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A Day in the Life of Ivan Eyepack…
A Day in the Life of Ivan Eyepack…

What better way to highlight the issues that need to be addressed by wireless information providers (i.e., Reuters, Instinet), wireless software tools vendors (e.g., SpiritSoft), and wireless terminal providers (e.g., Compaq) than by looking at a day in the life of a typical businessperson in the emerging wireless world? When Mr.or Ms. Wireless gets up in the morning, what might he or she need from a support environment? Necessities will include a desk-based computer, access to a server, a notebook, and a PDA (an iPAQ, of course).

Ivan Eyepack wakes up and turns off the alarm on his iPAQ. He rises slowly realizing that his baby daughter (2 years old) is jumping up and down on the bed. His wife, having been up during the night servicing the 2-year-old's needs, rolls over to catch a few more minutes of sleep.

Ivan takes his iPAQ with him as he goes downstairs to get his daughter some milk and make the morning beverages. When he gets to the kitchen, he presses some keys on his iPAQ to start the hi-fi unit; his morning radio station updates him on what's going on in the world. That one click also starts the coffee maker, which grinds some fresh beans and makes the coffee. The milk that he put inside the microwave the night before is already perfectly heated for his daughter by the time the coffee is finished.

He trudges upstairs with some cookies and the beverages of choice. The day has begun.

Going to Work
In the 10 minutes before he leaves home Ivan checks the current traffic situation between his home and the railroad station. His iPAQ assures him that all is well. The roads are clear and the train's on time. He grabs his toothbrush and passport and puts them into his briefcase. After cuddling his daughter and kissing his wife goodbye for the day, he's ready to face the challenges that await him.

The 15-minute car ride to the station starts well. He has plugged his iPAQ into its slot on the dashboard. When he first got the new car, he spent all afternoon playing with the virtual dashboard. Configuring the dashboard from his iPAQ was a feature he'd been eager to try out. He even managed to store the details as a part of his portable context on the iPAQ.

In the car the iPAQ moves into action, downloading Ivan's driving content and displaying, through a head-up display, a continuous reading of the car's vital signs as well as the current traffic situation for his normal route to the station.

After five minutes an alert appears on the head-up display, part of his configured personal driving context: there's an accident ahead. The smarts in the car's autoroute application conveniently find an alternative and display it. He follows it to the letter, arriving with three minutes to spare.

Ivan parks the car. He presses the release button, puts his iPAQ into his top pocket, and waits for the train. On the platform he clicks the personal hi-fi sleeve onto the back of his iPAQ, plugs in, and tunes out. The train arrives on time. He boards and sits down to read the newspaper he just bought.

Both his newspaper and train ticket were purchased using the new electronic beenz payment system. Beaming the payments to the train company and the newspaper stand has made life much simpler than carrying cash and a multitude of credit cards that had been part of his life before.

While listening to some MP3 tracks that he downloaded a couple of days before, he hears a beeping sound. It's his wife. He presses the phone icon and talks to her through his iPAQ. He forgot his lunch. "Oh dear. Never mind darling I'll get a bite to eat in the office canteen."

He goes back to the same point on the MP3 track but before he can settle down he's alerted again. His iPAQ is telling him that the markets are on the move already. A complex business rule he set up in the office to alert him of movements of Lithuanian equities against downward movements in Albanian interest rates has occurred. He'll have to act fast - before he gets to the office.

His portable context, torn off last night from his desktop machine before leaving to go home, includes all that he needs to perform mission-critical business functions.

While connected to the office through the standard wireless GSM line, his dynamic YAC (You're Always Connected) line allows him to fully interact with the office systems. In this way he can crystallize positions or trade opportunistically, based on the alarm scenario he had set up using his Desk and PocketWorkflow applications. He thinks, to himself, what an essential feature this PocketWorkflow has been.

Before he hits on some trades that he set up in anticipation of the current market conditions, he notices a small alarm on his iPAQ on the news channel. There are rumors of a coup d'etat in Lithuania. Rebels have overrun the presidential palace. He set his iPAQ to monitor news channels for Lithuanian and related news stories appearing on the news wires.

He decides to hit the trades anyway but sets up a rule from his iPAQ to monitor further news items regarding Lithuanian rebels as an adjunct to his existing rules set up in the office.

With all now safe and well he settles back into the plush seats on the train, absorbed by the MP3 tracks and his retro-style newspaper.

At the Desk
Ivan Eyepack isn't one of the stars in the office but he's known as a reliable performer. He makes just above the average margins on trading activity.

He gets to the office at the usual time. Settling into his chair he swings around and inserts his iPAQ into the syncing sleeve, connecting the iPAQ to his desktop machine and the company network once more.

The iPAQ syncs all the current information, the new rule is checked in, and Ivan gets to work. He uses his desktop machine for most tasks in the office: checking e-mail, making trades, looking at research, and surfing the Web for information. Syncing his iPAQ allows him to ensure that his portable context is up-to-date everywhere it needs to be.

