Monday, June 05, 2006

Mobile Phones as a Webservers

Nokia has been working on a project called "Raccoon", which is enabling the running of an Apache webserver on a Symbian based mobile phone. The idea is to enable phone configuration and setup from a browser via bluetooth connection. Most of newer mobile phones have as much processing power as early Internet webservers.

Now, this concept of embedding a small webserver into a small wireless device is not new, see the funny "Fly Webserver" from 2002.

This type of functionality has interesting possibilities. I can think of many possible uses for this little webserver on the phone. I can image distributing a personal mobile website to other mobile phones and regular computer users. This personal website could have my photo's, video and audio on it and could be updated in real-time. Wow, what a concept! I could mobilcast audio, video and photo's right from my phone.

Nokia or the wireless carriers would need to operate DNS servers and firewalls to protect users. The other challenge would be media formats. The phone would need to be able to transcode or create these media files in the correct format.

In the early days of the web many people thought that home connected broadband users would one day setup webservers in the home and that did not happen. It is very possible that very few people will want to use a webserver in their mobile phones, but if we created an easy way to do it and it created revenue for wireless carriers then it just might actually happen.

It is fun to dream about these possibilities and it will be interesting to see if in fact these things actually happen.

Rob Greenlee

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