SmartEdge offers click and carry wireless content

Location-based wireless applications can be easily and effectively deployed with a locally developed mobile interactive platform called SmartEdge.

Developed by a seven-man project team from the Laboratories for Information Technology (LIT), the technology allows mobile phone and personal digital assistant users to download or upload any type of content on any wireless device.

Showcased at the CommunicAsia exhibition recently, SmartEdge devices can be embedded in appliances and machinery for wireless remote monitoring and control applications. LIT is an information technology research lab funded by A*STAR (Agency for Science and Technology).

The embedded system runs an application software called SmartAgent that can be customized to interact with mobile devices and other appliances. And the operating system can store tamper proof data as well as content applications, said Sitaram Ranganatha, a project leader of SmartEdge.

According to Ramanath, also a project leader of SmartEdge, the device is able to support applications in both industrial and consumer segments. Some of these include health care, patient monitoring, home automation, events, zoos and in-vehicle units. The key components include the SmartEdge Device, SmartEdge Gateway and SmartEdge Applications.

SmartEdge Bridge is a low-cost embedded system that supports both short-range wireless connection and long range wireless/wired connections.

Short-range connections are supported by Infrared, Bluetooth and GPRS (general packet radio service) technologies. Over longer distances, connections are supported by the general system for mobile communications (GSM) and Ethernet.

In the future, the system will also support third generation cellular technologies, said Ramanath.

The SmartEdge Gateway can serve multiple SmartEdge devices placed remotely. In this way, SmartEdge vertical application servers can talk to the SmartEdge Bridge in a secure, seamless fashion irrespective of the wireless or wired network technology involved, said Ranganatha.

Available now for licensing to companies in Singapore, the technology will enable organizations to provide users with click and carry content easily and effortlessly, said Ranganatha.

Examples of potential applications include remote metering and billing of photocopiers. Another is wireless utility monitoring. And, SmartEdge can also be used for mobile workforce management and facilities management.