Multi-Platform Bluetooth Remote Control: Implementation and Results

Multi-Platform Bluetooth Remote Control: Implementation and Results

Jarle Hansen (Brunel University, UK) and Gheorghita Ghinea (Brunel University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-655-1.ch048
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Abstract

Traditionally, mobile devices have come with a set number of functionalities. Even when these have been augmented, this has rarely involved taking advantage of their complementary wireless capabilities (such as Bluetooth and GPS). The main focus of the research described in this chapter was to create an application that takes advantage of the capabilities of Bluetooth to remotely control any computer with Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth has several advantages over infrared technology. It has much higher bandwidth, giving the opportunity to send larger amounts of information. Also, it does not need line of sight. The system created includes a very flexible custom map feature, giving the user freedom to custom map most of the buttons on the phone. By supporting multiple platforms we are also able to target a large number of the devices on the market. The proposed solution received positive feedback in the user evaluation.
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There are a considerable number of research contributions that try to take advantage of the Bluetooth technology. One popular research area is context aware applications, presented by González-Castaño et al. (2005), Cano et al. (2005), Eagle & Pentland (2006) and Kwon et al. (2005), where Bluetooth adds location functionality. Other topics include Bluetooth and marketing, as described by Tsiantar (2009).

Several papers have focused on using the standard functionality in mobile phones, like the possibility to send and receive files that are supported by most mobile phones today. The Moviltooth application, presented by Fernandez et al. (2006), shows a very interesting application that takes advantages of the standard Bluetooth features. It uses push technology to deliver personalized information to the users. The server saves user profiles and only sends information that is interesting according to the profile. Since there are many different display sizes, the server will adapt the content of the message to each user’s mobile phone. The fact that it does not need any local installation is a great benefit. Not only will this make it easier for users, it will also attract the attention of more people. They do not need to know about the application to use it.

In related work, Chen et al. (2004) have developed a system that creates a smart meeting room. The idea is to provide relevant services and information to the meeting participants based on their context. The services include presentation- (displays PowerPoint), lighting control- and greeting service. They use Bluetooth to register the participants that are in the meeting room. A demonstration of a smart meeting room was conducted. The feedback received was positive, however, some of the users were concerned about the privacy and information security in the system.

The next section presents the work on Bluetooth remote control applications. There is also information on remote control applications for iPhone and iPod touch that uses wifi. This is included to show a few of the remote control alternatives available on the market.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Bluetooth: A close range wireless communication protocol.

Java SE: Java Standard Edition, the Java platform used on normal desktop computers.

Key Action: In this context a key action is how the button is pushed on the desktop application, this can for example be “combination” where each button is pushed before it is released. Once the user pushes a key on the mobile device this will be transformed to an action at the server.

Windows Mobile: The Windows operating system for mobile devices. Usually used on smart phones.

Key Mapping: The buttons or actions (like mouse movement) that are assigned to each key on the mobile device. One key on the mobile device can hold several buttons that will trigger actions on the desktop computer.

Java ME: Java Micro Edition, a smaller version of the Java platform that runs on a large number of devices including mobile phones.

Remote Control: In this case an application installed on a mobile device used to remotely control a desktop computer.

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