Extension to e-Wallet
e-Wallet applications are essentially a software used to store personal information, credit card numbers , passwords, and sensitive data. It acts as a secure storage system suitable for both desktops and handheld devices. Some of the mobile devices having this e-Wallet application are high-end Nokia phones (e.g., Nokia 6310i and 6510) and certain Palm devices. For example, Palm and VeriFone had demonstrated a wireless (via infrared) payment scheme at the 2001 Consumer Electronics Show (CES; VeriFone, 2002).
The main advantage of such an implementation is that the customer does not have to queue for payments. This saves time and provides greater flexibility. Customers can also collect their items at the end of the day rather than lugging their goods around the shopping complex. Shop merchants receive full/partial payment in order to entice them (pay and collect system). Shoppers, on the other hand, will collect their items at their specified time.
Integration With Cell Phone Accessories
The customer support engineers in our scenario have to key in the barcode ID of the product in order to query information using the mini library . In the future, cell phone accessories such as barcode readers will become so light-weight and easily available it will be a standard item carried by the customer support engineers. The versatility of the Motorola i85s cell phone allows itself to be easily connected to small, lightweight barcode readers through the serial port connection (RS232; see Figure 15).
Figure 15: Integration of Motorola i85s with barcode reader
Integration With Global Positioning System (GPS) Chip
For faster, more efficient scheduling of the customer support engineers, the real-time location of the engineers as well as the customer site should be made known to the help desk. A new model of the iDEN handset, the i58sr , comes with a built-in GPS chip. This chip will allow the help desk to determine the position of the cell phone and thus the position of the customer support engineers.
When a job request comes in to the help desk, the help desk application will broadcast a position inquiry to all the support engineers' cell phones, and these cell phones will respond to the request by sending back their GPS coordinates. This can be done without the intervention of the customer support engineer. Based on the response, the help desk can then send the job to the nearest customer support engineer who does not have any tasks at hand.
Faster and Better Cell Phones
With the advancement in the cell phone technology, cell phones are becoming faster, have more memory, and come with a host of features such as colour display, polyphonic ring tones, and remote activation (e.g., the Motorola i95cl ). This will give users a whole new multimedia experience on their cell phones.
Enterprise applications on new phones will leverage this additional processing power and storage capacity to improve the application response time and reduce network traffic. Features such as colour imaging, text-to-speech conversion, etc. will allow the users ( especially emergency response workers) to have a more complete picture of the situation before they take any action.
In this chapter, we have described the use of Java 2 Micro Edition for developing wireless applications and have given an implementation of a complete model of a customer support system integrating the wireless element to the scenario. Various technologies in developing wireless applications and enterprise applications have been utilized in developing the system.
We have chosen Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) as the application platform to implement a complete customer support system model consisting of wireless modules, back-end modules, and Web site modules. J2ME is an obvious choice because it is portable and designed to run on consumer devices.
We have also implemented a local database on J2ME to store frequently accessed information so as to speed up interaction and save network bandwidth. An important consideration here is not to make major changes to the database schema as the database in the company may already be in existence and is most likely used for more than one application. We have also used XML for the data exchange and data display format as XML makes the data portable among different applications and provides a rich structure for easy browsing and reading documents.
We have also extended the framework to m-commerce transactions by providing additional security measures. In J2ME, crypto-APIs such as the RSA algorithm are already available. This will greatly reduce the time for developing secure m-commerce applications. Issues such as computing power, time delays, and power consumption are also important considerations in developing a comprehensive wireless enterprise application.