Yaga, Inc. (www.yaga.com), provider of an advanced payment platform that enables businesses to create new revenue streams, today announced its acquisition of Campbell, California-based Air-Tunnel, a developer of m-commerce platform software that allows interactive communications, transactions and delivery of media between any application and any mobile device, in real time.
The Transportation Security Administration -- which President Bush Thursday proposed transferring to a new homeland-security agency from its current home within the Transportation Department -- is enlisting companies that analyze personal credit-card and insurance records. The aim is to target suspicious travelers when they make a reservation so that by the time they show up at the airport, authorities will be on alert.
"The 2002 Hype Cycle reflects the bursting of the technology bubble," said Alexander Linden, research director of emerging trends and technology at Gartner. "There are surprisingly few new technologies entering the Hype Cycle or approaching the peak. Far more technologies are stuck in the trough of disillusionment and several of these are unlikely to emerge from this stage quickly." Gartner said that peer-to-peer computing, WAP and wireless web services, location sensing, speech recognition on desktops and e-payments are among the technologies that are floundering. Gartner also suggested it would be two to five years before identity services, such as Microsoft's Passport initiative and the Sun Microsystems-led Liberty Alliance, would be accepted for high-value transactions. Privacy and security concerns would hold back acceptance, said Linden.Here's a deeper explanation of the hype cycle.
So in the third wave, card companies and their online travel-agency partners hope to target people who spend less on their cards and want more flexibility. For well under 10,000 points, cardholders can cash in for a $100 travel gift certificate. That chit has a specific value that doesn't fluctuate, making it simpler to understand and redeem. Frequent-flier miles can be difficult to value, since their worth depends on the cash price of the ticket for which they're being redeemed.
Microsoft has found its advances elsewhere slowed by wary industry partners and rivals. The company has had little success to date in convincing cellphone makers and the cable television operators to adopt pared-down versions of its Windows software. They have preferred rival offerings or, as in the Liberty case, cooperated to create a competing technology ˜ despite the billions of dollars Microsoft has spent to gain entry into these markets.
In the amorphous war on terrorism, government officials believe they have a new weapon: the growing number of financial institutions that use powerful technology to monitor confidential customer activity and report suspicious behavior to law enforcement and intelligence officials. Driven by little-known provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the anti-terror legislation that was approved after Sept. 11, banks, securities firms and other companies are deploying computer systems that draw together millions of transactions, sometimes automatically, in searches for money laundering, terrorist financing or other unusual patterns.
A lot of techies and marketers will be spending a lot of time and money to develop technology that manages identity. The winners in this game will be the ones who understand that people want to control their own information, without being confused by the tools that help them do it.