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Institute of Pervasive Computing
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Communication via shared public displays.

Funding Industrial cooperation    
Duration 2001-2002
Consortium Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Connect Austria
Role Proposer, Coordinator, Project Leader

The WebWall is a system which enables multi-user communication and interaction via shared public displays and the pervasive and seamless access to the WWW in public areas via e.g., mobile phones or handheld devices. In this project, the concept for a WebWall has been elaborated and a software framework for the operation of WebWalls has been developed. By employing a strict separation of WebWall I/O technologies (like HTTP, email, SMS, WAP, EMS, MMS or even simple paging protocols found on mobile phones) from the underlying framework architecture, the physical display technologies used and the presentation logic involved, the system enables access for a range of devices.

The architecture integrates ubiquitous wireless networks (GSM, IEEE802.11b), allowing a vast community of mobile users to access the WWW via public communication displays in an ad-hoc mode. A centralized backend infrastructure hosting content posted by users in a display independent format has been developed together with rendering engines exploiting the particular features of the respective physical output devices installed in public areas like airports, train stations, public buildings, lecture halls, fun and leisure centers and even car navigation systems. A variety of different modular service classes has been developed to support the posting or pulling of WWW media elements ranging from simple sticky notes, opinion polls, auctions, image and video galleries to mobile phone-controlled web browsing.