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Mobile handset applications

Bluetooth equipped mobile phones provide the opportunity for universal handset control of everything from vending machines to production machinery.

The combination of the localized communication (provided by the Bluetooth link) and access to the internet (via the GSM) provides a combination which allows the system designer to allocate the various components of a control system in a way which maximizes functionality whilst minimizing cost.

This alliance of capabilities offers a solution to an increasing problem for embedded product designers. As the expectations of communication and control capabilities and sophistication user interface the development cost of core functions - the 'real' real-time components - becomes an ever smaller proportion of the overall design and implementation.

The essence of a real time application means that all of the code must be developed to the same standard - a bug in the user interface might not be important to the user but cannot be permitted as it may well disrupt the operation of the core control application. As a result the cost of developing a user interface for even a relatively simple LCD matrix display can be as much as the core control application itself.

This imbalance inevitably increases as the demands for sophistication of the "peripheral" components of the embedded system increases. The core control/monitoring algorithms may even be carried over from previous versions with the result that the entire cost of development results form the need to develop non-real time elements to real time standards.

By allocating the responsibilities amongst the three components of the system indicated above the designer can achieve:

  1. "Infinite" data storage for data, code updates, archiving and user interface.
  2. Low cost remote-control with operator feedback.
  3. Flexible siting of control system - no need for user accessibility.
  4. Low cost, universally available, hand held control

Key to achieving these benefits is an understanding of the range of standards - both formal and informal - which cover these technologies. The handset standards - iPhone and Android and then J2ME, CLDC, MIDP and KVM. The communications protocols WAP, WML and the IP family - TCP, UDP, PPP, LCP, ICMP. Even for the choice of programming language the normal embedded decision between C and assembler needs to extend across the range from C++ to SQL and is unlikely to avoid one of the 'three-Ps' - Python, Perl and PHP. An acronym soup with plenty of pit falls for the unwary and inexperienced.

DeDf to the rescue? Well almost. What we can do is to free you to focus on your core control or measurement requirement whilst we look after the problem of moving your data around these standards.

Use our experience to realize these benefits on your next project. Through our knowledge of the requirements and limitation of embedded application we can provide mobile and internet communication solutions which work.

Embedded applications have neither the processing or development resources to implement sophisticated protocol stacks. They don't have the megabytes of memory necessary to support the widespread buffering expected by standard implementations of these protocols. This puts pressure on the J2ME handset code to smooth out the differences between the embedded application and the expectations of the internet standards.

DeDf can provide the handset and internet code to support your embedded application. Contact us to discover how to exploit the potential of the cell phone as a universal handset in your next project.


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