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Elusive Office


The aim of ELO was to support the new generation of professionals, who work at many locations away from their main office, by providing an integrated environment, incorporating mobile communications, office tools and support for task execution.
The objective of the Elusive Office (ELO) project is to develop and ELO-System (ELOS) which will allow mobile workers to carry out their tasks in the same effective manner, regardless of their location. An ELOS will provide transparent access to such services as communications, present an integrated view of applications using a high quality graphical user interface and support the user by means of a computer learning system. The ELOS hardware will be a modular, but closely integrated, system based upon a laptop computer with portable cellular telephone, portable fax and portable peripheral input and output devices such as printers and scanners. This hardware and software combination will provide effective office functionality with a sophisticated communications capability. One major aspect of the project is the provision of adequate support and a high quality interface for the end user. The current plans are for a graphical user interface driven by a pointing device, together with a keyboard for character input.

The elusive office (ELO) project's aim was to develop a highly integrated, portable system that optimizes a worker's mobility, (ie their flexibility with respect to work location and working time). An elusive office system (ELOS) provides transparent access to services such as communications, presentsan integrated view of applications using a high quality graphical user interface, and supports the user by means of a computer learning system. Software is based on state of the art techniques. The prototype ELOS hardware is a modular and functionally integrated system based upon a portable workstation with portable cellular telephone (German C-Net), portable fax, and input/output devices such as printers and scanners.

The ELOS will be demonstrated running on a portable Unix workstation. The functionality to be demonstrated will be fully integrated up to the user interface level and accessible by the user via a high quality graphical user interface operated by a keyboard and a pointing device. The ELO hardware and software demonstrator will offer a system with: integrated generic and specific applications; integrated security services; an integrated computer learning system.
These provide: sophisticated activity planning and communications support; work process support; secure voice, data and fax communication over cellular radio networks; transparent access to services; different types of help systems and learning support to the user.

At present, the prototype ELOS runs on a portable Unix workstation and has a cellular radio phone, a public switched telephone network (PSTN) connection, a fax and data modern linked to it via a communication, a fax and data modem linked to it via a communications concentrator (CC). The CC acts as an intelligent switch controlling the single communications line and the allocation of devices to it. The CC communicates with the Unix workstation via a simple control language.
The ELOS supports a state of the art user interface, devel oped using the C++ object oriented language and the (public domain) ET++ toolkit, and uses the X11R4 window system. The prototype ELOS uses the Sun OS4.1 operating system, essentially a Berkeley BSD development.
Beside the technical developments, the project developed a supportware package which includes services provided to organizations to ease the introduction and use of mobile technology in their organizations.
Working from home, at multiple locations and while on the move is becoming increasingly the norm for many groups of professional knowledge workers. Currently available technologies and applications are free-standing, with no links to the office and no support for task-specific applications.


Oxfordstrasse 2
53111 Bonn

Participants (6)

Alcatel SEL AG
Lorenzstraße 10
70435 Stuttgart
CCLRC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)
United Kingdom
OX11 0QX Didcot
Computer Lernsysteme GmbH
Kaiserstraße 31
53113 Bonn
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung eV (FhG)
Sebastian-kneipp-straße 12-14
76131 Karlsruhe
Gottlieb-daimler-straße 2
68165 Mannheim
Mount St. Cresent
Dublin 2