Thursday October 19, 2000
Cell phone? Check.
Palm Pilot? Check.
Engineers are leading our headlong rush into the wireless
revolution, making big plans for Web-based and ASP business models of
traditional CAD applications. There's talk at trade shows of designing that
aircraft carrier on your wristwatch while skydiving off Bimini.
But before mechanical engineers make too many assumptions about
the wonderful world of wireless, they'd better check with the software
developers first. A new study released by the market research firm Evans Data
Corp. (Santa Cruz, CA; www.evansdata.com)
reveals that the majority of developers are focused on the humble goal of
bringing wireless e-mail to PDAs.
Twice a year, Evans polls more than 300 wireless developers on
what projects they're currently developing or planning to do soon. The most
recent poll was done in September and tabulated by type of application and by
The results show that 39% of developers are working on e-mail,
38.6% on consumer e-commerce applications, and 34% on mobile positioning and
location-based services. Full results are at www.evansdata.com/typeapps.html.
Of course, any application must be based on a platform. By rank of
devices, those developers are trying to bring wireless connectivity mostly to
PDAs such as the Palm Pilot (57.5%). The next favorite device is the mobile
phone (56.8%), and then the notebook PC (44.2%). Whiz-bang ideas like using
Bluetooth or 802.11 to create a wireless campus LAN (33.9%) and in-building LAN
(33.2%) bring up the rear. Full results are at www.evansdata.com/devices.html.