Ubiquitous Access to Information Through Portable, Mobile and Handheld Devices
Ch. Z. Patrikakis (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), P. Fafali (National Technical University of Athens, Greece), N. Minogiannis (National Technical University of Athens, Greece) and N. Kourbelis (National Technical University of Athens, Greece)
Copyright: © 2009
Use of mobile devices for supporting our everyday communication has become part of our daily routine. Recent statistics illustrate that the penetration of mobile devices in everyday use has reached (and in some cases even surpassed) the penetration of fixed communication devices (ITU, 2004). As a consequence, use of mobile devices for accessing data information also increases, assisted by the rapid development of new technologies especially designed to support multimedia communication. Within the next years, third-generation (3G) wireless services will proliferate, offering multimedia capabilities such as streaming video (BERGINSIGHT, 2005; Raghu, Ramesh, & Whinston, 2002; UMTS forum, 2005). All of these, combined with the establishment of Internet and portal technology as the standard way for information exchange, entertainment, and communication, have created a new scenery that is characterized by access to data “anywhere,” “anytime,” and by “anyone” (or “any means”). Design issues concerning the particularities of access devices, communication technologies, and volume of information exchanged are very important in the provision of mobile portal services (Microsoft, 2006). In this article, we address the issue of providing portal services to users with portable devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) or smartphones. We propose a reference architecture for providing mobile portal services, based on the distribution of information between the portal servers and the user devices.