The MONA Vision
watch the video (3.3MB, wmv format)

Today’s mobile devices increasingly support more than just one modality. In fact, almost all current mobile terminals, be it a phone or a PDA, come with a microphone, a speaker and a graphical display. Yet there exist few applications on mobile terminals that can use several modalities in a flexible manner, even though the generally small screen and the frequent change of context means that a multimodal user interface would be of great benefit to the user.
There are several reasons for this lack of multimodal applications. First of all, today’s 2G mobile networks and devices encounter problems when transmitting data and voice simultaneously. Second, it is difficult to create user interfaces due to the multitude of devices and their different capabilities, and finally creating a multimodal interface is more difficult than designing for voice or graphics alone.
The first problem was relieved by GPRS and will be fully solved in the 3G systems emerging now. This project deals with the other two problems by relieving the application from having to adapt the user interface to specific devices and modalities.

Multimodality

At the core of the MONA project is the concept of multimodality. A modality is a way to convey information between the user and a user interface of an application, using a single distinct human capability to process information. The MONA server supports the modalities speech, text, graphics and non-speech audio.

MONA Presentation Server

The MONA presentation enables a new class of mobile applications providing powerful and flexible user interfaces on a wide range of networked devices in a telecom network. A carrier or third-party service provider who deploys the MONA presentation server can deliver end-user services that combine speech and visual interface techniques for single-user or multi-user applications. MONA applications offer a unique and recognisable user experience that combines several familiar user interface paradigms.

One Implementation for All Devices

Developers of a MONA application provide a single implementation of their user interface. The MONA presentation server then renders a sophisticated multi-modal user interface on devices as different as low-end WAP-phones, Symbian-based smartphones, or PocketPC PDAs. Support for other devices could be added to the server easily on customer demand. The applications do not need to be updated.