Note: Teleshuttle's proprietary software and online
operations services are no longer marketed.
Please view the consulting information on the Teleshuttle home page.
The information shown dates from 1996 or earlier, and remains relevant to the history of CD/online/Web hybrid technology.
Teleshuttle(tm) is an innovative data delivery system that links CD-ROMs or other local media with up-to-the-minute online information. It packages software plus services as a component that can be embedded into a wide variety of information, entertainment, and merchandising CDs (or diskettes) to provide simple and seamless communication, using quick, low-cost connections. This enables a new, simplified technical and business approach to data delivery, that opens up a new realm of network-enabled products, years ahead of the "Information Superhighway."
Until now, users had to choose between two incomplete information access systems: CD's store lots of data for fast multimedia access at low cost, but are soon outdated. Online services (and the Internet) are up-to-the-minute, but costly, slow, and hard to navigate. The Teleshuttle "hybrid" provides developers an easy way to combine the best features of both.
Teleshuttle offers revolutionary simplicity and economy. It is new and unique in providing 1) a packaged communications software module, as well as 2) a complete server operations and user support service, that 3) can be incorporated by any publisher or developer into its products, affordably, and with a minimum of effort. (A patent is pending.) Also unique is Teleshuttle's offering of multiple options for quick, low-cost communications. A few technology leaders like Microsoft and CompuServe produce proprietary hybrids of CD-ROM and online, but only Teleshuttle packages this technology for independent publishers and developers.
Product developers can easily integrate the Teleshuttle's simple communications module to work under the control of their CD or diskette-based product. Instead of complex communications programming, they need be concerned only with the simple program interface (an "API") that controls Teleshuttle requests, and with the end-use of the information packages themselves. The Teleshuttle transporter module takes care of the task of connecting to a remote server system to fetch or send predefined information packages to or from the user's hard disk. For simple applications, a Drop-in Utility Transporter that requires no program integration is also available.
Users need know nothing about how to navigate online services, or how to subscribe to and pay for them. Only a few mouse clicks are needed to use the Teleshuttle. In the case of updates, the user may be given a single update button to click, or a list of available items to select from. The data is then fetched automatically from the server to the user's hard disk, the call ends, and the product returns to normal operation. For sends, after the data is prepared, only the click of a send button is needed. With suitable programming, the developer can present updated information as if it had always been integrated with the original. Open-ended information-on-demand applications can be achieved by fetching updated catalogs of available information items.
Teleshuttle's total server operations and support service is a key to making use of the Teleshuttle simple and economical, and to putting this technology within reach of any publisher/developer. The Teleshuttle Service centralizes the special skills of supporting real-time communications and server operations, and of staffing a hot-line for technical support to end-users. This is a task best left to specialists. To provide such a service for themselves would be costly and difficult for most publishers or developers.
With Teleshuttle Service, the publisher need merely provide its updates to Teleshuttle - either by mail or by file transfer - and can receive any collected information or orders the same way.
Teleshuttle's objective is to provide an open, standard facility that offers publishers and developers maximum value and flexibility.
The economy of Teleshuttle technology enables a unique business model based on flat one-time fees which can be included in the initial price of the product. There is no need for complex subscription or usage-based charging schemes, nor the administrative costs they impose. Costs to a publisher or vendor may be as low as $3-5 per user, for a year of service, depending primarily on the number of users and the total volume of data made available for transport.
Customer charging models may take a variety of forms. Simplest is a "free" service, built into the product purchase price, which offers a set number of updates for a set period of time. Use of ordinary phone lines, where users pay any long distance charges, enables minimal fees. Also attractive is pay-per-call access using 900 numbers. For commercial applications, catalogs or other sponsored marketing services, toll-free 800 lines, national public data networks, or the Internet may be used to offer customers free service.
Content is totally unrestricted in nature and presentation. User interface look and feel is left entirely under the control of the developer.
Technically, Teleshuttle will extend to cover a wide range of hardware and software platforms, and multiple network technologies. The first version supports Windows 3.1 and 95, and direct dial or X.25 communications. Versions are planned for Macintosh, DOS, and other platforms, and for Internet, wireless, and cable TV networks.
Teleshuttle Corporation cooperates with suppliers of authoring systems and search engines to pre-integrate the Teleshuttle with their products. A Plug-in interface for Folio VIEWS is currently available.
Most publishers and developers find it desirable to outsource server operations and support service, for maximum simplicity and economy. However, some technically sophisticated organizations prefer to perform these functions in-house. Teleshuttle Corporation offers licensing options for both client and server software.
Teleshuttle Corporation was founded with the mission of developing products and services that facilitate this powerful new approach to simple, flexible, and economical information delivery. The company's principals bring extensive experience in information products and services, and in building and supporting large online networks. Announcement of Teleshuttle has aroused strong interest from a broad spectrum of publishers and developers. The first CD-ROM to use this facility is the Blockbuster Video Guide to Movies & Videos (July 1995). Specializing in data transport, the company is developing partnerships with complementary software providers and vertical market specialists.
The prime benefits of Teleshuttle are in the power and simplicity it provides to both product developers and their customers. Teleshuttle shields the developer and the user from the complexities of communications, while avoiding any interference in the developer's control of the product's user interface and information presentation functions.
And as its use becomes established: