Posted on 15-Feb-2003 13:01
| Filed under: News
The Magpie concept embeds into common phone applications according to context, allowing service providers to deliver small amounts of targeted information into a phone's user interface via applications such as contacts, calendar, messaging or voice.
It's a convergence of Location Based Services, PIM. Symbian's Magpie Technology is an advanced data services framework designed to deliver embedded content, providing intuitive access to contextual services.
Magpie enables advanced mobile phones to integrate data services within applications, allowing data to be deployed anywhere on the device. User preferences dictate where and when data is received, while pull features allow for services to be expanded and additional content accessed by the user as required.
The essence of this concept is delivering a great user experience for services. It enables providers and mobile phone users to strike a balance between 'push' content and usability, by building around two principles - context and control.
When a user is engaged in a task within an application, additional service-related data can be helpful. This might be information on the periphery of the task, such as weather forecasts seen while scheduling an outdoor event. On the other hand, it could be the service content itself that is directly required. For example, if the user is looking at 'today' in the calendar and wants to see a film schedule for that evening, the most convenient way to access that information - and even book a ticket - is without leaving the current view. The user shouldn't need to change context or task away from what they're doing, for example by opening a browser. Magpie reduces this overhead, bringing the services into the mobile phone and closer to the user.
With large amounts of service-related content available within applications there is a risk of obscuring user data. Magpie ensures a positive user experience by avoiding the problems of unwanted alerts and spam by allowing users to determine which services appear where. These services are then represented by a dynamic icon, within the application the user chooses. Such a low key, unobtrusive way of showing data that has been requested, satisfies both the users desire for the content, and the need to stay within the application or task. In addition, the ability to pick and choose services, and the potential for a large number of third-party services, allows each user to personalize their own service 'fingerprint'. For example, if each calendar application can be fitted to the user's requirements and interests, a soap opera addict may use it as a TV guide, and a young professional might use it as a cinema listings and reviews application.