While progress is being made in many new technologies that are producing today’s Information Age, there is one area that may become particularly influential – the Intelligent Wireless Web. This area includes wireless mobile devices, speech interfaces and intelligent software. And as a result, the construction of an Intelligent Wireless Web requires the integration of advances in many disparate fields. Today, there is need for clarifying the “Big Picture” of how these many and varied fields of study fit together - where they touch, where they cooperate and where they conflict.

The purpose of this book is to provide insight into the “Big Picture” of how we may “build” an Intelligent Wireless Web. The book evaluates the compatibility, integration and synergy of five merging technology areas that will lead to the Intelligent Wireless Web:

1. User Interface – to transition from the mouse click and keyboard to speech as the primary method of communication between people and devices;
2. Personal Space – to transition from connecting devices by tangled wires to multifunction wireless devices;
3. Networks – to transition from a mostly wired infrastructure to an integrated wired/wireless system of interconnections;
4. Protocols – to transition from the original Internet protocol (IP) to the new Mobile IP; and
5. Web Architecture – to transition from dumb and static applications to new applications that are intelligent, dynamic and constantly improving.

This book provides the background for understanding these merging technology areas. It provides an evaluation of the major advantages and disadvantages of individual technologies and the problems that must be overcome. Finally, the book provides a vision for building the Intelligent Wireless Web. Yogi Berra once said, “Predictions can be tricky, especially when you’re talking about the future.” And certainly making projections about competing technologies is more perilous than using hindsight to review history. However, the future of rapidly converging technologies is not so complex and uncertain that a few reasonable “trial solutions” about certain aspects of the Web’s further development can’t be put forward for examination. Indeed, several large advanced research efforts, such as, MIT’s $50 million Project OXYGEN, demonstrates that concepts incorporating key elements of the Intelligent Wireless Web are being actively pursued. Hopefully, the vision of technology development and convergence presented in this book will offer some insights into the actual unfolding of the future of the Web. However, we fully acknowledge that there are competing visions for the development of various Web technologies and the actual winners are yet to be determined.