Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?
Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?
Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?
Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?
Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?
Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?
Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?
Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×
Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision, Does It Exist Yet?

757

Published on

This document will explore the technologies used for pervasiveness in an attempt to determine whether or not the technology infrastructure needed to implement the pervasive vision is really there yet. …

This document will explore the technologies used for pervasiveness in an attempt to determine whether or not the technology infrastructure needed to implement the pervasive vision is really there yet. The different hardware and software used by professionals to create pervasive solutions will be examined.

It will focus on the limitations of mobile devices, the operating systems they will use, Wireless Application Protocol (W.A.P.), Transmission Control Protocol and the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Also examined is the over use of ad hoc solutions. Wireless networks and protocols as well as the software used for pervasive application development will be examined.

It will illustrate how seamless communication occurs and the role that network operators and the handover process play in the achievement of this goal. It will consider how a lack of standards is impacting on the success and growth of the pervasive industry as well as the issue of user acceptance.

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
757
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
34
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. TechnologyInfrastructure ForThe Pervasive Vision‘Does The TechnologyInfrastructure Needed ToImplement The PervasiveVision Really Exist Yet?’By Olivia Moran[www.oliviamoran.me]
  • 2. About The AuthorOlivia Moran is a leading training specialist whospecialises in E-Learning instructional design and is acertified Moodle expert. She has been working as atrainer and course developer for 3 years developing anddelivery training courses for traditional classroom,blended learning and E-learning.Courses Olivia Moran Has Delivered:● MOS● ECDL● Internet Marketing● Social Media● Google [Getting Irish Businesses Online]● Web Design [FETAC Level 5]● Adobe Dreamweaver● Adobe Flash● MoodleSpecialties:★Moodle [MCCC Moodle Certified Expert]★ E Learning Tools/ Technologies [Commercial & Open Source]★ Microsoft Office Specialist★ Web Design & Online Content Writer★ Adobe Dreamweaver, Flash & PhotoshopPage: 3Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision: Does It Exist Yet?© Olivia Moran [www.oliviamoran.me]
  • 3. 1. ABSTRACTThis document will explore the technologies used for pervasiveness in an attempt to determinewhether or not the technology infrastructure needed to implement the pervasive vision is reallythere yet. The different hardware and software used by professionals to create pervasivesolutions will be examined. It will focus on the limitations of mobile devices, the operatingsystems they will use, Wireless Application Protocol (W.A.P.), Transmission Control Protocol andthe Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Also examined is the over use of ad hoc solutions. Wirelessnetworks and protocols as well as the software used for pervasive application development willbe examined. It will illustrate how seamless communication occurs and the role that networkoperators and the handover process play in the achievement of this goal. It will consider how alack of standards is impacting on the success and growth of the pervasive industry as well as theissue of user acceptance.2. INTRODUCTIONAccording to Kohler and Erdmann (2004), Pervasive Computing is “A vision of future applicationsof Information and Communication Technologies (I.C.T) in which highly miniaturized, embedded,networked microprocessors equipped with sensors will pervade our daily lives”. The wordpervasive means to spread throughout, to permeate or pervade, hence the term pervasive is usedto describe the spreading of computers and other communication devices throughout oureveryday lives. “The vision of Pervasive Computing is built on the assumption that computers willbecome part of everyday objects, augmenting them with information services and enhancedfunctionality” Hilty et al (2004).Pervasive computing is becoming a major area of interest. There are now countless numbers ofpervasive devices available, varying in shape, size, functionality and cost. The reduced cost andsize of memory and pervasive devices as well as more powerful and faster processors have madethe growth and acceleration of pervasive computing possible. Pervasive computing has in affectled to the creation of an entirely new business market and has the potential to alter significantlythe way in which people communicate.The vision of pervasive computing envisages obtaining your information where you stand, whenyou need it and in the format you need it. Reaching such a stage would according to Burkhardtet al (2002) “Give users the freedom not only to communicate efficiently at any place in the worldbut also to access local information as well as information residing on the internet at any placeand at any time” Realising this pervasive vision is a long way off. Hansmann et al (2003)highlights that “Pervasive applications need to take care of various hardware and softwareplatforms, as well as very different form factors and user interfaces. This obstacle stronglyimpacts portability”.This paper aims to highlight the extent to which technologies are able to support the pervasivevision and whether or not the infrastructure that currently exists is sufficient for implementingthis vision. The most commonly used hardware and software available at present for the creationof pervasive solutions are examined at length. This document is concerned with the limitations ofmobile devices, the operating systems they use, W.A.P. and TCP/IP Protocol.Page: 4Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision: Does It Exist Yet?© Olivia Moran [www.oliviamoran.me]
