Monday, February 14, 2005

Proximity Content Distribution: Jellingspot

(Disclaimer: I'm co-owner of the company that makes Jellingspot)

In our discussion of proximity content servers, we briefly scanned over some of the current companies in this growing industry (albeit it's still just a small blip on the technology industry overall radar screen). We reviewed Wideray and Hypertag, which seemingly have built systems arourd IrDA (Infrared) solutions (with possible Bluetooth solutions in the works), while Bluepulse and Nokia have built larger systems dependant upon carrier networks, Bluetooth technology, and other additional services that make deployment a bit more expensive (although, it seems, much more robust). All solutions, including Midletsoft's Jellingspot (Yell-ing-spot), require a client side application to access their respective solutions.

Where Jellingspot differs from the others, is that it's not coupled with proprietary hardware. Jellingspot is first and formost a software platform that works either on Linux or Windows (and eventually Mac). So, from this stand-point, there is litte barrier to adopting it ... it can be deployed on existing infrastruture with very little overhead. Pop in a Bluetooth USB device, install the server (make sure it has Java and a Web browser), and you're off to the races. Since it uses Bluetooth technology, it has the same reach as Bluepulse's or Nokia's Bluetooth solutions, and a farther reach than the IrDA solutions.

Administration of Jellingspot is done via a web console, which means that if your Jellingspot box is connect to the net, you can do admin to it from anywhere on the planet (ditto with the others previously mentioned). Nokia's solution updates its modules via GPRS, and it seems Wideray and Hypertag do, too. Since Jellingspot is installed on a PC, admin can be done via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPRS, RJ45 -- it's simply about getting access to the web console.

See Admin Console Here

Once at the web console, you can simply create new text messages with its built in wizards, add form (phone) fitting graphics (for the adpusher service) -- which can be screen shots, coupons, etc... or, you can use the more powerful fServer service, which allows users to browse menus and download files/videos/pictures from marked folders.

Videos & Trailers
Short Doom3 Trailer

From an extensibility stand-point, Jellingspot offers an open API for developers to write their own services (called Jellingspot Service Beans [.jsbs]), Wideray also seems to offer some kind of development kit for $2500 big ones. Jellingspot will be free for developers.

Jellingspot's weakness may lay in the fact that it is NOT based on its own hardware ... while your author doesn't have anything in mind at this time, I'm sure those of you out there reading this will be able to comment on why exactly being based on open platforms is not as good as being on proprietary hardware (maybe from a QOS stand-point -- but, if your PC breaks down, you can just re-install Jellingspot on a new PC -- if your Wideray box breaks, you have to get a replacement).

Anyway, there is really too much to discuss between ALL of these solutions -- the best thing to do is to go to each website and READ what they have and ask questions -- that's the only "objective" way to learn about the proximity content server industry -- an industry which is going to be coming to your local shopping mall or tourist office very soon. If you have specific questions about Jellingspot, shoot.

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