Heywow did start with the observation of the following trends in the years 1998 and 1999:
- Advances in the development of PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) in the areas of memory sizes, computing power, usability, and the resolution (in pixels) of the LCD displays.
- Evolution of the data rates as well as the posibility of package oriented data connections with GSM through the use of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and the annoncement of high data rates of UMTS
- Falling prices / layout sizes of GPS modules and GPS receivers, as well as the planing of the European Galileo Satelite Navigation System
- Spread of network centric progamming languages and protocols as well as Java and Jini
- The development of short range wireless communication systems like Bluetooth and WLAN.
This trends and discussions with Sun Microsystems employees (especially with Thomas Groth), Hiller IPD and other partners led to first versions and system concepts to combine communication and navigation elements in a novel way.
The "vision" and the system were named Heywow and were presented in a keynode talk at the JESS (Java Enterprise Solutions Symposium) in April 1999.
The simplified basic idea of heywow is: "Use a PDA equiped with the 2.5 generation's mobile phone standard, GPS/Galileo and Bluetooth. Connect - with the help of Jini and Bluetooth/WLAN/GSM - with two kinds of services: First, local services in the vicinity of the user. Second, with services with global relevance and which are available in the network".