New SMS technology to offer smart apps to basic cellphones in India

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London, November 05 (ANI): People who can't afford sophisticated cell phones have a reason to smile - a new technology will bring internet-based services to the most basic handsets.

What's more, the network protocol being built by Umesh Chandra of the Nokia Research Center in Palo Alto, California, will get mobile phones connected to the web via SMS.

Chandra believes that the system will be hugely beneficial in countries like India where most of the population cannot afford to buy a computer or advanced model handset to access the Internet.

"For a lot of people in India, the cellphone is the first communication device and slowly it might also become a computing device," New Scientist quoted him as saying.

The new technology will upgrade mobile phones with a particular Facebook-like application that will allow people to text and locate friends in a specific area.

Moving on from the previous location-based SMS systems, which could only provide static information, such as the position of the nearest library, the new system can use location information based on the nearest cellphone base stations to send a response.

Also it will be able to send details of any nearby active vendors on sites such as Craigslist.

The system can trace a person using it to within 300 metres in cities with a high density of cellphone base stations, such as Bangalore, India.

Chandra said: "What location means to us [in the west] is not exactly what location means in India. [In India], when you tell somebody where you live, you don't give them your complete address. You give them a point of interest."

Chandra insisted that GPS-enabled phones would offer better accuracy- down to 10 metres.

The character limit of SMSs normally acts as a constraint to the amount of information that can be exchanged.

Chandra said: "You have to be very frugal with what you put into the message".

However, the new technology has tried solving it by developing a concise syntax to encapsulate the information the user wants. (ANI)

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