Thursday, December 27, 2007

Value addition

Two out of many options available for search at Google, I find site: and link: options very handy. They represent value addition to the basic service of text search. Such things come from better understanding of how the user is going to use the basic service. The value addition requires only incremental work over and above the basic search technology.

Another example of value add is VMware Virtual Center. There is only so much to be added once the basic virtualization is established. Competition has caught up with it, too. Value add is what keeps the pioneers ahead in the game. That's where there scope for significant creativity, which again no surprise, comes only from the better understanding of the user environment. Research into such things is one of the open secrets of any vibrant product development organization.

What is interesting to observe is what such organizations do once they have realized the peak of creative thinking and exhausted most imaginable ideas... Do they start looking for new product ideas? Are those new ideas always related to or synergistic with the existing products?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Practical applications of a femto cell area network

Arrival of femto cells enable the convergence of fixed-line-based and mobile communication (FMC) services and extend the reach of RAN. It will open doors for new types of services or new ways of accessing existing services.

Peer to peer services
Direct voice communication using VoIP between two mobile units that are within the local area network covered by a femto cell (let's call it FAM) could be switched locally, avoiding air-time charges for the session. This can also optimize voice delivery in case one or more voice recipients of a push-to-talk group are present in the FAM.

Targeted services
Location aware ad-hoc groups can be formed for providing targeted services to the members of the group.

Fine grained control over service delivery
Hosts or organizers of an event (movie) can block radio signals so as to disallow direct incoming/ outgoing calls and allow only text or other non-intrusive services to be delivered to the subscribers. The contents being delivered over the femto cell can be lawfully intercepted by the provider organization to suit their policies. For example, an employer may then ensure sensitive data does not leak through employees' mobile phones.

Location awareness
The femto cell can feedback to the caller or the RAN about the location of the call recipient. For example, if person A calls person B and B is attending a meeting in a conference room or in a hospital, the caller A could be warned about this and would be given a chance whether to still continue the call to person B. It's similar to the status selection by an instant messenger user, just that it could be automated using the intelligence fed into a femto cell.