Reader Comments on WAP -- The Emperor's New Clothes?
From: Josh Bailey I wouldn't consider WAP clothes-less. I've had a SkyTel satellite email pager for over two years. I wrote a little application for it, running on my Ultra at work, to detect when my terminal is idle, and forward email messages to my pager if I'm away from my desk. I've built up a very configurable filtering mechanism over the years so I see only what I need to, when I need to. The SkyTel system lets me type a reply, or send a canned one - for example, "I'm not in the office, please call me on my mobile," or, "I'll be there in 5 minutes." Especially when I'm in a meeting, I can send yes/no responses to urgent queries and manage my work queue without being overwhelmed by stale email when I get back to my desk. The Palm V is pretty widespread here in SF. A friend of mine develops wireless applications on the wireless Palm in NYC - bidding, maps, etc. Point-and-poke works surprisingly well. There is another misconception about WAP in your article - that you are "online" and clocking up minutes as you navigate menus. While you can offer a service like this, providers here can give you a transaction based service - you are charged for the data you send/receive, when you send or receive it. From: Anders Crofoot I'd say your right on target with WAP. I haven't heard about too many applications where it is very useful. It goes much to the same issue I have with many of the web based system. In the US at least (I emigrated to NZ 2 years ago), the order taking systems based on the telephone work very well. Many vendors have fallen all over themselves to get people to order over the web. In fact it is far less convenient to order that way. It takes longer and most systems can't give you the feedback the people on the phone can - the item is out of stock, when it is expected (how reliable that expected date might be), how other people like the product and other products that might be better. As you point out many of the services they want to provide by WAP you can already get on the cell phone - probably will a great deal less frustration. From: Craig Was this spurred by the article yesterday about Mainfreight setting up a WAP application? BTW I've been out of NZ for the last three years, but I could have sworn we're not WAP capable yet.... (or does Vodephone have the capability?) Having been in Europe for a while, I've seen what people have tried to do with WAP and 2nd generation cell phones (erk!) and most of it is crappy and unreliable. The 3rd generation phones are a little more prommising (a little closer to that merger with PDAs, big screens, plugin keyboards, touch screens, etc), but they're still a little ways off (a long ways perhaps for NZ, though I think NZ should skip 2nd and go straight to 3rd). Personally I have some great ideas for WAP. Which aren't hindered by the small screen and limited interactivity... but then I'm an admin/web developer, who has seen (and made!) as many mistakes as good ideas... Stay tuned... heh heh, where have I heard that before... From: Steve Peacocke An interesting perception - which is where this WAP has it's failings, in the perception of over-eager marketing types and journalists. WAP devices are brilliant for particular applications, but as you have already pointed out, not yet for reading internet pages. I percieve the current usefulness of a WAP device is to receive, and respond to messages from an unmanned application. Think of it as a message beeper with the ability to respond in any of a set number of ways. An example of use that your readers may identify with is to receive a message on your cellphone relating No response from Web Server! your choices are.. o Auto-reset the server' o Re-check in 5 minutes o Run "FixTheBloodyThing.exe" o Send this message to a pleb #2 Other options for people on the road responding to user initiated or automated processes are too many to mention. This proves the old theory that journalists can sell articles if they target at the gadgetary enhanced, news and share-trading aware, suit-wearing marketing people - whereas the actual truth is just as magical and amazing, but may not have the sell/buzz-words included and may be more useful to someone with a hard hat or overalls. I also agree that the palm-top device will prove the ground for both WAP and PDAs.Now Have Your Say
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