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This is the Benefits section of the Device Description Ecosystem document. See the DeviceDescriptionEcosystem overview.


* This section summarizes some of the benefits that derive from the availability of device descriptions.

Better quality presentations

* The increasing diversity of Web-enabled devices means that a "one size fits all" approach is unlikely to achieve the optimal experience on all devices. Instead, the different characteristics of the user agents and devices need to be considered. With the aid of an adaptation technology, supported by reliable contextual information, the quality of the the end user experience can be greatly enhanced. This is particularly noticeable in the quality of content presentation: banners fit the screen, tables and lists are properly laid out, the default input mechanism for forms is appropriate to the available input modalities, there are fewer errors (e.g. attempting to use a feature that is not supported by the device) and so on. This provides the users with positive experiences and encouragement to continue using their chosen devices. It also gives users the confidence to try new devices with new functionality.

More efficient use of bandwidth

By avoiding sending resources that are too big or incompatible. * An adaptation technology can use device descriptions to select only the forms of content that are compatible with the requesting device, thus avoiding the waste of bandwidth that might occur otherwise. Images can be sized or cropped in advance of delivery. Similar optimizations can be applied to streamed media (e.g. by choosing the codec according to known performance for the delivery context). These efficiencies result in faster delivery times and reduced request latency for the end user, and the ability for the network operator or service provider to support more users or services.

Enables better support for new devices

Encourage uptake of devices replacing older models. * New devices offer users with new or improved features. These are of little benefit to the users if the content or data delivered to the device makes little or no use of the enhancements. For example, if a new browser is introduced that has the ability to establish a mobile video conference via a hyperlink in the page, this may be an appealing feature until the user discovers that all the conference-enabled services are still giving manual instructions to initiate such calls. In this case, the user has a reasonable expectation that the new feature will be used as advertized, to justify the cost of the upgrade. This may be achievable if the manufacturer advertises the new feature via a common device description repository, and all adaptation solutions can access this repository to update their adaptation processes.