Appear Networks Powers Bus Equipped with Wi-Fi Service System

6/14/2004 - Visitors to the Public Transport Exhibition 2004, taking place in Paris, 16-19 June, will discover the first intelligent Wi-Fi service system embedded into a city bus. This innovation in the field of public transport enables bus employees and commuters to access precise information through their mobile hardware (laptops, PDAs...) depending on the time of day and the location of the bus, using the Appear Networks’ mobile server and a Cisco based wireless infrastructure.

For instance, if the bus approaches the Paris International Gare du Nord station (Waterloo equivalent)[xjo1], commuters equipped with Wi-Fi hardware can immediately check departure times for the next tube or RER leaving the station and can have a list of shops and restaurants in the area. The bus driver can for example send geo-localised alerts to the control centre if a car is parked in the bus lane.

During the exhibition, Appear Networks, in partnership with Cisco and RATP (French Subway), will demonstrate this technological innovation. They will also show the originality and dynamics associated with these services provided by RATP, as well as other innovations exhibited during the show.

At the RATP booth, J53, inside the Wi-Fi equipped bus (Booth L62), a pilot test of these services will be enacted. Much more than simple wireless Internet access, information relating to the local area, the district or the town, information relating to the transport network traffic and transport tickets as well as tube and bus time tables can be downloaded onto any mobile hardware. General information regarding the exhibition (conference times, activities, different booths) will also be available.

This ‘intelligent’ bus will be equipped with a mobile access router provided by Cisco. This enables continuous access to all centralised information through two kinds of wireless links: using Wi-Fi as the bus approaches a hotspot and GPRS throughout the rest of the trip.

“The project of an intelligent bus allowed us for the first time to use our technology in the sphere of embedded systems”, states Xavier Aubry, Marketing and Sales Director for Appear Networks. “The combination of a mobile access router from Cisco and the Appear Server enables employees and commuters of the French RATP to experience uninterrupted mobile access to local services. Other additional information relating to traffic and security can be added in real time to the server, enabling workers to react faster to any disruption on the transport network”.

“The Appear Networks technology appealed to us because of its sophistication and its easy-to-manage set up”, explains Joëlle Richert, in charge of the RATP project. “We have always tracked new technologies within the information and communication systems sphere. This deployment corresponds to the RATP vision to deliver a transport solution which addresses the needs of employees and commuters: with more mobile services inside the bus, the RATP employee can deliver more detailed information to travellers. For the RATP, mobility is not limited to commuter transport, but extends to data and information services. In this framework, the Appear Networks technology is one of the key elements to this experience introducing intelligent services in buses”.

This pilot is the first step to a larger test of the Appear Networks technology on the 38 bus line of the French RATP, already equipped with Wi-Fi, which goes from Northern to Southern Paris.

About Appear Networks:
Appear Networks is a Franco-Swedish software provider dedicated to the needs of today’s mobile users: allowing easy access to any wireless application, across different networks, on multiple mobile devices.

Appear Provisioning Server is a software platform currently used by major operators to deploy value-added services in WorkspotsTM. Workspots are wireless-enabled zones such as airports, subway stations, or conference venues, where visitors and local workers can discover and download new applications over-the-air, in one single click, using Appear Networks’ patented Click & RunTM software technology.

The "Click & Run"TM 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, Capgemini, 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.

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