Wi-Fi operator launches automatic sign-on tool

Wi-Fi operator launches automatic sign-on tool

Summary: The Cloud hopes its mycloud software will be an 'umbrella for all Wi-Fi across Europe', using a single user profile for laptops, smartphones and portable entertainment kit

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TOPICS: Networking
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Wi-Fi network operator The Cloud has launched an automatic sign-on service that it hopes manufacturers will build into phones, portable media players and games consoles.

Called mycloud, the service is aimed at making it easy for wirelessly enabled devices, including laptops, to automatically log into hotspots without much user intervention. The idea is for the user to register once, including credit-card information for paid-for hotspots, then use that hosted information across a range of devices.

The service was launched on Tuesday, but at a preview event last week The Cloud's business-development director, Owen Geddes, claimed mycloud "will become the umbrella for all Wi-Fi across Europe".

Mycloud is based on Devicescape's single-sign-on software. It allows the host device to automatically hook up to any available hotspot, whether free or paid-for, but to do this it requires the participation of a number of hotspot aggregators — hence the presence of The Cloud's rival, iPass, at last week's event.

While laptops and smartphones are obvious targets for the project, The Cloud has also been talking to Nintendo, Sony and Apple — the operator has Wi-Fi deals for the iPhone and iPod Touch in the UK — about getting mycloud preinstalled in wirelessly enabled portable games consoles and media players. The Cloud is trying to make mycloud as contextually aware as possible, said Geddes, with the software suggesting content to the user based on the type of device being used, the location where it is being used and the demographic information fed into the system when the user initially signs up.

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Mycloud is also a social network of sorts, in that users can link up their profiles with their friends' profiles, making it possible to share access to home hotspots when those friends are visiting. The service, which is still in beta form, is being opened up first to a select group of The Cloud's customers this month.

Topic: Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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4 comments
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  • Free WiFi + Credit Card # >> Does not Compute !

    They NEVER need your Credit Card # if the service is free ... This is a total Croc.
    dwr50
  • Not all hotspots are free

    Not all Wi-Fi hotspots are free. For instance, The Cloud's hotspots in McDonalds restaurants are free, but their coverage in the financial district in London is not. Hence the need for credit card details up front, to make it unnecessary to enter those details when going into paid-for coverage.
    David Meyer
  • Wi-Fi operator launches automatic sign-on tool

    How many new users know how to secure a wireless hotspot? This will become a hacker's haven, opening windows users portables to the world. I have 3 neighbors I can locate,via wireless, and 2 of them are open. Might as well wear your private info on your jacket.
    ator1940
  • Cloud have yet again got their heads up the ar*e

    Wow, and shame about the titanic!!!

    This software was out years ago, it was called Access Manager and BT gave it away on their BT Openzone website, they since revised it and now called mobile express - and still free as I understand.

    When is someone going to buy up the cloud for
    mike_j_norman@...