Experiences with multimedia teleshopping applications over a broadband network — The project ESSAI
In the framework of the RACE Programme of the European Union on advanced communications, the project ESSAI — Experimental Service Sale Automation on an IBC Network, has investigated the issues related to the provision of Teleshopping Services for services and goods based on a broadband communication infrastructure.
The Project ESSAI has focused on a very broad spectrum of issues spanning the identification of the users' requirements, the assessment of the different architectural and technological options for the provision of the teleshopping service, the analysis of costs and benefits of teleshopping in different market segments and the definition of a methodology for the assessment of the users' acceptance.
Most importantly, ESSAI has designed and developed two demonstrators of the proposed teleshopping system and has operated them during three extended service usage trials. In these trials experimental, but “real”, teleshopping services were offered to real users who could buy services and goods in the areas of entertainment and travel, tourism and transportation through the system. The assessment of users' acceptance of the ESSAI system and service during these different trials has enabled the evaluation of the market potential for network-based teleshopping services and the definition of a suitable market introduction strategy in view of the forthcoming availability of the first commercial IBC (Integrated Broadband Communication) services throughout Europe.
This paper presents some of the most relevant technical results of ESSAI and reports the experience gained with real users in the public service usage trials. Many of the issues addressed here are considered crucial for a successful deployment of teleshopping services as soon as commercial IBC services become available.
KeywordsPayment Card Multimedia Database Debit Card Physical Configuration Broadband Communication
ATM Adaptation Layer
Association of Swiss PTT and Ascom
Asynchronous Transfer Mode
Experimental Service Sales Automation on an IBC network
Exploitation of an ATM Technology Testbed for Broadband Experiments and Applications
Integrated Broadband Communication
Plesiochronous Digital Hierarchy
Research and development on Advanced Communications in Europe
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
Travel, Tourism and Transportation
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