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Monday, April 25, 2011

Smart Devices and Smart Space

The relentless evolution of mobile wireless technologies has given rise to novel applications and services to satisfy the needs of businesses for cost-effective, highly efficient, and robust operations and to provide a rich experience for consumers.

Given the diversity of wireless technologies, a mobile device such as a smart phone must be able to integrate multiple types of radio access. In particular, as the universal mobile terminal, a smart phone must be smart enough to discover which radio access is most suitable for the underlying application and then switch to it on the fly without the user’s intervention.

Each type of radio access must be optimized on a smart phone to mitigate overall interference. To this end, software radio, a technology that employs the same radio for various wireless protocols, may be the answer. Aside from being adaptive to various radio connections, a smart phone will also adjust its power consumption, display light, and wireless link bandwidth in favor of a long operation time when the battery is about to drain out.

Smart space further improves the power of mobile computing by extending the adaptability of a smart device to everywhere in the physical environment. Embedded computers, information appliance, sensors, and people wearing mobile computers or smart phones constitute the smart space, which is able to systematically organize and coordinate those components. The vision of smart devices and smart space requires breakthroughs in a number of fields, including chip design, communication protocol design, middleware, and information retrieval.

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