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the report below.
Kazandjieva, Summer 2005
This final report is meant to give a brief
overview of my Summer 2005 DMP project. The description of the
actual project is preceded by an overview of different technologies,
which I examined during the 10-week program.
Swing Library - Overview
The Java Swing Library provides developers with
means to create graphical user interfaces (GUI) for a myriad of
applications. What makes Java preferable is its platform independent
nature; any application written in Java and containing Java Swing
components can be run easily on Mac, Windows, and other operating
systems. One of the features that Swing provides is a look-and-feel
for applications that can be adapted based on the system on which
the application is running.
It has been a decade
since the birth of Bluetooth in 1994, when the Ericsson Company
started research on new wireless technology to fit their needs.
Today many cell phones and most PDA’s come equipped with this
technology; there are also numerous Bluetooth devices that can
easily be attached to a PC via a USB port.
essentially a wireless communication protocol and can be compared to
802.11b and infrared technology. The main problem with infrared is
the line-of-sight requirement - two objects’ transceivers should
be able to ‘see’ each other. Bluetooth overcomes this difficulty
because it uses radio signals and therefore does not require the
path between two devices to be clear of objects.
In some ways the
Bluetooth protocol is similar to the well-known wireless LAN
protocol. For example, both of them operate in the unlicensed ISM (industrial,
scientific, and medical) band at 2.4GHz. On the other
hand, the purposes of these two protocols are quite different. While
wireless LAN was created to connect big devices (typically PC’s
and/or laptops), Bluetooth is meant for smaller ones. The range of
wireless LAN is approximately 300 feet and the range of Bluetooth 30
feet. The data transfer speed of the two wireless protocols follows
similar comparison. Another bottom line difference is that Bluetooth
was created to have low-level power consumption, and thus be useful
in cases where energy resources are limited.
Today there are
different scenarios in which Bluetooth is used. Some of those
include synchronization of information between Bluetooth-enabled PDA
and cell phone, cable replacement between PC and peripheral devices,
wireless gaming, and others.
Identification – Overview
Identification (RFID) can be thought of as the new generation of
barcode technology. It is meant to provide us with a convenient way
to track items, record the presence of items, etc. One major
improvement from barcodes is that RFID tags can be programmed with
small pieces of data.
The RFID technology
consists of small RFID tags (also called transponders) and RFID
readers. The RFID tags are like barcodes; each has a serial number,
and is tiny enough to be put on a sticker, wristband, or button;
they can be selected, written, or read. The RFID reader is the part
that transmits the radio waves to the tags. It sends byte arrays to
the transponders and thus communicates with them.
idea of this project was to explore different wireless technologies
and combine them in one final application.
There is a wireless sensor network in which nodes are connected via
the ZigBee wireless protocol. These nodes have a coordinator
computer, which collects some information from the network. The
coordinator PC is Bluetooth-enabled and can use that to connect to a
server where the ZigBee network data is dumped.
first weeks on the project consisted of creating an appropriate graphical
user interface for the server and coordinator sides. The coordinator
had to search for remote devices and services, and connect to the
server; then it would send a stream of data. The server side had to
run in a loop, waiting for connection to accept; it also had to
display data that has been received.
decided on several arrays of data that will be in use. Each node
would have energy left value, temperature reading value, and x and y
coordinates. Each of these (as well as combination of two or more
types of data) was to be displayed using a Swing application.
the first half of the project all data was simulated by generating
random numbers within a certain range.
the Swing application using Bluetooth was up and running our
attention moved to the RFID technology. We wanted to explore the
possible uses of these
RFID tags and maybe use them to simulate a wireless network. We
discovered we could write data to the tags, then read it and feed
the Bluetooth application with it. This way we would not generate
random numbers but use real data.
hooked up the RFID reader to the ZigBee coordinator machine and
assumed that each RFID tag is a node from the ZigBee network. The
first step from there was to create a RFID application to handle the
tags. We decided to limit ourselves to a pool of 5 tags and use them
in our demo program.
last step in completing the project was connecting the RFID and
Bluetooth parts. As a result we ended up with a complex system
containing RFID tags, a RFID reader, and 2 PCs. A sample run of the
application would consist of the following:
tags are programmed with certain data;
is read from the tags;
is properly parsed and fed to the output stream of the ZigBee Coordinator
ZigBee machine looks for Server and attempts to connect;
Server accepts the connection;
is send via a Bluetooth link to the Server computer;
displays information using the Swing GUI application.
working on the main project, I also did some preliminary work
with PDAs. I investigated what software could be put on a Compaq
iPAQ so that custom Java applications for Bluetooth can be executed.
Unfortunately, I did not go far because there were numerous problems
with the available software. Bluetooth and PDAs remain a topic to be
researched more in the future.
Hopkins, B. and Antony, R. Bluetooth for Java. Apress, 2003.
Shepard, Steven. RFID. McGraw - Hill, 2005.