1/27/2004 - Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Europe’s leading IT company, and software vendor Appear Networks have jointly presented an innovative hardware and software solution for wireless LAN (WLAN) networks. The system uses localized information and applications to determine the user’s current position via WLAN networks, saving time while keeping the user well informed. This platform makes tasks like establishing a secure connection to the users’ IT infrastructure extremely simple.
One of the system’s first customers, the Stockholm Public Transit Authority (SL) in cooperation with private passenger transport operator Connex, uses the Pocket LOOX handheld from Fujitsu Siemens Computers with Click & Run software from Appear Networks. The platform allows SL and Connex employees to rapidly convey up-to-date information in Stockholm’s subway system and therefore not only improve customer service, but also increase the safety of both passengers and personnel.
Professional IT users who are on the go want small and easy-to-carry devices, like the Pocket LOOX personal digital assistant, which can be easily integrated into their corporate IT infrastructure via WLAN. Another item at the top of their wish list is context-aware services that take individual preferences, local conditions and the user’s physical location into account. Users, for example, can access local information after arriving in a location unfamiliar to them. The joint solution from Fujitsu Siemens Computers and Appear Networks was designed to meet these user needs.
“The Stockholm Public Transit Authority is now operating at the forefront of wireless technologies with the successful test deployment of context-aware Wi-Fi (WLAN) services,” explained Åke Lindström, Project Manager at SL. “For the first time ever, an underground Wi-Fi network enables subway personnel to send alerts and receive real-time traffic information on their handhelds. Wi-Fi services are important for staff because they help them deliver better information to our customers and provide higher levels of security. I am certain that in a near future similar services will also be available to the public. More important that the system itself, be it 3G, Wi-Fi or others, however, are the value-added services available on the network. What will you do with the five minutes wait before the next train? Quickly check the services available in that station, or perhaps download the latest news report or your favourite magazine to read offline while onboard the train. Upon arrival at your destination, and before leaving the hotspot coverage, you can then download a map of the area to quickly find the location of your next meeting.”
This new system uses Appear Networks’ unique positioning and provisioning technology to offer contextual wireless services through “hotspots” in places such as in airports, subway stations and conference centers. Downloading applications is as easy as receiving e-mail messages. These services, offered based on the user’s present location, time of day and authorization, can then be started with a single click. Depending on the circumstances, the applications are either retained or automatically deleted when the user leaves the area.
The platform is particularly suited to security and information applications. Connex information hosts, for example, use the Pocket LOOX as a centrally administered platform in the Stockholm Underground. Employees are connected to a security application (via WLAN) and receive constant updates about train delays, for example. The application recognizes the device, who is carrying it and where the person is located. When an employee triggers the Pocket LOOX alarm feature, the system notifies the control center as well as all other personnel in the vicinity, allowing them to provide fast assistance. The same networked device can also be used for many other applications.
“Together with our partner Appear Networks, we provide our customers with a highly user-focused solution,” commented Peter Eßer, Executive Vice President Volume Products and Supply Operations at Fujitsu Siemens Computers. “We are proud to have gained SL and Connex as a top-notch customer for our platform, developed together with Appear Networks.”
“We are very pleased with the results and the future outlook for our cooperation with Fujitsu Siemens Computers,” added Ann-Louise Palm, CEO at Appear Networks. “The solutions that have come out of this partnership bring real added value to our customers.”
“The ‘Wireless Employee’ project is a component in our long-term objective to improve customer services for the passengers, and our employees are our most valuable resource in these efforts,” said Torborg Chetkovich, Division Manager at Connex. “The project will not only improve service quality, but also significantly increase employee safety.”
About Fujitsu Siemens Computers
Fujitsu Siemens Computers is Europe’s leading IT company with a strategic focus on next-generation Mobility and Business Critical Computing products, services and solutions. With a portfolio of exceptional depth, its offering extends from handhelds through desktops to enterprise-class infrastructure solutions. The company has a strong presence in all key markets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Leveraging the strengths, innovative drive and global reach of its joint shareholders, Fujitsu Limited and Siemens AG, Fujitsu Siemens Computers meets the needs of large corporations, small and medium enterprises and private users.
For further information about Fujitsu Siemens Computers, please visit: www.fujitsu-siemens.com
About Appear Networks
Appear Networks is a Franco-Swedish company specializing in innovative software platforms for wireless networks, with a particular emphasis on WLAN (Wi-Fi) applications and human machine interfaces. Appear Provisioning Server is a software platform currently used in wireless “hotspot” networks, such as European airports, subway stations, or conference venues, to deploy contextual wireless services. The “Click & RunTM” software technology enables any communicating mobile device to discover, load and run applications available locally in one simple click. Appear Networks’ technology is ideal for local mobile workers as well as for visitors to public hotspots. Appear Networks has successfully partnered with leading IT companies such as Cisco, Intel and Fujitsu Siemens Computers. Its current customers are large corporations such as RATP (French Subway), SNCF (French Railway), SL (Stockholm Public Transportation Authority), CGEA-Connex (Veolia Environment group), FMV (Swedish Defence), Sagem Defence & Security and European WLAN operators.
For more information on Appear Networks, please visit: www.appearnetworks.com
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