Interactive Multimedia Messaging Service

Short Messaging Service (SMS) has made an extreme success in the mobile communication market today. Evolving from the text-oriented SMS, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)[1] is a system for delivering rich contents such as graphics, pictures, and streaming audio/video in a messaging context via wireless networks between mobile terminals. It is one of the most important basic services in 2.5G and 3G networks and is expected to have a long-term impact to the communication market.

In spite of its growing success, the current MMS is still mainly a person-to-person service. It is regarded as a natural extension to its predecessor, SMS. Although it supports rich content such as longer texts, color pictures, animations, even audios and video streams, it doesn’t solve the messaging user interface problems that SMS is facing. Both SMS and MMS deal with only the message presentation to the end user, either pure text based or multimedia content based. The message contents are still static and less user interaction is involved. Compared to the user interface with web browser where the user can fill the forms, make selections, click buttons to send requests to the web applications, the MMS user interface is rather poor because the current MMS presentation language does not support those interactive elements.

We believe that the communication between persons and applications is important to the success of MMS and should be addressed. It has been estimated that application-to-person MMS usage will dominate the future MMS traffic. However, because of the limited interfacing capability in MMS, MMS-based applications so far are limited to only ring tone download, MMS picture download, etc. By means of the current MMS features it is difficult to extend its usage into more diverse and sophisticated business application scenarios.

In this paper, an improved version of MMS, the Interactive Multimedia Messaging Service (iMMS), is introduced. It enhances the presentation capability of the current MMS with richer user interactive features. Without changing the existing MMS architecture and network infrastructure, iMMS could give users better experience and its usage could be extended to more business applications.

By: Pei Sun, Song Song, Jun Shen, Changjie Guo

Published in: RC23164 in 2004


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