MASP

Multi Access Service Platform

Competence CenterNext Generation Services
ContactProf. Dr. Sahin AlbayrakDr.-Ing. Andreas Rieger
Website: masp.dai-labor.de
Partner: Deutsche Telekom

 

The next step in information technology is networking people over third- and fourth-generation mobile devices. One defining characteristic of mobile devices is that, in contrast to PCs, different types of mobile devices exhibit a wide spectrum of capabilities and basic qualities. While PDAs have relatively large color displays and powerful processors, mobile telephones are constrained to significantly less display area, storage space and processing power.

Service providers must take this diversity of devices into account when delivering services to different device types. Thus far this has required providers to maintain different service portals with the same basic functions for different classes of devices, e.g. a portal for HTML-based access from workstations in addition to one for PDAs that can read HTML, one for color display mobile telephones that understand WML, etc. The cost of maintaining content and interfaces for the portal is significantly increased: graphics, text and other media must be prepared for each class of end device. In addition, the original portal interface must be adapted to different display standards. Because of the wide range of display sizes and device capabilities this is a formidable task in itself; the content of the portal (delivery size, image quality, etc.) must be customized for each device type. The range of services offered by the portal must be available to all devices, regardless of their limitations.

Goal

The Multi-Access Service Platform project is dedicated to development and implementation of a novel user interface (UI) management system to facilitate adaptive and device independent distribution of UIs in smart environments. Smart environments are equipped with a heterogeneous manifold of cross-linked electronic appliances and sensors. In the future they will become more and more common in public buildings, office and industrial environments as well as in private housing, facilitating many novel services, but also posing complex problems for service development and deployment. The MASP addresses these new problems by aggregating different devices into one overall user interface and providing a developer framework for seamless and context adaptive services to be deployed on this integrated interface.

Implementation

Through the use of a tool-driven process consisting of an Eclipse-based editor, a simulator and a debugger, the MASP implements a development methodology that supports the creation of increasingly complex user interfaces based on a UI model. Different levels of abstractions are supported, such as task-, domain-, service- and interaction-models. The runtime system represents the core of the MASP. It processes newly-developed models and creates multimodal user interfaces adapted to environment sensor data and interaction device characteristics. Various devices and languages can be connected via configurable interaction channels.

Depending on the actual context-of-use the user interface is derived from the runtime model. It then is distributed and adapted across different devices that support various modalities. After the user interface has been created and distributed, the MASP coordinates input and output and makes sure that all parts of the user interface always remain synchronized.

The MASP development framework accelerates the processes of service UI development and integration. It solves the problems posed by heterogeneous device infrastructures like smart environments by providing a new approach of UI development.