Challenges of Mobile Computing

[Forman & Zahorjan, 1994]
• Wireless Communication

Low Bandwidth
High bandwidth variability
Heterogenous network

• Mobility – Address migration – Location-dependent information – Migrating locality • Portability – – – – Power consumption (see Table 1) Form factor Small user interface and storage capacity Risks to data and physical damage .

Xerox PARCTAB A first attempt at a thin handheld client for ubiquitous computing – office environment .

temperature.Ubiquitous Computing Philosophy • Demand less of our attention than current computers • Advantages of an intelligently orchestrated and highly connected system. …) . • Context-aware features – – – – User’s current location Identities of user and nearby people Identities and status of nearby resources Physical parameters (time.

light and aesthetically pleasing • Reliable wireless connectivity • Tracking mechanism to know its location (resolution of a room) • Run on batteries for atleast one day without recharging • Allow casual interaction (even with one hand) • Display graphics & text. touch-screen • Reasonable cost of hardware and network .PARCTAB Design Goals • Small.

Hardware (1995!) • 12 MHz.4in*1. 8-bit Intel 87C524 Microcontroller (with low power modes) • 128 KB memory • 2.8in LCD (128*64 monochrome pixels) • Buttons + Touch-screen • 215g in weight (battery is 70g) • Consumes 27mA at 5V (normal) and 30uA (low power mode) – needs only around 1 charge per week (around 400 minutes) .

Communication • Space and power constraints – Infrared (IR) • 9600/19200 baud • IR signals are contained by walls • One transceiver per room (cell) • Transceiver is connected to RS-232 port of a workstation in the room (which is on a LAN) .

protocol checks. coding. decoding.Transceiver • Coverage around 20ft radius • Performs transmission. • Transmission: 2 dozen IR emitters placed at 15 degree intervals • Reception: 2 detectors provide 360 degree coverage . receiving. buffering.

3-247 Payload • Time division multiplexing of medium • CSMA protocol to provide access to IR channel with exponential backoff when busy. 4 Src.Transmission Control 1 1 Type Len. • Ack needed bit in Type forcing explicit acknowledgements 2 CS . 4 Dest.

User Interface • Buttons + Touch-screen • Keyboard entry + Unistrokes • Display can only show 8 lines of 21 characters • Elision and incremental searches .

Software Architecture Tab1 Agent RS232 Tab1 IR Gateway Tab2 Agent Tab4 Tab3 Shell Shell Locate Shell Gateway IR Video Tab3 Agent Vote Calendar Tab2 IR Tab4 Agent Gateway Transceiver Ethernet Shell Mail .

(eg location) • Request from application comes to agent. which then sends it to transceiver on RS232 to be broadcast using IR • Events from tab are sent to the appropriate agent in the reverse direction . which forwards to appropriate gateway.• Tabs resemble dumb terminals • Execute simple local functions in response to remote procedure calls (RPCs) • There is one tab agent for each tab that maintains current info.

wakeup. etc) • Generates beacon events every 30 secs for location • Gateway uses a name service to locate tab agent • Appends a return address and location id to the agent • A centralized location service keeps track of each tab’s location that is updated by tab agent .• Simple tab functions (displaytext. displaybitmap. generatetones.

… • Remote Control . file browser. Diary (of day’s activities) • Communication – Mail. thesaurus. voting. WWW.Example Applications • Information access – Weather forecast. dictionary. pager • Media applications • Computer supported collaboration – Group pointing. locator.

The InfoPad Mutimedia Terminal • For wireless information access and display of multimedia data • Again a very thin client – does only wireless communication and I/O processing • It is like a switch between the backend and the I/O devices .

Pointer Other I/O .InfoPad Hardware Wireless Network Interface (FPGA) Speech Codec Video Decomp Processor ARM60 10MHz 512K RAM. 128K ROM Display Keyboard.

6Watts) .Power breakdown (9.