The Liberty Alliance
announced the release of three new interface specifications for identity-based Web services -- Presence, Geo-locations and Contact Book.
- Contact Book Service Interface is a common method for users to manage and share personal or business contacts regardless of contact book provider, enabling service providers to access or automatically update, at the user's request, information like billing or shipping address.
- Geo-location Service Interface is an interoperable way to automatically identify a person's location, at the user's request, to provide services like weather, news, travel or currency updates or directions to a chosen location.
- Presence Service Interface is a common way for users to share presence information, such as whether they are online, offline, on the phone or in a meeting, with any service provider for the purpose of communicating availability.
Liberty is doing a lot of good work toward establishing federated identity for Web services/SOA. No doubt there is plenty of business potential, but Liberty Alliance uses an off-the-wall example to demonstrate how these new specs will fit into the grand scheme of things -- helping a teenager find a movie and then telling her friends about it:
"A consumer might use the Geo-location service via a mobile phone when looking for movie locations. The service provider simply 'recognizes' where the user is situated and delivers the info. The user may then choose to let her friends know where she is via the Contact Book service and send out a single message to 20 people. The Contact Book service may then invoke Presence to determine how the users friends want to be contacted (i.e. via mobile phone, laptop, etc.). Some may indicate they want to be contacted via mobile phone. Others may want to be contacted via laptop. Presence takes care of sending the messages to the designated devices. Contact book could also be used to invoke Geo-location if the user wants to reach friends within a certain radius." All this technology just to get the word out about an "Amityville Horror" remake....