Online Security in Embedded Systems

These days many gadgets with embedded systems are being used. Tablets, Netbooks and Desktop Clients. Many of these are used to make secure transactions like Banking. It is also used as a Security Device for Web Applications and Website Memberships.

The secure transaction process has improved. I know there is encryption and also the NIC number of Ethernet cards etc. I have some thought, i think i will note it here. In one sentence “Make Every CPU Chip Unique with a Unerasable ROM ID Code or Signature” this can also be tied to a QR Code.  A Firmware query spawned by a SSL TCP/IP action will return the CHIP ID which enables secure communication and device tracking overriding all user controls.

Online Security in Embedded Systems

Processor manufactures and Chip IP makers are standardized. The Secure CPU makers should obtain a license for secure CPU, which will be a CPU but with a Secure Transaction Chip with Unique Identification Code engraved within. Each Chip is unique and a replacement of CPU needs new authentication for all transactions. No two chips are made the same, the unique numbers are not on flash (like BIOS), but digitally etched-burnt with indelible e-ink. So when a person makes transaction his computer is more securely authorized. More security options like GPS in CPU for big transactions, these computers will be expensive too.

(First posted in delabs Notes 2006 – Then in Nomadic Computing 2007)

Usability and Accessibility Enhancements

Tablets have tools for Communication, Browsing and Many Utilities. It needs to be usable by very old people and very young ones as well.  They need to be affordable and Robust too. Ability to survive falls, Grime, Water and Heat. It should be usable by people having Health issues too.

Usability and Accessibility Enhancements

Alert sounds likes chimes and rings are not enough, The Tablet must be able to yell and scream when it is far from the owner. The user needs to wear  a Bluetooth pendent with microphone .

When charge is low, it has to create a tantrum till it is fed…up. Some pricey models can have tiny wheels to move to the closest charging bunk. Some Vacuum Cleaners are able to move and recharge themselves.

When a SMS lands, it is able to read out loud and take a reply by voice and send it at once. Similarly the email could work on the tablets, all hands-free. The speakers and quality audio are on the tablet/pad and the pendent is just an additional microphone with bluetooth and vibrator with a titillate option.

Incoming  calls can move in tandem with an answering device and make loud Audio Visual Effects to get the attention of the Owner. The caller cannot wait, so the answering machine takes the call, says “please wait” and then rings the Alert Alarm Bells and even vibrates the Pendent. The Senior now can talk to the pendent and will get the caller’s voice loud on the Phone. The Phone Audio has to be very good and loud.

If the room has a connected HD Monitor, even that can be used for the communication purpose. The user just needs to click the pendent to answer a call or video chat with family friends. In Business too, Large monitors and Loud Speakers can improve communication.

Smart PowerPacks or PowerBanks+ can be the Charging Stations. The Power Packs with docks can have the wheels and intelligence to recharge the device on alert, they will also recharge themselves from the mains power, whenever required.

Expensive Phone or PowerPack Models can have Drone Mode. I say this emphatically because the Dilbert Dupey develops wings after the mutation, This indicates that quad-copters, drones were predicted. It could be that, One fine Day the Tablet+ may Fly!

Aug 2014 – delabs Technologies

Wired Wi-Fi or WiGig for enhancing Range

You have a big office of 3 Floors or a Home which is not Wi-Fi Friendly and it does not have the provision for LAN or any other wiring. Even a distant room/garage or basement beyond the Wi-Fi range.

Wireless Gigabit Alliance – WiGig 60 GHz

If we could build a Wired interface for Wi-Fi and WiGig then such rooms can be brought within range. A wired interface without wires, then you think of optics, not even optic fiber …. that will build up the cost for home networks.

Wave Guide may be an answer, a wire that pretends to be a waveguide. Let us take a thin flexible plastic tube, 2-3 mm in dia, 1mm wall thickness of tube. The outer wall of the 3mm tube is coated with a suitable copper alloy. Above that a thick insulation to protect from mechanical damage. This may act as a waveguide if properly designed, probably the way or pattern in which the metal is coated.

Wired Wi-Fi or WiGig for enhancing Range

 

Fixed WiMAX SoC and RF Module – Fujitsu

If this works in theory, then Pump RF on one end with a little more juice, just like in Optic fibers. The other end may get enough signal strength for good speed connectivity. It will at least be still wi-fi on waveguide and easier to implement than RJ45, these LAN cables, connectors and switches include many components and modules, that make it very fussy and unreliable.

Wi-Fi seems to be very friendly and safety has also improved now. So a wired, one wire or waveguide to extend Wi-Fi can phase out the RJ45. I like RJ45 similar to the sentiments i have for the Printer Port and RS232. Then USB has just taken over. Change is inevitable, Find a way out of RJ45 for good.

delabs 2010

The SmartRadio – eNewspaper Delivery

A Jpeg browser device like Digital Photo Album. It has a LCD Screen and a FM Radio interface. It costs less that $100 or comes free with 5 yrs subscription to a paper. – The SmartRadio

In the early morning it downloads the media on a built-in locked FM receive only radio.The FM newspaper station just transmits a few minutes of encrypted digital data. This is stored and static jpeg pages generated, which can be easily viewed and read using scroll and zoom using a convenient handheld device.

XML-HTML FM Radio – FM Radio enhancements

FM radios consume less power and are affordable, now we should add a small LCD display like you have in cellphones. Xml should be frequency modulated and transmitted by fm stations in adjoining bands.

Electronic Engineering Magazines

Xml is demodulated by fm radio and displayed in the lcd display on radio. This way news can be transmitted to many people without internet or tcp/ip. This is just one way broadcast of xml or html information, it need very less freq. Even html, jpeg, png and flash can be broadcast by fm radio. Product advertisements can also be sent in this format. Just tune into your xml fm radio station with your color lcd portable radio and presto news, ads, pictures, semi static but can reach millions. The radio tuner can tab over different stations.

