Feeds

Welcome to our Wi-Fi: Devicescape reinvents landing page

Coffee shop déjà vu for a post-web world

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Wi-Fi leeching tech Devicescape has reinvented the Wi-Fi landing page, popping a notification into the Android menu to alert those users for whom the internet is no longer the web.

Devicescape calls the technique PopWiFi, and hopes to sell* the service to businesses already giving away Wi-Fi to customers who currently might not even know they're using it, limiting its value as a promotional tool.

In days gone by, free Wi-Fi would almost inevitably lead to your browser being redirected to a landing page, requiring you to agree to some terms and, critically, view the name and message from the Wi-Fi provider. But these days a user's phone might make its own connection to update Twitter, download some Facebook postings and send off a few queued emails, all without the browser, or the user, being involved.

The notification process in action

DeviceScape cunningly addresses the problem of notifications on the iPhone by not supporting iOS

Devicescape provides what it calls a "Curated Virtual Network". That's basically a client app which automatically logs on to free Wi-Fi points, bypassing any landing page though the use of crowd-sourced experience to provide connectivity without user intervention.

The app is part of Intel's Ultrabook platform, and a limited form comes preinstalled on Windows Phone 8 devices, connecting users to 11 million Wi-Fi hotspots without the user, or hotspot owner, ever knowing it happened.

Unless, of course, the hotspot owner takes up the PopWiFi offer, in which case they get a dashboard showing usage and the ability to customise that notification message to link to special offers, or their Facebook page, or even a new landing page. They also get the ability to deny users access until they've clicked on that link, or at least viewed the message, but that obviously removes the user-not-present capability.

Assuming that option doesn't prove popular, the accumulation of notifications showing whose Wi-Fi you've been leeching from seems a fair exchange for free connectivity - even if it feels a little like Devicescaoe is blackmailing the small businesses offering free Wi-Fi. Of course, the businesses are free to be remove themselves from the Curated network, so it's not really blackmail.

With Wi-Fi connectivity increasingly becoming part of the cellular mix, those providing it do deserve some recognition, and a notification is certainly superior to a landing page when it comes to finding out who's paying for your connectivity. ®

* That's "sell" in the broadest sense: shops don't have to pay DeviceScape for PopWiFi. The money comes from installation deals with Intel and the like.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?