Infinite Messaging

Two-way text messaging, that ubiquitous medium of Web-surfing and cell-phone-toting teens, isn’t just for socializing anymore.

Instant two-way text messaging, that ubiquitous medium of Web-surfing and cell-phone-toting teens, isn’t just for socializing anymore. Because of the medium’s immediacy-it’s faster than e-mail but less intrusive than a phone call-“people are increasingly getting hooked on the need for continuous two-way text messaging as a coordination, alerting, and notification mechanism” for conducting business, says James Kobielus, a senior analyst with Burton Group, an e-business analysis firm in Alexandria, VA.

In one sign of things to come, new software from MIR3 of San Diego, CA, ties a business’s critical hardware or software into its instant-messaging network. If a Web server crashes or an inventory database shows that supplies are running low, the system can issue text or voice alerts to the proper employees.

To do this, MIR3 invented a “middleware” system that authenticates incoming notices from an organization’s application software, determines who should receive them, and schedules delivery via media the recipients have chosen-from pagers to personal digital assistants. MIR3’s early customers include hospitals, which use the technology to automatically alert nurses whenever, for instance, their patients’ heart monitors register significant changes.

This story is part of our April 2003 Issue
See the rest of the issue
Subscribe

America Online, Microsoft, and Yahoo! have all announced plans to release secure corporate versions of their own popular messaging programs, and companies such as Beverly, MA-based Groove Networks are weaving instant messaging into online “collaboration environments” that could free employees from their physical offices. And that’s something even adults can appreciate.

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.