RealTime IT News

DNT Pilots Browserless Internet Access

[Pretoria, SOUTH AFRICA] Pretoria-based company Diamond Network Technologies (DNT) revealed this week that it has developed a technology that will allow people to access the Internet from virtually any connected device, with or without an operating system or browser.

DNT Marketing Director Rhys Taylor explains that the technology was developed locally over a five-month period and then patented by the company. Taylor reveals that DNT is currently in talks with a number of companies overseas and in South Africa who may be able to use this technology to their benefit. Mobile service companies like iTouch have shown interested in the technology, as have South African satellite television providers Multichoice.

Taylor explains that the technology can be harnessed for any number of devices, from cellular phones, palm computers, interactive television platforms to the standard PC. "We can go in a number of different directions due to the fact that this technology is not device-dependent," he says. "As such, we need to ensure that we are choosing the right partners and direction for the technology."

The technology intelligence resides on an 'Instant Internet' server, adapting Web protocols and data formats into the specific display format for a particular device. When a user first logs on, this server identifies the device and reconfigures the content based upon the display and memory limitations it may have. The required Web content is then compressed and transmitted across the connection to the specific device.

In using this technology, the only requirements for Web access is the actual connectivity itself, an Instant Internet Client, running in about 30k of memory, a display and the ability to accept user inputs. This negates the need for a bulky operating system and Internet browser combination as all the work is done by the Instant Internet server.

It appears incongruous perhaps that this technology should have been developed by a little-known Pretoria company like DNT.

Its profile is perhaps misleading, considering the fact that DNT is 50 percent owned by hardware supplier Mustek. Taylor explains that the backing of the JSE-listed Mustek provides the company with the necessary critical mass and credibility both in SA and on the international front.

As Taylor testifies, there has been much international interest in the development of 'intelligent' device-independent Internet access. He cites the example of MIH Holdings' interactive television subsidiary OpenTV who acquired the U.S.-based Spyglass last year based on the fact that the company had been exploring similar technologies. IBM has also been exploring similar device-independent protocol carriers and global electronic giants like Sony have expressed significant interest in the future of this market.