  • 4. Also examined is the over use of ad hoc solutions. Wireless networks and protocols as well as thesoftware used for pervasive application development will be explored. Network operators andthe role they play in the handover process are also considered and how this process is vital toseamless communications over different geographical locations. In this paper the differentproblems that arise from the lack of standards in the pervasive industry are presented. Lastly, theissue of user acceptance is considered and how this matter impacts on the development of sometechnologies.3. HARDWARE & SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES“Today’s emerging pervasive computing technology faces serious technical issues: most deviceshave strong limitations on memory usage and processor performance as well as tight constraintson power consumptions” Hansmann et al (2003). There are hundreds of different models ofmobile phones as well as Personal Digital Assistants (P.D.A’s) and numerous platforms that mustbe taken into account by the developer when building a suitable user interface. These devicesvary in size, shape and functionality. Each mobile phone requires a different interface that allowsthe user to communicate with the computer. Some mobile devices are multimodal, where inputand output is given using more than one modality i.e. pen, voice, touch screen etc. The lack ofstandards causes a real problem for developers. There is no one agreed upon standard that alldevelopers can follow.3.1 Limitations of Pervasive DevicesPervasive devices face many limitations that their desktop counterparts do not. Such limitationsrelate mainly to reliable power supplies, display sizes and interfaces for input and output,memory capacity as well as processor power. Portable batteries are used to power pervasivedevices. The life of these batteries once charged will differ depending on the type of battery thatit is. Some of the more desirable batteries include Nickel-Cadmium (NIMH), Lithium Polymer orthe most commonly used Lithium Ion (Li ion). Such batteries are much lighter in weight, smallerin size and more environmentally friendly than previously used batteries however, they are notcapable of supporting long-term use without needing to recharge.Pervasive devices usually have a relatively small display and this can cause some major problemsfor designers. Forms need to be able to adapt to the specifications of the phone or else they willdisplay incorrectly. It is very important to consider colour, scale and spacing, as failing to takethese into account will result in a task taking longer to complete. “The screen layout should beself-explaining and reduced to the absolutely necessary elements” Hansmann et al (2003). Thedifferent input and output i.e. pen based, touch screen, voice etc. modalities of each device mustalso be considered in light of the application being developed.Memory has recently become much more affordable, most likely due to increased demand forportable devices. Pervasive devices such as camera phones and P.D.A.’s can store a substantialamount of data with many of these allowing for the attachment of Microdrives like thosedeveloped by IBM. Processing power is another issue that mobile devices must contend with. Thepervasive devices that are in operation today such as a typical smart phone have more processingcapabilities and a higher clock rate than the best computers available two decades ago. With thissaid they are still incapable of dealing with huge amounts of data and therefore what needs tobe processed should be kept to a minimum.Page: 5Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision: Does It Exist Yet?© Olivia Moran [www.oliviamoran.me]
  • 5. 3.2 Operating Systems (O.S.)The only thing a user is usually concerned about when using a pervasive device is the speed andlength of time that it takes to do a task. They do not wish nor need to know what is going on inthe background. Consequently, “The footprints of Operating Systems and software need to bereduced as much as possible. Mobile devices must handle power shortages and their applicationsmust be able to resume again after shutdown” Hansmann et al (2003).Burkhardt (2002) points out “The core functionality of every pervasive computing device isdetermined by its operating system”. This can range from basic functionality like that providedby the Palm O.S. or those with a lot of complexity such as Windows CE, a powerful O.S. The O.S.is responsible for tasks such as user, task, power and memory management. It is highly importantthat the O.S. chosen for each device is appropriate given its features, capabilities and the tasksthat it must perform.3.3 Wireless Application Protocol (W.A.P.)W.A.P. is an Internet protocol that defines “An optimised protocol stack for communication overwireless lines, an application environment for mobile phone applications, a content descriptionlanguage, and a miniature browser interface” Burkhardt et al (2002). Contributing to its successis that “W.A.P. offers a broad market for developers. One worldwide standard that is device-independent and bearer-independent assures developers of a broad, ever-expanding market forcontent and applications” Steenderen (2002). W.A.P. does have some limitations. It does notdeal well with limited bandwidth and the requirements of smaller user interfaces. However, withthe increased availability and more affordable costs of broadband this limitation will beovercome.3.4 Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)TCP/IP protocols were designed for wired networks and do not adapt particularly well to wirelessnetworks. According to Alanko et al (1999) “Differences between wired and wireless links causecomplications. The common data communication protocols, like