services have not matched the success of the Web. There are many reasons:
users cannot find the services they need, many services are difficult
to use, users do not trust them, services are difficult to design
and deploy (especially for "small" service providers, e.g. SMEs, local
government departments, NGOs, individuals).
NEW SERVICE CONCEPT
SMS project has three strategic objectives. First, the project proposes
to specify requirements for a new class of services, meeting
the specific needs of mobile users. We call these services
Simple Mobile Services (SMS). Second, it will develop a software
engineering methodology and a set of tools, based on
open standards, allowing individuals and organizations to
develop, deploy and manage their own SMS. Third, as proof of concept,
it will develop and deploy a number of SMS in real-life environments.
To achieve these goals, it is necessary to address the limitations
of current services. The World Wide Web offers a practically infinite
range of universal services. But these services mainly target
users working from fixed locations (the home, the office). With
a few exceptions they fail to address the specific needs of mobile
users. Even when they do, many mobile users are unaware that
they exist, find them hard to use and are unwilling to trust
them. Providers do not invest in services for which there is
little demand. Current mobile services do not satisfy users'
need for rapid results, in "minimal attention situations". To address
this problem, the SMS proposal focuses on simplicity.
Simple to find: Unlike current universal services, each
Simple Mobile Service will have a scope: it will target
specific environments of interest to specific classes
of mobile user performing specific activities. This
means that SMS will be simple to find. Instead of "Googling" for
services, users will choose from a small set of services appropriate
to the activities and environment that currently interest them.
When services target specific physical locations, it will be possible
to advertise their availability with posters, signs, leaflets
and electronic displays. Precise targeting of services to specific
users and environments will make SMS attractive for advertisers.
Simple to use: SMS will be easy to use. Authentication
and configuration will be automatic. User interfaces and content
will be automatically adapted to the characteristics of the terminal.
Services will maintain the same basic logic as users move between
environments and networks, even though the resources (sub-services/content)
used to provide the service are dynamically discovered and exploited.
Like the services provided by the Web, SMS will provide technology
and operator-independent end-to-end connectivity. SMS will
be terminal and network independent, working with a broad range
of mobile devices (e.g. PDAs, smartphones, Laptops) and network
infrastructures (e.g. UMTS, Wi-Fi).
Simple to trust: SMS will be trust-worthy, providing
end-to-end standards-based mechanisms for positive user identification,
authentication, and data encryption (both on terminals and during
transmission). Security and privacy characteristics will be designed
to take account of key provider and end-user requirements, including
ease-of-use and the need to understand the implications of specific
Simple to set-up: Last, but not least, SMS will be easy
to set-up. The SMS project will develop and use standards
and standards-based tools. These will be no more complex than
current Web authoring tools. As a result of this approach, SMS
will be an empowering technology: the methodology and tools
developed by the project will allow individuals, SMEs, NGOs and
local government departments to compete with larger organizations
as providers of mobile services.
tools and software engineering practices created by the project will
be the equivalent of the basic tools and standards underlying the
"universal services" provided by the World Wide Web: Web clients,
Web servers, HTML, HTTP etc. The project intends them to serve the
same purpose, giving rise to a virtuous cycle in which a rapidly expanding
service offering encourages rapid growth of the user population and
a growing user population provides incentives for new services. The
tools created by the project will be integrated and prototyped in
a service platform, independent of specific technologies and
complete with a Web interface and service authoring tools
The legacy from the Simplicity project: The IST Simplicity
Project developed tools and architectures enabling users to customize
devices and services with minimal effort (http://www.ist-simplicity.org/).
To this end, Simplicity provides each user with a personalized
profile, stored in a so called Simplicity Device (either a physical
device or a virtual device accessible over the Internet). Ideally,
a user who plugs the Simplicity Device into a terminal gains transparent
access to a personalized environment. The results of the Simplicity
project will be exploited by SMS, especially to simplify the fruition
Validation and trials: A key objective of SMS is to investigate
users needs - and verify that they are satisfied by the SMS platform.
To this end SMS will: i) Develop user scenarios; ii) Conduct focus
groups with end-users and potential service providers; iii) Test
a subset of these scenarios using Wizard of Oz prototyping techniques;
iv) Develop alternative business models for deployment of SMS;
v) Verify the attractiveness of these models to potential service
providers. The effectiveness and user acceptability of SMS will
be tested in two pilot trials centered on Athens International
Airport and the campus of Universitą di Roma II. In both demonstrators,
end-users will be provided with terminals combined with Simplicity
Devices. Local service providers will design Simple Mobile Services
targeting these users. The evaluation will center on ease of service
authoring, and on user acceptability of the services provided.
Exploitation: SMS is new concept for the future of mobile
communications, with a major potential impact on the telecommunications
industry and on society. The participants in the SMS consortium
attach key importance to bringing SMS "into the real world" .
The Project includes a specific Work Package, dedicated to this