The objective of the first phase is to determine whether all key building blocks of the Pocket Companion and the Moby Dick architecture are feasible. The objectives of the four items that will be addressed are:
- Security: The objective of the first phase is to find out whether our solution, based on smart-card technology, can provide a plausible and integrated solution for implementing fully secure mechanisms in very personal and relatively resource poor machines like the Pocket Companion.
- Power consumption and communication: The objective is find out whether our approach to power management, based on operating system detection and user level control, significantly saves battery power.
- Hybrid networks: The objective is to find out whether we can switch seamlessly between radically different networking technologies in resource poor machines like the Pocket Companion.
- Data Consistency: The objective is to find out whether our solution to consistency control, where the user is part of the decision loop, is suitable for the Pocket Companion, both in terms of the requirements of user involvement and resource consumption.
The technologies of PDA, digital cellular phone and smart card, when combined and integrated well, have the potential of replacing all of the things people have to carry around with them by one small device, the Pocket Companion. It is a small portable computer and wireless communications device that can replace cash, cheque book, passport, keys, diary, phone, pager, maps and possibly briefcases as well.
The combination of an intelligent information system and a location system engenders many new types of applications, such as admission control, digital chequebook, paging, and an automatic diary that keeps track of where you were and with whom. The design challenges lie primarily in the creation of a single architecture that allows the integration of security functions, externally offered services, personality, and communication. In the Moby Dick architecture, Quality of Service (QoS) is no longer a networking issue alone, but a framework to model integration and integrated management of all the system services and applications in the Pocket Companion. Research issues include: security, power consumption and communication, hybrid networks, data consistency, and environment awareness.