IBM, Nokia and SABRE Group, the airline reservation specialist, announced a project at Cebit today to develop a wireless Internet phone that will notify travellers of flight changes and let them switch reservations.
The SABRE ?smart? phone system, which could go live as early as the end of this year, is one of the first uses of what IBM refers to as ?pervasive? computing, where people are linked to the Internet at all times via a variety of devices.
Travellers will be able to tap into a new generation of Nokia ?smart? phones to change travel arrangements. If flights are cancelled or changed a message will be sent direct to the phone.
IBM is providing the transcoding software that will enable SABRE?s travel information to be condensed so that it can be sent across mobile telephone connections.
Nokia is building the central computer system to send travel data across a wireless network. SABRE is developing software that will enable travellers to make and chance bookings via their mobile phones.
SABRE is expected to start piloting the ?smart? phone system with some of its customers by the middle of this year to ensure that it is easy to use. ?Smart? phones will not be the only way of connecting to the SABRE system. IBM is, according to sources, working on ways to provide telephone wireless links to hand held PCs and notebooks so that travellers can stay connected on the move.
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