PDA Developers Group
IrChat PocketWeb

Open Positions: Research Assistants for Ubicomp!

Psion Epoc World Member

Newton - Developer

Palm Pilot - Developer

Windows CE - Developer

Since early 1994 the PDA Developers Group at TecO has been investigating Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) with respect to their integration and usability in distributed systems.

The group has been involved in several projects with a range of industrial partners, and is currently involved in an ESPRIT project. The main platform for our research and development has been the Apple Newton MessagePad. Further platforms increasingly investigated are the Pilot of 3Com and the Psion Series palmtop.

This page contains brief information about selected projects, for further information contact Markus Lauff.

IrChat:
Infrared Communication (IrDA) in heterogeneous environments

IrDA is defined as a set of interoperable, low cost infrared data interconnection standards. The standards support a broad range of appliances, computing and communications devices.
Almost all new PDAs support the IrDA infrared communicaton. However the companies often only implement a minimal subset of these standards. Therefore it is very difficult to exchange information between PDAs using different operation systems.

The program IrChat was developed as an example how different PDA operating systems can work together to exchange information.

IrChat is currently ported to the following operating systems:

  • Psion EPOC32

  • Windows CE 2.0 (MIPS, SH3)

  • Apple Newton MessagePad 2000 (alpha release)

for more information, screen shots, download

(Markus Lauff, July 1998)

PocketWeb:
A WWW Browser for the Apple Newton MP
Since early 1994 the PDA Developers Group at TecO has been investigating Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) with respect to their integration and usability in distributed systems. The main platform for our research and development has been the Apple Newton MessagePad. Before Xmas 1994, we presented the first Web browser for Apple Newton, in fact the first web browser for a palmtop device. The browser won a best paper award at the WWW2 Conference in Chicago, October 1994.

PocketWeb is available for the community under the terms of the PocketWeb License Agreement. For private usage you only have to send a funny postcard to the TecO (PostCardWare).

(Markus Lauff, November 1997)

Conference Support with PDAs
Telepointing
A tool for conference participiants to provide them a named pointer to act with on large wall-filling X-displays. It works like a laser pen pointer. Furtheron a possibility is built in to 'fix' notes on the display surface like the well known 'PostIts (TM)'. The system supports several PDA-Pointer (= participiants).

Teleoperating
Same funktionality like Telepointing, but now your PDA-based pointer acts as the mousepointer of your X-Display. It works as a 'remote control for the computermouse', and serves several participients as well.

Managers Secretary
Support for Managers like exchange of business cards, downloading of spreadsheets, private annotation on public slides.

Mailing with Apple-Newton PDAs
Multimedia Mail
Based on the multimedia mail teleservice of the DeTeBerkom (German Telecom), avilable on the most popular platform and based on X.400 the Telecooperation Office developed a user agent for the Apple Newton PDA. This user agent acts as distributed client and uses the implementation of Digital Equipment for DeTeBerkom's MMM as mailserver.

Internet Mail
The Telecooperation Office provides a tool for easy access to Internet Mail (only text) for persons who normally use Unix-mailsystems for their mail communication.

Communication tool for Apple Newton MessagePad
PDAs, currently used as organizers, will become powerful communication assitstants in future with applications offering access to e-mail, WWW, remoteLogin, DB-request etc. For this each application needs to have a communication support stack to perform data exchange between the PDA and a server. The Telecooperation Office developed a generic tool for customizing communication facilities. It has an easy application programmin interface and supports dynamically several communication systems and protocols.

(Markus Lauff, December 1996)

PDA Usage in Tourism
Within the ESPRIT project MILLION, TecO develops tools for providing tourists with mobile access to tourism information services, and for use of PDA as electronic wallet:

Tourist-Information
Tourist will have access to information like city-maps, events, hotel-registration, timetables, info on history, buildings or places etc based on extended WWW.

Electronic cash
Within this project the TecO will furtheron co-investigate possibilities of providing electronic cash for PDAs.

(Markus Lauff, October 1997)


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