in Mobitopia

Unfinished Revolution

We have GPRS. We have Java on our phones. Series 60, Series 90 – what more could we ask for? But application wise, what do we really have? GPRS promised “always-on” with internet-like services. But there’s something missing…
What did we really get? We can “surf” the net without creating busy signals for people who want to call us, and we can get eMails. We can even IM, but then we can’t do anything else. So, everything we do has to start with a request from the phone. Sure, there’s SMS to notify us, but that’s hardly internet style – proprietary expensive interfaces for the sender, and no connection to any phone application whatsoever. OK, you can send a link, but that’s about it.
With GPRS, every phone has to have an IP address. If phones are always-on, why can’t I talk to them through the internet? (Most likely because the operators have not yet figured out how to make money out of that…)
What if we could IM someone on the phone with the IM Java Midlet not yet running? What if we could send an updated VCARD to a friend via the internet? Why not http into the phone to check the battery status? Or more business like: why can’t my secretary create calendar entries and store them on my phone, without me having to sync first? We could even juggle the appointment here and there online in the phone’s calendaring app.
What would we need to make this possible?
First, a DNS-like service that would assign IP addresses to phone numbers, and then a background app on the phone to handle incoming requests. Ideally, this would be a universal app which worked identically on every phone, with published interfaces. It should have standard interfaces to the phone’s “natural” features, i.e. address book or calendar, and extensible interfaces for everything else (i.e. the ability to start an application on the phone with any given parameters. You can fantasize about SOAP, REST, XML-RPC or whatever technology you fancy here, all *I* care about is that it is possible.
What do you think, wouldn’t THAT rock? In my world, this is what we need before we can honestly talk about connectedness. No more pull only – give me PUSH!

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