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REMOTE COMPUTER ACCESS

 

PROJECT PROPOSAL

 

 

Processing Power of Your PC in Your Phone

 

Group Member:

Asim Hamid

Omar Iftikhar

Muhammad Usman


Businesses are getting heavily dependent on computers and communication. They require computing power, database access, updates about the company sales and stock etc., even when they are on the road. However the people on the road are usually bounded by the following restrictions:

  1. One cannot carry a heavy computer machine, but ideally can connect to it
  2. Even if one has a laptop, it is difficult for him/her to use it while traveling
  3. People can hire secretaries to give update and information about the company while away from the office, but very few can afford secretaries. Secretaries are also bounded by the effort and consistency factor

The Project

The objective of the project is to provide user the facility to access and control their personal computers remotely, through telephones and mobiles. This will be a utility that will allow the user to possess the processing power of computers, through telephone and mobiles. The software will consist of useful features that can easily be controlled and customized by the users.

 

 


Software overview

 

 

  1. Computer is connected to a telephone, through a modem, and is waiting for a phone call
  2. The remote phone calls the phone connected to the computer
  3. The computer receives the call, and connection is established between remote phone and the computer
  4. Now the remote phone can give instructions to the computer using his phone keypad as input (or by voice later on)
  5. The computer processes the input command and sends the processed output information to the remote phone.
  6. The output can be for
    1. Mobile In form of text messages, visual display information or vocal messages
    2. Telephone In form of vocal message
    3. Fax machine In form of fax message

 


Useful scenarios

The goal of this software is to give the user certain control on his computer from a remote location. Some scenarios where this software can be used is a manager visiting another location wants to check whether a certain order has been delivered, he can call up his computer from his mobile and query the database running and look up the results.

Another scenario is where a mobile user wants to type a small word document from a remote location, he connects with his computer and runs a word application; where he types in his paragraph and will have the options to save, edit, change font and generally carry out basic word processing.

Another application is where a user wants to send a mail, he can start a mail application (examples could be that of outlook express, Microsoft outlook) write a mail, save drafts and send mail after he has written the mail. This mail will be sent when the modem is free the next time.

Similarly if one wants to fax a document stored in his or her PC; he using his mobile will call up his computer select the document that he wants to fax, specify the telephone number where he wants to fax the document and execute this small request from his remote location.

This utility can be used to construct an application for answering machine service or voice e-mail. People can leave messages on the computer and the remote user can check his or her recorded messages from a remote location using this software.

This utility will be extremely useful to large groups of interested business community. Small businesses, Managers who travel a lot, normal PC users who are on the road will benefit from this application. It will save its user's time, money and effort.

 

Summing it up

In short, using this software, you would be able to execute all the actions while sitting at a remote location that were possible for you to carry out using a keyboard.


Possible design approach

The fundamental highlights of the application are two modules.

  • The first module makes it possible for the usage of the mobile phone (and later the telephone-when voice input can be processed) as an input device.
  • The other module is the one that makes it possible for the application to provide the input to the operating system without the knowledge of where the input is coming from and where the output is being re-directed to.

Due to the limited user interface provided by the mobiles today, this software will have some inherent limitations. One glaring example would be running software that requires immense visual interaction. Examples of these would be MS Paint, Adobe Photoshop, Mcad and the likes.

 

Technical details and tool

  • Technical details and intimate knowledge of the workings of the windows environment is required to implement the second module.
  • The application running at the mobile end is mostly likely to be developed in tools such as j2me (which is essentially same as standard java but runs on top of kvm rather than jvm, which enables hardware control through java).

These two ends of software will be interfaced together using tools such as genie.

 

Long term goals

The long term goal of this application is to provide a platform and an API which will help further development of customized applications involving mobiles and personal computers over the modem.

 

 

Feasibility

The idea of remote computer access comes at a critical time of the communication revolution when mobiles are becoming increasingly important and mobile providers are offering increasingly lucrative, user friendly and cheap ways to communicate.


Challenges

  1. Operating System

This project will require detailed study of the operating system we will be working on. We will be receiving input from the modem and redirecting it to the keyboard or mouse buffer using our application, which requires quiet good knowledge of the O.S.

We will also be generating and processing the output that has to be sent to the remote user through the modem.

 

  1. Mobile Technology

We will need to study cell phone technology in order to develop an application for the mobiles to receive and process the computer generated messages and show it as output.

 

  1. Telephone signal processing

We will need to study the types of telephone signals and how they are processed, in order to know how the devices will receive and process the input and output signals. This will give us the idea of what to send and what not to send to the remote device that is interacting with the computer.


Further areas of research, development and future enhancements

 

Call waiting multiprocessing

There are already call waiting facilities provided by PTCL, in which one phone can attend multiple calls at a time from a single line.

Therefore an enhancement to this project will be to implement a layer that enables handling of multiple calls on the personal computer. Computer can switch from one call to another anytime on a single line. This needs a lot of research in understanding how calls will be handled and switched at appropriate time. One can access the internet through this facility (The modem will be dealing with the remote user and the internet connection at the same time).

Another enhancement can be to implement a layer to handle multiple telephone lines.

(This may require study on V.92 modem on hold).

 

 

O.S. for vocal HCI and Voice recognition

 

Implement a layer that recognizes vocal messages as commands for the computer. This is an area of hot research where through techniques in advanced AI learning, user is able to 'teach' his computer to begin to understand his language and accent.

Another option would be to modify the O.S. Kernel to respond vocally rather than visually (incase of error messages for example.). This would make interactions easier through normal telephones. This would truly make the system a blind person's computer.

 

Enhanced computer interaction with mobile user

Develop software for mobiles that will enable user to have real time visual interaction with his computer. This will be a huge leap forward in HCI by making user friendly and easy to use output and input interfaces.