e-sistant Hopes to Revolutionize e-Commerce

Action Engine, a 1-year-old start-up, is getting ready to release e-sistant, a wireless e-commerce app. When a user makes a transaction, e-sistant handles most of it offline, connecting to the Internet only to download prices and upload what was purchased. This speeds up the process when wireless bandwidth is limited.

In order for e-sistant to work, it will have to be modified for each vendor. For example, for users to purchase tickets from a certain airline, a version of e-sistant will have to be written to access that airline's computer system.

The company believes that Web browsing doesn't work on a handheld. Instead, applications should be written that handle making wireless transactions. "You have to write software, you can't just browse,'' said Craig Eisler, the company's CEO.

e-sistant does more than just make the purchase. It can automatically enter a newly booked flight in the address book, and a built-in e-mail app lets users e-mail the details to a co-worker.

Action Engine hopes to make money by licensing it to wireless ISPs and vendors who will modify it.

"We view the PC as the companion to this,'' Eisler said, pointing to his Palm VIIx. "The driving underlying design is how do you make the mobile experience better.''

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Say, haven't I seen this somewhere before...

PalmPlan @ 2/27/2001 9:56:07 AM #
The whole thing sounds very cool, but wasn't that shown during Palmsource? Isn't Palm planning something similar on it's own as well?
For what it's worth, this will be great since it is a cross-platform thing. At least someone is trying to create some unity here... well, at least until they get bought up by Microsoft... sad...


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