Multi-modal Data Access
Original Publication Date: 1999-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
With the proliferation of pervasive devices such as cellular phones, smart phones, Palm Pilots (WorkPads) and other PDAs, it is becoming necessary to provide multi-modal access to personal data such as e-mail, calendar and address book. And, as one would expect, such solutions are emerging. However, most (or all) of these solutions tightly integrate the user devices to the back-end. For example, one company might provide access to e-mail through voice. Another might offer calendar through browsers and PalmPilots. In this paper, we describe an open, standards-based approach to this problem. Rather than specifying which back-ends are accessible, we define an open method for adding back-ends. Similarly, we describe an easily extensible mechanism for producing clients implementing various modalities. In designing our solution, we assumed that we were not permitted to alter either the data sources or the devices. Thus, we must access the sources using whatever protocols they currently export, and we must deliver the content to the devices in whatever format(s) they can render.