The image in the screen is a book for kids by Amy MacDonald – Little Beaver and the Echo

Cost Effective eNewspaper Delivery Jpeg Radio

If it works and people start using it, it could be a standardized paper reader which can manage multiple subscriptions. The subscription can be bought in the form of a chip card or monthly billing. Then it can move to color and slowly to WiMax with Rich Media and Accessibility like Read aloud Text, Translate and Search. This depends on how far the media can go in modernizing and how safe the system is. Too bad that looks like a Tablet Computer again.

Everything is converging to Wireless Internet and Cloud Computing. The Tech Prophets had foreseen this phenomena prematurely.Then there was a oracle from the sky …..

There is enough bandwidth on the sides to accommodate a Low Resolution Jpeg or GIF Animation. Seeing this on a Color LCD Radio will make it Smart.

Now we have SMS Song Requests. The names of the Enthusiasts can come on the LCD screen by xml. Some Text can be easily pumped on FM Frequencies as a thin xml file. Even the details of the Radio Show.

SmartRadio may be One way communication. But we can add static pictures and text !

We could also make a Hybrid Device that combines the Mobile Data or Wi-Fi.

“Each Man will have a HandHeld Tablet Computer that will pack the power of a Super Computer”

– The TCP/IP has spoken

delabs 2009

Speech to Text and Text to Speech Devices

This was an idea for Apps like Browser and Email..This is for any device phone or laptop a user interface for people who need it like when Cooking or Driving. People with disabilities or injuries. BlackBerry Phone had a nice incorporation of the text to action.

Added in 2015

We have three things Text-2-Speech, Speech-2-Text and Speech-2-Action. This makes any Gizmo or Computer Interface with a Human without the use of Limbs.

2009 Note Below –

Spoken Words or 14 Seconds of Voice Message. Alternative to Thumbing. A Text to Speech Engine Server Side. With Adaptive Mimicry Voice Synthesizer for that User ID. .

A MultiMedia Service without too much local or server load. Short Compressed Audio Files Recorded and Rendered by Flash Inline Inserts on the Web Application.

Speech talking calculator by Telesensory Systems

A Vintage Speech Equipment The Speech+ talking calculator by Telesensory Systems, Inc.

First idea enables people who just cannot type their message, and need to speak a few words, which is recorded by microphone and sent like a Compressed Voice mail.

Second Idea depends on first idea to train a server side engine, a Text to Speech tuned by earlier voice messages.

When a person cannot read the text, like when driving or in a private gathering, he can press read all incoming messages. Then the server will process text to speech matched according to the User ID Speech Profile and Read out loud in his Headphones.

delabs 2010

Digital Alarm Clock Gadget

An Alarm Clock with Musical Alarms. This Web Widget was for the iGoogle Homepage, A Web-page or even a blog.  It was an Experiment in User Interface in small a small Facia or Front Panel.

You can set Five Alarms with Ten Selectable Musical Sounds and a small Text memo.- 2005

Digital Alarm Clock Gadget

The Project Page digital-alarm-clock

The simulation is as close as possible to a uC based Clock which you could build, The GUI is more like a electronic gadget than a Software Application. That should charge you to build your Alarm Clock today.

Eco Green Alarm Clock with Flash Sound

Get news Eco Version above, This page is of the Older Version of Digital Alarm Clock. The reason this is old is it sound integration is not very good.

Digital Alarm Clock Web Gadget with Musical Alarms

Usability and Ergonomics Research

This gadget has established usability problems. The were intended and demonstrated. It was an attempt to show the limits and strain associated with push button and key controls to operate an electronic equipment.

Many Apps, Appliance and Gizmos are constrained with a small control interface size, these pose a challenge for the User Interface design. I myself have problems with the keyboard phones and remote control. This can be seen even in the puzzling Monitor OSD controls in comparison to the easy analog Pot controls of old CGA/EGA Monitors.

Controls should be easy like the water tap or power switch. Not like a Puzzle, Maze or Quiz.

Technology needs to make things simple. Keep controls minimum and Human Friendly means (analog). A human Being is a “Real Time Analog Machine”. This gadget is a continuing experiment in ergonomics.

Date Time Clock Widgets

I wanted to realize usability of controls within a small footprint. This lead to some innovations.
These are JavaScript and CSS Clock Widgets originally made for my webpage later improved and decorated for iGoogle. Now available as web widgets.

Date Time Clock Widgets

Date Time Clock Widgets

When i found the Remote controls and the early mobile phones difficult to use. I felt i have to try to design user interface within a small footprint. This helped me innovate a Active or Dynamic GUI concept; as shown in the Ability to change the skins of the Audio Music player and Digital Alarm Clock. The metronome too see the other project in this profile. These were done around 2005-6-7. Both for elements on my site and gadgets.

Digital and Analog Clocks

I also made a Virtual Web Gadget Alarm Clock Simulation that will demonstrate a Dynamic GUI in a Limited Facia Area.

Conclusions –

Reduce the number of operations a user would do at achieve a purpose. Auto, Intuitive, Context Gui. When a Customer comes to buy Trousers, Take him to the Trouser Corner. Do not show Tuxedo option. The colors have good contrast and the text clearly visible.

A Highlighted reaction to user action. Tactile. Dynamic GUI, see in Gadgets above. GUI Elements appear only for that sequence of actions. No clutter. Menus if used, should not get stuck. Should not be fidgety, should not be menus at all if possible.

Engineering, Interaction Design, UI/UX