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Device Detection October 15th, 2011

What it is, What it allows for

A mobile usage and content strategy can quickly become an unwieldy constraint when delivering to today’s devices and tomorrows ecosystem of connected things. The key component for device delivery that requires a sound strategy that addresses the needs of today and importantly tomorrow is that of device detection.

Initially device detection may well be extremely high level, answering a simple question of device or desktop? For success, ensuring that the mechanism chosen allows for detailed queries to be run against all device requests is a must.

Identifying by brand, model, connection type, carrier and interaction models all offer opportunity, from commercial through to purely aesthetic with the aim of converting more opportunities. It’s regularly seen that conversion amongst Blackberry users increases by 3-4 times when they are provided with an optimised experience, this is seen to be a result of having a keyboard to complete data capture tasks that are much easier than attempting to complete the same task with a touch screen keypad. This concept extends across other device and OS when their interaction models (constraints) are fully utilised.

Managing this detection method is an unrealistic undertaking for any business. There are both open source and commercial services that manage the detection and resulting identification of capabilities. For the same reason that we recommend server side analytic services, the device detection services should be run on the server to successfully identify the client and hardware making the request.

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