Seven companies have joined forces to develop an industry standard for universal data synchronisation.
IBM, Motorola, Lotus, Nokia, Palm, Psion and Starfish software have formed the SyncML initiative, which aims to work on development of an open industry standard for universal synchronisation of remote data and personal information across multiple networks, platforms and devices.
The companies said users should have access to their personal files, data and email anywhere and at anytime in the growing mobile information society. They should also be able to change this information and have the changes updated on their appliances.
For example, email read on a handheld PC should automatically be shown as read email on a users' desktop.
Current data synchronisation is based on a set of different proprietary protocols, each functioning with only a very limited number of devices, systems and data types.
SyncML is an abbreviation of synchronised mark-up language, and the group said it will use extensible mark-up language (XML), Mime, the vCard and the iCalendar to represent internet data, email, personal contact and calendaring information. The standard will enable synchronisation over fixed networks, infrared, cable or Bluetooth.
The group have invited other industry members to work on the standard.
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