Feeds

Femtocells know you're home again - but so what?

Hi honey, I'm... curiously disenchanted

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Intrinsyc has been demonstrating a handset app that changes the user's interface when they get home, though no one is mentioning the most obvious application.

Intrinsyc demonstrated its application, UX-Zone, along with Airvane, ip.access and Ubiquisys to prove cross-manufacturer compatibility. The app runs on Windows Phone or Android devices and can detect if a femtocell is being used, changing the interface when it is. Which is all very pretty, but only useful if operators start giving discounts on femtocell-routed traffic: something they've been remarkably reluctant to do.

Changing the interface dependent on location and/or time is nothing new. Companies such as Surf Kitchen have been creating time-and-location specific interfaces for years, but neither operators nor customers have shown any great interest in the idea.

The only popular dynamic interfaces are those that show when cheaper calls are available: O2's Home Zone product was revolutionary when it was launched in Germany, a small icon (a house) popped onto the screen when the user was near their own home, and calls immediately became half price. At the time such functionality required lengthy negotiations with Nokia, but users loved it.

These days that would be technically trivial, and the use of a femtocell provides a legitimate reason for cheaper services, but the companies involved in UX-Zone won't even admit that indication of cheaper calls and data is the obvious application. Such an idea would risk upsetting the network operators who see no reason to discount services just because they're being carried on the customer's infrastructure.

For the moment punters will pay twice - once to the network operator, and again to their broadband provider - just to get coverage, and operators have no reason to deny them that opportunity, but perhaps one day that will change and then we'll want an application that tells us when we've arrived home. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?