The widgetization of the internet

The world wide web might be living an evolutionary leap with these bridging applications

What is a widget, really?

The web is becoming a widget. You heard it: “build us widgets!” should be the cry to battle of any web savvy organizations. But what exactly is a widget? What is their intrinsic purpose? How can they be monetized? Turns out that what started out as an exercise in coding, might well take over and transform the world as we know it. It already has.

Perhaps coined from the word used to describe a mechanical contraption or a ‘gadget’, when widgets sprung up, someone was smart enough to baptize them with a generic name: in essence, widgets are compact and modular interactive programs similar to web applications, or short snippets of code, that are used to produce a desired result, whatever this might be. They can do anything. Typically, for a program of this sort to be called a widget it needs to live outside of its original environment, thus it could even be called a third party application.

A Wireless Communications Perspective

Since the end of the last century, when Marconi and Hertz demonstrated the feasibility of radio transmissions, mankind has endeavoured to fulfill the dream of flawless wireless multimedia telecommunications, enabling people to communicate with anyone, anywhere, at any time, using a range of multimedia services. In fact, "virtually" being with someone, anywhere, at any time at the push of a dialing key - provided that the wireless system, the communicator device as well as the human/communicator interface are up to the associated requirements - is a concept that ultimately leads to the impression of "tele-presence" while communicating.

Naturally, the provision of these "tele-presence" services requires a further quantum leap in a range of enabling technologies from the current state-of-the-art, which is constituted by the well-known mobile phone. The Communications Group is endeavouring to contribute in most of the associated areas. Our long-term research is focused on communications and information theory, providing ideas for more short-term applied research.


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