by Marie-Claire Forgue

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was present at the Mobile World Congress 2013 25-28 February 2013 to demonstrate the impact of the Open Web Platform and HTML5-based Web apps, proposed as the best development solutions addressing reduction in costs and complexity. Nowadays, HTML5-based Web applications are enhanced with new capabilities such as responsive design, WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), near field communication (NFC), Web payments, and full integration of video.

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In 2005, W3C launched its Mobile Web Initiative, and, since then, has been present at almost every Mobile World Congress, one of the biggest events focused on mobile devices and networks. Back in 2005, any claim that the Web had a big role to play on mobile devices was met with incredulous smiles and funny stares at best.

Fast forward to the 2013 edition of the congress, and while W3C certainly had the largest HTML5 logo on display at its booth, the real message came from the spread of these logos on many, many other stands. Not only has the Web gained visibility on mobiles, with several systems now providing HTML5-based development platforms for their systems (Windows 8, Blackberry, Tizen), but also, one of the highest profile announcements at the congress was around FirefoxOS, Mozilla’s mobile operating system entirely based on Web technologies.

In 2013, W3C showcased demonstrations of HTML5 and other open W3C Web technologies at its booth in the “App Planet” Hall of the new congress venue, Fira Gran Via, in Barcelona. W3C presented two Web apps featuring the creation of an online photo gallery for a variety of devices. In addition, W3C Members such as Adesis, Ayumento de Zaragoza, Intel, Joshfire, Mozilla, Nokia, Tapquo, and partners such as the EU project webinos, demonstrated their unique Open Web Platform applications.

The W3C booth received much attention from developers, industry leaders, the media, analysts and many others. With this large and broad audience, W3C staff and W3C members were pleased to discuss how the Web is transforming all industries, including mobile, television, advertising, games, publishing, automotive, and health care. Specifically, a wide range of stakeholders are now looking at accelerating the adoption of Web technologies in the automotive industry, leading to the recent creation of the W3C Automotive and Web Business Group. Also, the February 2013 W3C electronic books workshop reported technical discussions focused on Open Web Platform technologies currently used in eBooks and the need for improvements of these technologies for future digital publications.

ERCIM is the European host of W3C.

Links:
W3C@MWC'13: https://www.w3.org/2013/MWC/
webinos project: http://webinos.org/
W3C eBooks workshop report: http://www.w3.org/2012/08/electronic-books/rapportebook.html
W3C Automotive and Open Web Platform Business Group: http://www.w3.org/community/autowebplatform

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