Acoustic Data Communication with Mobile Devices

Acoustic Data Communication with Mobile Devices

Victor I. Khashchanskiy, Andrei L. Kustov
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-054-7.ch094
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One of the applications of m-commerce is mobile authorization, that is, rights distribution to mobile users by sending authorization data (a token) to the mobile devices. For example, a supermarket can distribute personalized discount coupon tokens to its customers via SMS. The token can be a symbol string that the customers will present while paying for the goods at the cash desk. The example can be elaborated further—using location information from the mobile operator, the coupons can only be sent to, for example, those customers who are in close vicinity of the mall on Saturday (this will of course require customers to allow disclosing their location). In the example above, the token is used through its manual presentation. However, most interesting is the case when the service is released automatically, without a need for a human operator validating the token and releasing a service to the customer; for example, a vending machine at the automatic gas station must work automatically to be commercially viable. To succeed, this approach requires a convenient and uniform way of delivering authorization information to the point of service—it is obvious that an average user will only have enough patience for very simple operations. And this presents a problem. There are basically only three available local (i.e., short-range) wireless interfaces (LWI): WLAN, IR, and Bluetooth, which do not cover the whole range of mobile devices. WLAN has not gained popularity yet, while IR is gradually disappearing. Bluetooth is the most frequently used of them, but still it is not available in all phones. For every particular device it is possible to send a token out using some combination of LWI and presentation technology, but there is no common and easy-to-use combination. This is a threshold for the development of services. Taking a deeper look at the mobile devices, we can find one more non-standard simplex LWI, which is present in all devices—acoustical, where the transmitter is a phone ringer. Token presentation through acoustic interface along with general solution of token delivery via SIM Toolkit technology (see 3GPP TS, 1999) was presented by Khashchanskiy and Kustov (2001). However, mobile operators have not taken SIM Toolkit into any serious use, and the only alternative way of delivering sound tokens into the phone-ringing tone customization technology was not available for a broad range of devices at the time the aforementioned paper was published. Quite unexpectedly, recent development of mobile phone technologies gives a chance for sound tokens to become a better solution for the aforementioned problem, compared with other LWI. Namely, it can be stated that every contemporary mobile device supports either remote customization of ringing tones, or MMS, and in the majority of cases, even both, thus facilitating sound token receiving over the air. Most phone models can playback a received token with only a few button-clicks. Thus, a sound token-based solution meets the set criteria better than any other LWI. Token delivery works the same way for virtually all phones, and token presentation is simple. In this article we study the sound token solution practical implementation in detail. First, we select optimal modulation, encoding, and recognition algorithm, and we estimate data rate. Then we present results of experimental verification.

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