Innovation, The Internet, Standards And the Arrow of Time – Part II



In Part I I introduced the notion of the ‘causal arrow of time‘ and how innovation moves forward in time with what has come before, always enhancing existing technology and the infrastructure that has come to depend on it, in the least disruptive way. In each case there is always the same outcome, a lowering of costs, new customers and services, and an increase in revenues. I used two analogies to illustrate how building standards based infrastructure helps drive innovation and move commerce forward. In this final blog i’ll talk about ‘Enhancing HTTP’ and how a new innovation in three critical areas (Performance, Privacy and Personalization) will drive the next wave of revenue on the Web.

As I mentioned in Part 1 there was no option in the standard version of HTTP to transmit Privacy information over the Internet. In an ironic twist of fate the original designers of the HTTP protocol actually added a method for adding ‘standard data’ to the transmission. This link points to RFC 2616 which is the actual protocol which runs the Web. Here’s the critical section that points to how the protocol can be ‘Enhanced’ (see the bold highlights below) …

  • The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. It is a generic, stateless, protocol which can be used for many tasks beyond its use for hypertext, such as name servers and distributed object management systems, through extension of its request methods, error codes and headers

It’s those exact highlights which illustrates how you can enhance the Web using ‘standards’. Unfortunately as you continue to read the spec (Section 12.1) it tells you why trying to do this is not a good idea. But ‘what if you ignored that’ and went ahead and did it anyway? Well you’d have to solve a lot of complex problems, but if you did, then you would have successfully enhanced the standard by which all devices connect to the Web.

So what would all this look like?


Standard HTTP:
A browser talks to a Web server
over current infrastructure using Web standards

Enhanced HTTP:
A new data channel allows the browser to send
real-time private data over current infrastructure using Web standards

Enhancing HTTP – Adding a Channel for Privacy, Performance and Personalization Data
The need to transmit private data over existing HTTP infrastructure is increasing. 3PMobile believes the best approach is to use an encrypted channel inside the HTTP protocol itself. Like on a telephone network, this data is hidden during transmission, but recognizable by a Web server. The ‘Private Data’ being added to the HTTP request can be either STATIC (privacy preferences, personal information, performance enhancing data) or DYNAMIC (GPS, sensor data, etc.). It is added using existing HTTP standards, such as headers and cookies, so devices and developers need not learn anything new.

The addition of a private data “channel”, just like the added channels to the phone networks, enables countless new revenue opportunities without disrupting the existing HTTP protocol or infrastructure. It inserts seamlessly into the existing protocol, to ensure no disruption and no new learning by developers and IT professionals. Location-based services are the first to be monetized and a privacy preference “switch”, like the Do Not Track (DNT) header is currently being considered by governments and the W3C. A sampling of what standards-based, private data channel innovation enables includes:

  • Enhanced Privacy
    • Enterprise policy management & compliance monitoring
    • Secure transmission of biometric user authentication
    • Identity Wallets and consumer sharing choices
  • Personalized Web Services
    • Personalized content and advertising
    • Managing policy, promotion and simplifying navigation via browser menus
    • Mobile apps that can rival apps in UI and functionality
  • Performance Optimization
    • Real-time, real world device and wireless network performance testing
    • Real-time performance monitoring by device, network and location
    • Mobile SLA analysis & remote device testing and management via the Web

Innovating the Standard… 3PMobile®
Since the very beginnings of ‘transmission technology’, every time a standard has emerged and has been adopted for wide use there have been ‘alternate channels’ invented and applied to those standards for the purpose of transmitting ‘more information’ than the original technology was designed to transport…

… all without disrupting or replacing the original technology.

3PMobile, with it’s Choice® technology, applies this time-tested and proven approach. The company’s intellectual property adheres to the premise that the most valuable technological advances enable the successful introduction valuable products and services without disrupting the existing technology or economic base. Choice® is additive. It provides a path for new technological and economic growth – without requiring immediate change to current business practices or Web infrastructure. Effectively, the company’s contextual data communications platform simply extends the HTTP protocol with a new ‘data channel’ designed to support Web privacy, personalization, and performance-enhancing products and services.

3PMobile’s approach allows organizations and individuals to change – without forcing the pace of that change. It does so by respecting standards and utilizing existing programming skills for the HTTP protocol. And while many will argue that all standards-based solutions should be open source, one need only look at the number of FRAND and cross-licensing arrangements in play in modern Web and mobile ecosystems to know that while it may be the desire of some, it is not the reality. Market advantage and positive economic disruption is created by early adoption of innovative technologies that plug into the existing infrastructure. Strategically minded organizations have the opportunity to be the first to deliver and monetize products and services that utilize the 3Ps – and avoid the negative market impact regulation can impose on them.

Early adopters will gain the largest economic advantage, but everyone can participate for decades to come. As a standards-based technology, the 3PMobile approach is easily integrated into the enabling infrastructure, just as new services have been added to the fuel delivery, container-based shipping industries. It layers opportunity, just as tone-based dialing and data transmission have been added to the telephone network, or as digital data transmission has beyond simple information about the type of browser.

More data, faster transmissions, more choice in data sharing and management, means, quite simply, more opportunity for the development of profitable products and services. Successful innovation, like Choice®, is additive. It respects the technology, which has come before it. It enables yet-to-be defined monetization models. It ensures replacement revenue for established products and services as they reach their end-of-life. It supports both privacy and personalized content and services – with or without tracking. It is the next major evolutionary step in Internet communications.

Posted in: #Choice, #mobile, #privacy, #webperf, Context, Web Standards

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