Vendors need to build the infrastructure from which to download Internet content onto non PC devices before the plethora of services currently being developed can even be used.
While the industry has so far been consumed by developing devices such as handhelds, Internet TV and supporting software and content, it now has to create the infrastructure to enable customers to use these services, according to a report by the Internet research arm of US investment house, Hambrecht & Quist (H&Q).
Danny Rimer, managing director of H&Q?s Internet research group and co author of the report, ?Internet Appliances and Universal Access?, said: "The impediment is not the creation of content, but the creation of the infrastructure. The opportunity is in infrastructure software and services."
He defines Internet appliances as hardware other than traditional PCs that can receive Internet content. These include 3Com?s Palm Pilots, thin client PCs, wireless phones or Web TVs. Suppliers such as Microsoft, Excite and America Online are also producing personalised content for such devices.
But he described then as Internet rather than Web appliances because they can receive information not only from the Web, but also from other channels such as wireless services and in Ascii format.
The report also suggested that suppliers such as Avant Go, which is developing system software for Palm Pilots and Windows CE handheld devices, are making inroads into addressing the infrastructure issue, while standards such as TCP/IP and the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) for writing mobile phone-friendly Web pages, were also helping.
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