“It is Monday morning in the not-too-distant future and two neighbours, Bob the builder and Bob the businessman, are getting ready for work. The builder has to drive to a job in a nearby town and the businessman needs to take the train to the office. They switch on their televisions and request information on road and rail conditions.
Outside their front doors, the two Bobs wish each other a good morning and head their separate ways. On the train, the businessman watches the financial news on his palm pilot, while the builder tunes in his phone to his favourite digital radio channel and relaxes in the morning traffic to some classical music.
Meanwhile, the businessman phones his secretary and tells him through his earpiece that he forgot his PowerPoint presentation and speech. Bob the businessman’s palm pilot bleeps as he enters the state-of-the-art conference centre where he is to give a speech and presentation. It informs him that he has entered a high-data rate zone and asks him whether he would like to switch to ‘superbroadband’.
He sits in the conference building’s lounge area and notices a message from his secretary in his inbox. He begins to download the documents he requested and surfs the web to do some last-minute research.
In the evening, both Bobs decide to go out. The builder checks the opera programme on his phone, while the businessman checks the cinema schedule and they buy their tickets online. Their phones’ e-signatures authenticate who they are. As they enter the opera house and cinema, their phones automatically switch to mute.
The EU-backed Wireless World Initiative (WWI) has developed the prototype user-centred systems that have brought these future Bobs a lot closer to the present. The integrated architecture the initiative’s five projects – MobiLife, SPICE, WINNER, Ambient Networks, E2R – have developed will potentially enable millions of people to make the most of third-generation and beyond mobile technology to work, relax and play any time, anywhere. And, to top it all off, their experience will not just be wireless but also seamless.”