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One Size Fits All For Web Sites

Digital Paths, a start-up company based in Stanton, Calif., is launching an intermediary service between handheld computers and Internet sites that will allow a Web site to be reconfigured to suit the screen size and format of any handheld and smartphone device, said president/CEO Kia Shirali.

Beginning in November users will be able to access the Digital Paths’ service by visiting and entering the desired Web address. According to VP/senior programmer Bernie Aua, the site then retrieves the desired address (within one to 10 seconds) and delivers it to the user in an all-text format suitable for the device.

“The Web has been so PC-centric,” Aua said, “but in the past six months to a year a number of new smaller devices have emerged and viewing the Internet on them is much different than on a computer. What’s happening is there are a lot of restrictions on where on the Web these devices can go, or the Web sites themselves have to develop a new type of content to cater to these devices.”

“Soon the Web will be fragmented with content developed for PalmPilots and other content for smartphones,” he said. “Our thought was to do something to take away these restrictions, so we’ve developed a technology that acts as a go-between for these devices and almost any traditional Web site.”

Digital Paths will offer free software specific to different devices to enable them to make use of the service. The first application, called DPWeb, is to be released for 3Com’s Palm VII.

Any user may access the Digital Paths site at no charge, although the company hopes to offer proprietary fee-based services for corporate clients in the future.

“The Palm VII utilizes Web clippings,” Aua explained, “but you can only get snippets of information, and only from those sites that have developed content for them.

“Through our technology, users come to our page and type in the Web site they would like to go to, and then we grab that information and format it into content suitable for them. So we’ve made almost the entire Web available to them again.”

Digital Paths filters the graphics from the original Web site, while maintaining the site’s integrity, he added “When you have a small screen and take a graphic and try to reduce it, often you can’t even tell what it is.”

Digital Paths calls its technology “Pathway” and claims the technology is independent of emerging protocols and standards.