Mobile Computing

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This lesson is from Mobile Computing

Introduction

  • Mobile Computing is a technology that allows
    • transmission of data, voice and video
    • via a computer or any other wireless enabled device
    • without having to be connected to a fixed physical link.
  • Main concept involves
    • Mobile communication
    • Mobile hardware
    • Mobile software

Mobile communication

  • refers to the infrastructure put in place to ensure that seamless and reliable communication goes on.
  • include devices such as protocols, services, bandwidth, and portals necessary to facilitate and support the stated services.
  • The data format is also defined at this stage. This ensures that there is no collision with other existing systems which offer the same service.
  • Since the media is unguided/unbounded, the overlaying infrastructure is basically radio wave-oriented.
  • Signals are carried over the air to intended devices that are capable of receiving and sending similar kinds of signals.

Mobile Hardware

Mobile Devices

  • includes mobile devices or device components that receive or access the service of mobility.
  • They would range from portable laptops, smartphones, tablet Pc’s, Personal Digital Assistants.
  • These devices will have a receptor medium that is capable of sensing and receiving signals.
  • These devices are configured to operate in full- duplex
    • whereby they are capable of sending and receiving signals at the same time.
  • They don’t have to wait until one device has finished communicating for the other device to initiate communications.
  • devices use an existing and established network to operate on. In most cases, it would be a wireless network.

Mobile software

  • actual program that runs on the mobile hardware.
  • deals with the characteristics and requirements of mobile applications.
  • engine of the mobile device
    • operating system of the appliance.
  • essential component that operates the mobile device.
  • Since portability is the main factor, this type of computing ensures that users are not tied or pinned to a single physical location, but are able to operate from anywhere.
  • It incorporates all aspects of wireless communications.

Major advantages

  • Location Flexibility
    • This has enabled users to work from anywhere as long as there is a connection established.
    • A user can work without being in a fixed position.
    • Their mobility ensures that they are able to carry out numerous tasks at the same time and perform their stated jobs.
  • Saves Time
    • The time consumed or wasted while travelling from different locations or to the office and back, has been slashed.
    • One can now access all the important documents and files over a secure channel or portal and work as if they were on their computer.
    • It has also reduced unnecessary incurred expenses.
  • Enhanced Productivity
    • Users can work efficiently and effectively from whichever location they find comfortable.
    • This in turn enhances their productivity level.
  • Ease of Research
    • Research has been made easier, since users earlier were required to go to the field and search for facts and feed them back into the system. It has also made it easier for field officers and researchers to collect and feed data from wherever they are without making unnecessary trips to and from the office to the field.
  • Entertainment
    • Video and audio recordings can now be streamed on-the-go using mobile computing.
    • It’s easy to access a wide variety of movies, educational and informative material.
    • With the improvement and availability of high speed data connections at considerable cost, one is able to get all the entertainment they want as they browse the internet for streamed data.
    • One is able to watch news, movies, and documentaries among other entertainment offers over the internet.
    • This was not possible before mobile computing dawned on the computing world.
  • Streamlining of Business Processes
    • Business processes are now easily available through secured connections.
    • Looking into security issues, adequate measures have been put in place to ensure authentication and authorization of the user accessing the services.
    • Some business functions can be run over secure links and sharing of information between business partners can also take place.
    • Meetings, seminars and other informative services can be conducted using video and voice conferencing.
    • Travel time and expenditure is also considerably reduced.

Security Issues

  • not easy to monitor the proper usage.
  • Users might have different intentions on how to utilize this privilege.
  • Improper and unethical practices such as hacking, industrial espionage, pirating, online fraud and malicious destruction are some but few of the problems experienced by mobile computing.
  • Another big problem plaguing mobile computing is credential verification.
    • As other users share username and passwords, it poses as a major threat to security.
  • The problem of identity theft is very difficult to contain or eradicate.
  • Issues with unauthorized access to data and information by hackers, is also an enormous problem.
  • Outsiders gain access to steal vital data from companies.
  • No company wants to lay open their secrets to hackers and other intruders, who will in turn sell the valuable information to their competitors.
  • It’s also important to take the necessary precautions to minimize these threats from taking place. Some of those measures include
    • Hiring qualified personnel.
    • Installing security hardware and software
    • Educating the users on proper mobile computing ethics
    • Auditing and developing sound, effective policies to govern mobile computing
    • Enforcing proper access rights and permissions
    • These are just but a few ways to help deter possible threats to any company planning to offer mobile computing.
    • Since information is vital, all possible measures should be evaluated and implemented for safeguard purposes.