would receive information about each building on their screen. Because the device was connected to a GPS system (satellite positioning) and a navigation system, the users were easily able to find the correct route. They could, for example, also use the system to locate a restaurant, after which the system would show the route to the chosen restaurant, using the current location as a starting point.

During this test phase, a UMTS telephone, a GPS map and a PDA (handheld computer) were necessary to make use of the system. “It striking how enthusiastic participants were despite the limitations,” says Els van de Kar, member of the research team. "Before long, devices will be introduced on the market in which all the functions have been combined.”

Another part of the service made it possible to determine the location of another person and contact them. Reactions to this possibility were also very positive. Amr Ali Eldin conducted research on what people feel is a violation of their privacy, and constructed a model that can be used during the development of mobile services to take the privacy aspect of users into account. IT company ‘The Vision Web’ assisted in the development of this application. The participants in the tests did not seem to quickly get the feeling that their privacy was being infringed upon. It must be noted that the tests were carried out within ‘closed groups,’ such as visitors to a congress, who were eager to make contact with each other.

"To be able to develop successful services, several companies must work together", says Els van de Kar. During our tests for example, T-Mobile provided the antennas and other necessary devices, the campus tour and providing other information about Delft was made possible through cooperation with Delft Plaza, AtoB developed video applications, Ex Machina designed the multi-user game and TomTom designed the navigation system. "The manner in which we work together was recorded in the design method: the MIES Design Approach. This method is aimed at forming a network of companies and coordinating the activities between the parties, making rapid development of new services based on available technologies possible. During the first months of 2004, we will make our method known to the middle and small business community. Experience tells us that small innovative companies are also active in the development of services for new digital networks. Because of the emphasis placed on sharing knowledge, we were one of the few UMTS projects to receive a grant from de Ministry of economic affairs for part of our work.”

Maarten van der Sanden | alfa
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