Five years ago: Spyglass wants Web-able petrol pumps, copiers

Spyglass is coming to the UK, and wants to spread Web access to new devices

First published 14 January, 1997

Web browser pioneer Spyglass is moving into the UK as it ramps efforts to make Web access ubiquitous on televisions, telephones and myriad other devices. The firm has set up a Windsor, Berks. European office as the base for its ambitious plans.

Despite being a key early developer of Web access software with the Mosaic browser, Illinois, US-headquartered Spyglass has slipped from view in recent times as Netscape and Microsoft - which licenses some Mosaic code in Internet Explorer - have invested millions of research dollars in the area. Now it plans a return through licensing deals which will put its software at the heart of all sorts of products, from network computers (NCs) to petrol pumps.

New Spyglass Europe managing director David Harris-Evans sees the market for Web-connected products as potentially huge. "It's not just mobile devices, it's TVs, photocopiers, even petrol pumps. On a garage petrol pump you could have access to maps and traffic flow information at the same time as you're being bombarded with advertisements. In a photocopier you could remotely interrogate the copier for support information. There is a practical application based on Web technology and if you look at the number of people with access to a telephone or TV compared to a PC, you see the size of the potential market."

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