Idees Fortes

Back to Contents of Issue: June 2001

Wireless newspaper delivery to your home -- anywhere in your home.

wireless guySpeaking of payment for online content, we've been saying for at least a year now that the importance of i-mode's billing system has been overlooked. The failure to find an acceptable method for micropayments is behind the woes of many a troubled online media company. On the i-mode system, however, small fees show up on a user's phone bill. What could be easier than that?

Now L-mode has come along, and it offers the i-mode network through fixed-line phones. Combine this with wireless home networking and you open some intriguing new possibilities for paying for online content. Instead of getting a physical newspaper delivered to your door, you could get an electronic version downloaded to your L-mode phone in the morning. Since the phone would (in this scenario) be networked wirelessly to other devices in your home area, you could pick up a Web tablet-sized screen and access the morning paper, using a viewer as described in "A New Way to Read the Morning Paper". And with an easy-to-read, highly colorful organic EL screen (See "Through Thick and Thin," page 6, March 2001), reading a paper this way could be more enjoyable than the old-fashioned way.

The publisher would save distribution costs and could offer you a variety of billing options, including per month, per issue, or per page view. All fees would show up on your phone bill, freeing you from the tedium of entering credit card and other personal information.

The same type of system could be used in café or libraries: You'd check out a reading tablet from the front counter and wander to your heart's content, reading whatever content the caféor library has chosen to pay for. It'd also be easy to attach a security sensor to a reader tablet, to stop people from wandering too far.

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