September 17, 2002 – TOKYO – Since the second half of 2001, contents developers of cellular phone services have embarked on new types of Web sites for cell phones – those that fully use GPS location information, infrared communications and voice.
The most notable examples are Web sites taking advantage of new cell phone capabilities such as GPS and infrared radiation. In April 2002, for example, a new service to manage the behavior of employees on the road was introduced. The service was then followed by new mobile phone models with an infrared data communication capability to be used for membership certification by a rental video shop or as a remote controller by a karaoke shop.
A growing number of voice-responding Web sites from which users can obtain information using voices also have been launched. Voice-responding Web sites using Voice XML, which have been offering pilot services since last year, start to offer commercial services in 2002. Now there also are tools to help construct such Web sites.
KDDI Corp., which had disclosed ways to use such data at the end of July 2001, kicked off EZnavigation, the most accurate GPS-enabled location information service currently in Japan, in December 2001. With the highest accuracy, the service can locate a user with an error of only some meters or less. For indoor and some other places where radio waves are hard to reach, it still allegedly can locate the user based on a location of a base station. However, users were able to use this EZnavigation service only from KDDI sites, which have been certified as “official” by the company.
Some Web sites started to take advantage of an infrared data communication capability in an innovative manner. Although some cellular phones with the infrared data communication interface have been sold in the market, services using such capability have still been at an experimental stage. In May 2002, NTT DoCoMo released the 504i Series equipped with such infrared data communication capability as standard. Following the release, many practical services began to be launched one after another.
Users can control 504i Series’ infrared data communication capability from a Java application. The new model enables exchange of information with other cell phone models by using a Java application downloaded from the Internet.
In the future, voice-responding Web sites, users of which can obtain information using their voices, are expected to grow.
Users of Web/Voice Integration Service can display specific information they want on the cell phone screen by voice.Using a cellular phone with the infrared ray interface for membership certification .Within the red frame is a device with infrared data communications capability connected to a cash register at a shop.