Any changes to his context from his desktop machine can be torn off and placed on his iPAQ before he leaves. He doesn't even need to do anything. The whole process, once set up, is automatic. The iPAQ knows it's connected in the office and the office knows that the iPAQ is connected too.

At Meetings
That morning, Ivan has several meetings to attend. Rather than remain out-of-contact and offline, he decides to tear off his current context from his desktop and carry it with him on his iPAQ. Having done so he knows that he can remain on top of all situations. The iPAQ uses the local Bluetooth connection to the corporate network to remain online.

While meeting with a client, Ivan wants to show them their current trading positions. Because their details formed part of his context of the day, deduced from his meeting schedule on his iPAQ, they are preloaded. He uses the Bluetooth connection between his iPAQ and the projector to show the client some active graphs and spreadsheets of their current positions. Then he overlays some relevant news stories about one of their investments that has announced a new version of their product. Their shares jump and the positions are updated accordingly.

The clients leave happy, placing more business with Ivan and mumbling something about buying iPAQs for their entire enterprise.

On the way back to his desk, his iPAQ alerts him to an incoming iPAQ phone call. His wife has had problems with the bank and asks him to take a look at their current account, one transaction in particular. While remaining online with his wife he clicks on his personal banking icon and navigates to their current account. Pulling down the last 20 transactions he sees the problem. They bought a new Internet-enabled washing machine and one of the payments has been made twice. He gives his wife some advice on what to do next and sits downs as he arrives at his desk.

Having packed his passport and toothbrush, Ivan is ready to travel when his boss sends him an e-mail asking him to attend a meeting in NYC the next day. The iPAQ is synced once more, his context being torn off, and he heads for the door to get a taxi to the airport and a flight to NYC. He hails a cab from his iPAQ through the cab-hailing application. Five minutes later he's off to the airport.

On the Road
Ivan checks his trading positions while tuning the iPAQ's onboard radio to BBC Radio 4 for the latest financial news. It's just about 1:00 p.m. as the pips from Big Ben echo through his iPAQ and into the headphones he's wearing.

He relaxes for the first time since his train ride into the office. Listening to the news he starts to doze. An alert buzzer sounds into his headphones. Lithuania's coup has ended. He moves into action. The rule that he set up on the train this morning proves very useful. The rule has serialized down to the iPAQ a dialog box to hit a particular interest rate swap based on Lithuanian and Albanian interest rates. He needed the news to watch the current interest rates change.

As they change he gets ready to hit the trade. He does it just as the train enters a series of tunnels in which the connection is not very stable. The dynamic connections software downgrades the connection context onboard his iPAQ and the whole interface reconfigures. Having hit the trade it changes the electronic trade to a call into his trader. He verbally dictates what's to be done.

Everything works. Ivan is really pleased. He has managed to make half his year's bonus on that trade alone. His iPAQ has done the job again.

Flying to Far-Off Places
In the business lounge at the airport Ivan connects his notebook through Bluetooth and onto his company's network. He can monitor the state of that last trade and look for more analysis. He uses the larger form factor of the notebook to display more graphical data, and enters some annotations. Syncing with his trusty iPAQ once more, he's able to include the annotations as notes to his personal context.

He has also managed to download some analyst reports, which he listens to through his iPAQ while eating lunch on the plane. He had put away his notebook before boarding and will not use it at all during the flight.

While in the air he tries out some of the onboard games and uses his trusty iPAQ as the games console. He manages to do a round at St. Andrews, beating Tiger Woods and scoring a record 59. Ivan is pleased with himself.

Two gin and tonics later he's dead to the world, his iPAQ resting in the sleeve of the seat ahead of him. The onboard communications allow the iPAQ to remain online, managing his business interests, and keeping him in touch wherever he is.

Emerging Technologies
The following is a list of emerging technologies that are relevant to the scenario described in this article:

  • iPAQ: The sleeved PDA from Compaq
  • Bluetooth: The latest emerging wireless technology
  • MP3: The latest in digital audio
  • Java: The portable language for application developers
  • JMS: The messaging standard from the Java community
  • SpiritWAVE: A JMS framework from SpiritSoft
  • SpiritBROKER: An EAI messaging broker from SpiritSoft
  • SpiritLITE: A QoS-aware Java lightweight messaging system from SpiritSoft
  • SpiritINTELLECT: A lightweight ECA rules system from SpiritSoft

    Technological Challenges
    This scenario presents a number of technological challenges such as:

  • Portable and generic profile management
  • Dynamic network management
  • Dynamic application management

    About Steve Ross-Talbot
    Steve Ross-Talbot is the founder, CTO and chairman of SpiritSoft Inc. He has worked in computational science for 19 years during which time he has built SQL compilers, advanced databases and UI tools. Prior to starting SpiritSoft Inc he was a leading consultant in investment banking technology for a number of investment banks, specializing in active architectures and dissemination information system.

    In recent years Steve has concentrated on technologies higher up the middleware stack and is heavily involved in defining RuleML and participating in various JSR initiatives dealing with JMS and JMS related technologies.


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