Mobile and wireless systems and platforms beyond 3G For instant mobile services, just add MIDAS
A new software platform will make it easier to provide sophisticated mobile services quickly and cheaply.
It means rescue workers could benefit from advanced team collaboration and mapping services, rally spectators could track the position of their favourite driver in real time, and tourists could get sightseeing information at the time and place they actually need it, tailored to their preferences.
The specific services offered will be limited only by the imagination of the designers. The technical barriers will no longer be a problem.
Wheels included, no reinvention required
Up to now, only major telecoms companies could provide innovative mobile services at short notice, and at great expense. Only they had the expertise to get services running quickly.
But this is no longer true. Thanks to the MIDAS project, small teams of programmers and designers will be able to rapidly develop and deploy innovative mobile services.
The MIDAS project centres around a middleware platform of building blocks. Middleware allows different software systems to communicate and work together seamlessly.
Currently, it takes a lot of time just to set up a network. But the MIDAS middleware takes care of this task, freeing application developers from dealing with the time-consuming reinvention of low-level technical functions. The wheels are included, and no reinventing is required.
The MIDAS middleware will be useful in situations when the number of users could be very large, services need to be deployed quickly or for a limited time, and infrastructure is limited.
The proof of the opportunistic platform
MIDAS used two demonstration scenarios to test the middleware out. One involved a rescue crew, the other a sporting event. For a rescue crew, speed and reliability are critical. The team chose a sporting event for the second test as officials, volunteers and spectators can benefit from mobile services, and there is considerable commercial potential.
MIDAS demonstrated the sporting scenario at Gieten, Drenthe, in the Netherlands, in November 2007 during the Super Prestige Cyclo Cross event.
The MIDAS platform delivered race rankings and rider positions to hand-held mobile devices, and computers in real time. It could even provide championship rankings, based on the real-time rankings in the Gieten race, and compare rider race performance against training performance.The MIDAS platform is opportunistic. It searches for the strongest available communications network to route information, whether mobile GSM, 3G, WiFi or even Bluetooth. MIDAS routes communication along the best path, on the fly, in the background.
The Gieten test provided the MIDAS team with detailed information about the platform’s performance, and improvements will be included in the next version, due for completion in the coming months. Now the team is attempting to raise the profile of their product.
Next, the project will test the improved software in a crisis management deployment in the Paris Metro. The software will make it easier to track and communicate with safety personnel, even if other standard communication networks like GSM are no longer available.
Once the Paris test has been completed, the MIDAS team will finish analysing their results and begin the process of moving from proven prototype to a commercial product.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
75005 Paris 05