Pervasive computing put focus on the emerging situation where communicating devices and services needs to be put together in flexible ways. In heterogeneous mobile networks, devices come and go. The combined behavior needs to adjust to the changing situation and the availability of services. The behavior frequently needs to be changed in order to include new, previously unknown, types of devices and services. This kind of situations appears in your pockets, including mobile phones, mp3-players, cameras, etc., in your home including audio-video equipment etc., and in professional settings such as in healthcare and industry automation, to take just a few examples.
The PalCom architecture separate Computation (realized by services) from Assemblies that cover Configuration (what Services are included) and Coordination (how the Services interact). Communication in PalCom is providing a unified view of heterogeneous networks, and use discovery mechanisms to make assemblies react to a changing environment as services come, and go.
– The Assemblies are used to mediate between services not designed to fit together and makes it possible to combine them in new, un-planned, ways. And, most importantly, since this can be done without changing the services, it enables others than the original implementers of services to do such adjustments using a simple script language, says professor Boris Magnusson, coordinator for EASE theme A.
Health care, home and robots
The PalCom middleware was originally developed as part of an EU IST project, but have been further developed in EASE and other VINNOVA and SSF projects. It is currently used in healthcare systems such as blood flow meter, in combination with dlna equipment to enable flexible combination with remote and mobile devices, in combination with AXIS cameras and remote sensors. Current development include applications to real-time control of mobile robots in the ENGROSS project.
The main deliveries from the project will be an architecture, a reference implementation and some demonstrators. Early versions are availible as open source [http://www.ist-palcom.org].