the TCP/IP Internet protocols, donot expect problems like those occurring in a cellular telephone network”.TCP connections often have poor performance as they can misinterpret lost packets as “Networkcongestion and slows down the rate of transmission” Alanko et al (1999). Such a belief results inthe TCP layer stopping what it is doing so that it can listen and wait for the congestion todisappear. This is problematic, as no congestion actually exists and it stops sending the datapackets. The ideal situation would be that it increases packet transmission frequency and speedas the loss of packets is most likely due to transmission errors caused by changes in the networksphysical layer. Alanko et al (1999) also notes “Multiple TCP connections over a low-bandwidthlink can interfere with each other … Parallel TCP connections competing for the same constrainedlink interfere with each other in a way that causes additional retransmissions”.3.5 Ad Hoc SolutionsCompanies are extremely innovative and constantly come up with new ways to use existingtechnologies. However “It is now widely acknowledged that the success of pervasive computingtechnologies will require a radical design shift, and that it is not sufficient to simply extrapolatefrom existing desktop computing technologies” Henricksen et al (2002). While this may bebeneficial in the short term it is creating a wide range of problems in the pervasive computingindustry and has lead to the very messy Internet that we use today.Page: 6Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision: Does It Exist Yet?© Olivia Moran [www.oliviamoran.me]
  • 6. Most pervasive devices work on an infrastructure, which at the time of its inception, developersbuilt without considering modifications and developments that may have been needed in thefuture. The construction of the infrastructure in this ad hoc manner creates many problems andresults in changes being expensive and hard to carry out.3.6 Wireless Networks & ProtocolsThe position that the pervasive industry finds itself in today is somewhat thanks to the varioustechnologies most notably IEEE 802.11 upon which WIFI and Bluetooth is based. These are bothprotocols that allow connections to be established without any cables. IEEE 802.11 is a standardused which allows mobile devices or networks to communicate using radio frequencies. WhileWireless Local Area Network (W.L.A.N.) capabilities based on this standard are within thecapabilities of some smart phones it is generally reserved for devices of the gaming industry likethat of the Play Station Portable (PSP). These IEEE 802.11 set of standards are being expandedand “Perhaps the most important development from a mobile device perspective is theenhancement of voice handling in 802.11e. It extends the protocol with voice handlingcapabilities” Andersson (2006).Bluetooth as described by Hansmann (2003) is “A standard for a short-range radio frequencynetwork between devices”. Bluetooth while relatively slow in being adapted, has its success inthe fact that “Bluetooth chipsets are cheap and that they have a protocol stack that makesinformation exchange easy” Andersson (2006). It does however have some limitations in that “Ithas had difficulties in obtaining user adoption beyond headsets, even tough it made it under thehood of the mobile device – people find it easier to plug in a USB cable than activate Bluetoothand connect to another device” Andersson (2006). Companies such as Nokia are trying to create ademand for Bluetooth devices other than headsets with the creation of devices like their ‘NokiaSensor’ a software application for phones that “Offers a new way for people to createinformation and share it with other phone users nearby” Andersson (2006).Rodriguez et al (1999) puts forward the argument that WLAN’s provide “An awesomeopportunity for unprecedented access to information and applications by mobile workers andprofessionals”. On the other hand one must also consider the fact that “Limited bandwidth, highlatency, high cost, poor reliability and security risks of wireless networks greatly inhibitsupporting today’s applications over wireless networks”. Privacy remains a major issue forwireless networks. Signals moving through the air can be easily intercepted and deciphered.However, users may be willing to surrender some of their privacy if they believe that the benefitswill outweigh this disadvantage.3.7 Pervasive Application Development SoftwareJava to micro edition (J2ME) and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 are technologies that are widelyused to develop pervasive applications for use on mobile devices. The original Java language wascreated out of a desire to come up with a language that could be used for the development ofsoftware that would run on any type of hardware. Its basically ‘write once, run anywhere’. Itessentially ensures a greater level of platform independence.A version of java that could be used on small devices such as smart phones and PDA’s wasdeveloped. This language became known as J2ME. By 2001, a vast amount of mobile phonessupported the use of J2ME and today has evolved into one of the most supported platforms onsmall devices. J2ME does however have some limitations. It takes quite a long time to becomeproficient with its use, to build applications and these often have slower performance than thosecreated by other similar technologies.Page: 7Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision: Does It Exist Yet?© Olivia Moran [www.oliviamoran.me]
