Pinpoint.com has launched what is claims is the first wireless search engine for internet-enabled mobile phones and palmtop computers.
Wap.pinpoint.com lets users of Wap phones and other devices with Wap browsers search web pages written in wireless markup language. It currently searches some 150,000 pages.
The search engine is based on a customised version of Pinpoint's Topic Navigation technology and incorporates real-time indexing capabilities.
The company has also teamed up with Total Sports to integrate the search engine into its sports sites as they start to support Wap based appliances. Sports fans will be able to search and navigate the tens of thousands of wireless pages and content published by Total Sports to receive updated scores, news and headlines using their handheld devices.
Analysts said comprehensive search technology will be as critical to the evolution of Wap based devices as it has been to the growth of the internet.
Iain Gillott, vice president of IDC's worldwide consumer and small business telecoms unit, said: "We know from recent research that consumers want this new technology, but want it to be easy to use. Strong search capabilities for WML sites will be critical."
Analyst Jupiter Communications predicts that the number of browser-enabled mobile phone users will soar from 1.1 million in 1999 to 79.4 million in 2003, while customers using internet capable personal digital assistants are expected to increase from 5.2 million to 12 million during the same period.
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