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The Mobile Web Initiative at the World Wide Web Consortium

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The Mobile Web Initiative

Steve Bratt
Chief Operating Officer
World Wide Web Consortium


November 2005


Mission: Leading the Web to its Full Potential

Founded by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in 1994, W3C is:

Graph of Globe
  • From a Web of Documents ...
  • ... toward one Web:
    • of Data and Services
    • on Everything
    • for Everyone
    • ... that is Interoperable, Trustworthy, Evolving with time ...

W3C logo

(Membership / Benefits / New "At a Glance" brochure)

W3C Engineers the Foundation of the Web

Over 80 Web Standards (Recommendations) developed to date (list/ svg-by-yr/ translations)

Current work done in 50+ Working, Interest and Coordination Groups

W3C technology stack

Vision: Web on Everything

One Web ...
where Web technologies provide the means of interacting via all devices, including computing, communications, entertainment, embedded, personal, home, transportation, industrial, health care, etc. systems
... worldwide.

Why Does this Make Sense?

Why Mobile Devices Should be the Next "Thing"

Several people waiting for train and using their mobile phones

Source: Steven Pemberton

Rapid Increase in Internet-Capable Phones

Total mobile phone units sold: 680 million in 2004, 800M million in 2005 (est)

Mobile Device Stats

Source: T-Mobile, modeled on Credit Suisse First Boston, Mobile Data 2004, Pyramid Research, Global Mobile Capex Handbook, August 2004

Mobile Web is Underachieving, Today

Low - Stagnating Data Average Revenue Per User :

Mobile-phone and mobile-web access penetration by countries


Mobile Web is No Fun for Users, Today

Mobile Web is Expensive for Content Providers, Today

Works only when content is authored for particular phone/browser/operators combos

mobile Christmas 2004


... Even in Unexpected Places

Multiple URIs needed to access this radio station site in Japan Multiple URIs needed to access this Japanese Automobile Federation site

Solution for Web Mobility?

Joke about Mobile Computing:  Person wearing a desktop system

... We can probably do better than this :-)

Goal of W3C's Mobile Web Initiative

W3C Mobile Web Initiative logo

Birth of the MWI

Best Practices Working Group

W3C Mobile Web Initiative phone
  • Scope (draft)
  • Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 (draft)
    • Guidelines for authoring content for good user experience, through effective delivery to and display on mobile devices.
  • "mobileOK" trustmark
    • ... for Web sites that provide good user experience

Device Description Working Group

W3C Mobile Web Initiative phone
  • Adaptation of content requires knowledge of the device characteristics
  • Group will:
    • Paint landscape of existing solutions and actors in device information ecosystem
    • Describe device properties to guide content adaptation
    • Identify requirements for a device information repository

How This Might Come Together

Diagram showing how single content can adapt to multiple devices

Leveraging Next Generation Web Technologies

Liaising with Other Efforts and the Public


  • Group Participants
    • Sponsors plus: AOL, AT&T, BBC, Boeing, CDAC, ETRI, El Mundo, Fondation CTIC, Fondation ONCE, Google, HTML Writers Guild, Indus Net Technologies, ICRA, Openwave, Royal National Institute for the Blind, T-Online, University of Helsinki, WURFL Team ... with others expressing interest.
MWI Sponsors Logo



Possible Next Steps

Focus on Authoring Fosters Benefits Elsewhere

Entities who will benefit from MWI

Possible Wider-Reaching Benefits

Delphi Navigation Radio Web on refrigerator Web on Urinals

Thank You

MWI Home Page:

General Info :Steve Bratt, Philipp Hoschka, and Stéphane Boyera

BPWG Staff Contact :Dominique Hazael-Mazieux and Philipp Hoschka

DDWG Staff Contact : Stéphane Boyera

Marketing & Outreach : Marie-Claire Forgue

Extra Slides

International Web Standards Organization

W3C's expanding base of international operations and participation

Value of W3C Membership

How to join W3C

W3C Groups and Web Standards

80+ Standards to date(list/ svg-by-yr/ translations)
Current work done in
~50 Working, Interest and Coordination Groups

W3C Groups Org chart

Selected Technology Areas


Web of Data and Services

Web Services

Web Services stack (Philippe Le Hgaret)

Semantic Web

Semantic Web Stack (Tim Berners-Lee)

Expanding Web Use and Safety

Thank you