  • 7. Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 is another development environment. It is based on a .Netframework and like J2ME it has a steep learning curve. On the other hand it allows for thedevelopment of applications in Visual Basic, C++, C# and Visual J# programming languages.4. NETWORK OPERATORS & HANDOVERSA major obstacle for the pervasive industry is the achievement of a seamless exchange of usersfrom one network operator to another. This process needs to result in an “Efficient and costeffective interworking between overlay networks for the seamless provisioning of current andfuture applications and services” Doufexi et al (2004). The device must constantly listen forchanges in network conditions and determine the optimum time for the hand over. If thisprocedure is not carried out correctly crucial data packets may be lost.Different handover models exist to manage this event; the ‘Vertical Handover’ is one suchmethod. Such a model enables “Users to roam freely between heterogeneous networks whilemaintaining the continuity of their applications” Balasubramaniam & Indulska (2003). It isconcerned with context awareness and issues such as “Network disconnections and changes innetwork Quality of Service” Balasubramaniam & Indulska (2003).5. LACK OF STANDARDSThe pervasive industry is currently haunted by lack of standards with interoperability andstandardisation being highly important to its future. Many fail to recognise the significance ofthese issues and are unwilling to take the time necessary for the development of standards.Many developers feel that they cant take the risk of waiting to deploy their product and service.Those that are first to the market are those who usually gain an early competitive advantage.Andersson et al (2006) share a similar view arguing that while “Proprietary solutions are alwaysthe fastest way of getting a new technology to market, the result has been fragmentation offormats”Organisations such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) andthe Java Community Process (JCP), lay standards down for the pervasive computing industry.These bodies constantly govern the industry and its growth as well as development. Theutilisation of standards ensures that the various pervasive hardware devices and softwareproduced are implemented in a satisfactory way. As noted by McGovern & Norton (2002) “Acommon standard empowers rather than restricts”. These standards can change from time totime as pervasive computing is still in its infancy and thus is continually developing and evolving.6. THE CUSTOMER & USER ACCEPTANCEFurther development of some promising technologies has been halted by high developmentcosts. While an organisation may be able to produce a pervasive product to satisfy consumerneeds, they often fail to do so in an economic way. Schmidt et al (2006) highlights that “Price stillseems to be the main obstacle for introducing the technologies”. It impacts greatly on gaininguser acceptance.Page: 8Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision: Does It Exist Yet?© Olivia Moran [www.oliviamoran.me]
  • 8. For a user to accept the product that is being offered it must be capable of performing itsactivities at least the same or better than the desktop does. As Andersson et al (2006) points out“Customers expect to access the same (or similar) information and applications when on the moveas from their desktops … Ease of use and reliability have always been trademarks and customershave very little tolerance of a hand-held device that has to be restarted every once in a while”.Take for example phones with W.A.P. capabilities, these did not take off as expected due to lowuser acceptance.This example aims to highlight that even where the technology may exist to supportpervasiveness it may simple not be used. Drawing on the previous example, users viewed theW.A.P. enabled phone as offering the same service as their desktops but one which was lessreliable, slower and much more expensive. It is clear to see that other factors such as useracceptance have a huge impact on the future development and growth of technologies thatcould be used to support the pervasive vision.7. CONCLUSIONThis document examined the different hardware and software technologies used by professionalsin the development of pervasive applications and devices in an attempt to determine the extentto which the pervasive infrastructure is ready to support the true pervasive vision. It focused onkey areas pertaining to the limitations of mobile devices, the operating systems they will use,W.A.P., TCP/IP Protocol, the over use of ad hoc solutions, wireless networks and protocols as wellas the software used for pervasive application development. It also looked at the role of networkoperators and the handover process necessary for seamless communication. It briefly consideredthe various problems that developers encounter due to lack of standards. Lastly, the issue of useracceptance was considered and how this matter can impact on the development of differenttechnologies.One of the major problems that the pervasive industry faces at the moment is that instead ofcreating new technologies specifically aimed at supporting mobile computing, developers areinstead too focused on modifying existing solutions that were built for wired networks anddesktops. This course of action is extremely time consuming, costly and not always the best wayto approach a particular problem. Grimm et al (2000) argues, “Existing operating systemabstractions and services are neither sufficient nor necessarily appropriate for a pervasivecomputing infrastructure”. Developers need to begin thinking outside of the box. Lack ofstandards is also contributing somewhat to the problem.From carrying out extensive research into this area it seems as though the technologies needed tosupport the ultimate pervasive vision are not available yet. However, the author does not wish tounderestimate the innovative spirit of those working in the industry and shares the view ofAndersson et al (2006) that “Perhaps advances in the area of pervasive computing will not bemade possible only through the development of new technologies or applications but alsothrough the re-examination and reengineering of current offerings. People are resourceful andinnovative and have the ability to make the best of what they have”. The author is confidentthat the coming years will bring significance advances towards the realisation of the pervasivevision.Page: 9Technology Infrastructure For The Pervasive Vision: Does It Exist Yet?© Olivia Moran [www.oliviamoran.me]

×