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Why you should be looking at BONDI

Come across BONDI recently?

We met Tim Haysom, Marketing Director of OMTP at the MIR Developer networking event the other week (see his video). I thought it was time to catch up with OMTP and find out a bit more.

Tim Raby, Managing Director of OMTP, answers my questions.

1. Tim, we were thoroughly impressed at the OMTP BONDI concept that your colleague Tim Haysom initially discussed at the MIR Developers Event the other week. For those new to OMTP, could you first give us an overview of the organisational mandate?
OMTP was created to get Mobile Operators, Handset Vendors and technology companies, that deliver device Hardware and Software, working together to drive cross platform consistency. BONDI clearly fits this and so does our latest delivery on standard phone connectors (OMTP Common Charging and Local Data Connectivity).

2. For your one-man-band or small mobile developer who may have come across OMTP in passing, what’s the concept? What are the chief benefits you’re offering to the industry and why should developers pay attention?
Technically BONDI is about creating standard secure web API’s for use from a Browser or a Widget Run-Time. But perhaps more interestingly, this is about a number of major companies agreeing a common way forward rather than one “platform owner” driving for competitive advantage. Developers should be interested because the ubiquitous rich (PC) web is rapidly fragmenting (following the Mobile tradition!).

BONDI is a catalyst for key players to encourage mobile web technology evolution down a standard route.

To follow the PC web model so that mass market application innovation can happen but without necessarily destroying the value in the traditional mobile business.

3. You’ve got some rather big players involved. Could you give us an overview of just what companies are participating with OMTP?
The current participating companies are listed at http://www.omtp.org/Membership.aspx but include eight of the major Operators and the six of the large handset OEM’s.

4. Who’s recently joined OMTP and what are their reasons for joining?
Opera is the most recent of a number of companies who have joined OMTP as an Advisor Participant (the level at which most Companies participate). Opera is a major supplier of web technology they are naturally keen to be involved in BONDI and its ongoing development. A number of Companies will be announcing product that support the BONDI specification over the next few months.

5. Now, to BONDI specifically. Could you give us an overview?
BONDI is a set of API’s that securely opens up Device and network resident capabilities. There will be devices in Market as early as the end of 2009 that support the BONDI API’s. In 2010 it will be available on a number of different O/S platforms and on different web/widget run times from multiple Operators in many countries. Developers can wait and see what happens or engage now by developing applications against the Release 1.0 and by providing the rapidly growing BONDI community with feedback http://bondi.omtp.org/default.aspx.

6. What are the key challenges that BONDI is addressing in the marketplace?
Fragmentation of the web in mobile created by platform owners trying to differentiate their platform by adding proprietary rich APIs. As a Developer, how big is the “case statement” going to be to get Location or Presence information from a web application that attempts to run on multiple platforms and cross Operator? From a User’s point of view, how secure is access to your phones Microphone or Camera going to be after you have said Yes to a “do you want this application to … “ prompt?

7. What are your hopes for BONDI? What can we expect to see over 2009 and beyond?
(see 5. Above plus)

Hope that with addition of Developer support we can continue to work with multiple platform owners (Operators, OEMs, ODMs and software companies) to accept that “one web” is good a outcome for mobile and beyond. “Developer Pull” is key to driving adoption of a standard.

8. What else should we know?

For good to bad, BONDI is not attempting to create a standard application store with a fixed commercial model. This is about helping to create a standard web platform that will allow service innovation both technically and commercially.

OMTP’s relationship with W3C plus other web and mobile Standards Organisations is key not (just) commercial adoption.

Thanks for taking the time, Tim!

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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