Mobile Computing Solutions

There are several companies that provide mobile computing solutions especially for commercial purposes. Mobile computing includes connecting several computing devices by means of wireless networking to make them accessible with each other. Hence, a person can be communicable with the office even though not physically present. This greatly improves communication and enables staff to take faster decisions, which translate into more business.

There are two main parts to company provided mobile computing equipment – the handheld equipment and the network connection. The handheld devices used in mobile computing solutions are basically laptop computers. These laptops are connected by means of a wireless network, usually wireless LAN. Cell phones can also be integrated into the network using wireless technologies such as GSM, CDMA, WLL, GPRS, EDGE, etc.

Mobile computing solutions can be provided for specific purposes. A good example is the mail tracking system provided to the US postal department. This system can pick up, sort and route mail and then notify airport malls for their reception. This tracker can also determine late postages and apply relevant penalties on the same. Today, there are custom designed mobile computing solutions for a wide array of commercial fields such as education, business, healthcare, pharmaceutical, supply chain management, etc.

Providing mobile computing solutions does not mean just providing the equipment and the connectivity. Most mobile computing solution providers also conduct seminars in which they train users how to handle the equipment. This is highly necessary as mobile computing is still a developing field. There are also consulting services and hotline numbers provided in case of emergencies and breakdowns. In short, mobile computing does not entail just equipment; it also extends to service and management.

The cost of a mobile computing solution system depends from company to company. Some solution providers may charge for the equipment as well as the server through which the devices would be connected. This would be a bulk quote. Some providers, however, charge a bit more for the equipment and do not charge for the servers. Usually these solution providers use their servers for a host of other customers. Equipment is charged on the basis of the number of users.

Mobile Computing Essentials

Mobile computing is the ability to do computing tasks in some or all possible locations. Here, I’ll be listing (in my opinion are) the top 4 requirements for mobile computing and my suggestions/opinions on those requirements.

There are other requirements for mobile computing, and you can check them at Wikipedia.

Portability

It’s common sense: if your computers or mobile devices are too heavy to carry around they are useless for mobile computing. Gone are the days of lugging around heavy laptops the size of attache cases. A good example of a very portable computing device is the Apple MacBook Air: It’s small and thin enough to put in an envelope. Also good examples are the humble netbooks. These small, almost pocket sized computers are small and light enough that you can almost put them inside your coat pockets or purses. They offer relatively good processing power for the basic computing needs, up to 15 hours of battery life (depending on use) and are cheaper than most full size notebooks. Since Asus came out with the original Ultra Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC), the EEEPC, almost all computer companies have created their own netbook line.

Now, with the release of the Apple iPad tablet, Tablet Computing have been put in spotlight again. Major computer brands are following with Samsung releasing the Galaxy Tab and HP developing and hopefully finally releasing the Slate, and Asus announcing the EeePads, that more than out features and out powers the iPad.

Battery Life

Even if you have the fastest and lightest computing devices (laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc.) but you don’t have enough power to support them, they are practically useless for mobile computing. A couple of hours of power is the current standard for most laptops. If your laptop’s battery last for three hours that’s already above average.

With netbooks, three hours is just the average. Because of the development of low power consuming processors and LED displays, and also the development of higher capacity, compact lithium ion/ polymer battery packs, we have netbooks that can stay powered for more than 8 hours. Example of such laptops are the next generation Acer Aspire One 533, ASUS Eee PC 1015,MSI U160, HP Mini 210 Series. Imagine this scenario: You fully charge your netbook before you start the day and then use it unplugged for the whole day. Now that’s you call “truly mobile computing”. With smartphones, especially those that utilizes a lot of 3G connectivity, a full day of operation is adorable: anything less is just normal.

Internet Connectivity

Staying connected to the Internet is one of the basic requirements for mobile computing. Unless you don’t have any use for the Internet, your mobile computing device should at least have a built-in wireless network adapter, also known as wi-fi card. Another essential device for staying connected with your netbook or laptops is a mobile broadband device like the 3G USB modems, pcmcia cards, and built-in 3G modems in several netbooks and laptops. The latest smartphones take full advantage of 3G networks: they can work outside wi-fi hotspots. The only downside to that is the rapid loss of battery life.

Durability

Mobile computing has the most demanding requirements for devices especially when it comes to durability. Because mobile computing is done anywhere and everywhere, the devices you use should be able to survive the most number of scenarios. And when we talk about durability in mobile computing, nothing beats the Panasonic ToughBook. This line of laptops from Panasonic were designed to handle the most demanding computing environments. Check out the videos in Youtube.

Tips

Before buying any mobile computing device, make sure you research well about the product. The best way to gauge if the device meets your needs and wants is to try the actual device. If you can try the device for a day, the better.

Always buy mobile computing devices with at least one year warranty. That gives you a small sense of security when your device fails within the first year.

When it comes to durability, most mobile computing devices like laptops, netbooks, smartphones, and tablets have operational guidelines that you should follow. If you use these devices outside their perscribe conditions, you risk voiding the warranty. Examples are using the device under the rain, vibrating platforms, sand-prone and water-prone places like the beach, and other uncommon locations.

Mobile Computing and Its Effectiveness

Mobile computing has become a crucial technology in people’s lives. It provides people with various options of using technological devices regardless of their location. Mobile computing is the ability to utilize a computing device even when it is in mobile or even changing location. In this process, the aspect of portability is present. It has a range of devices from notebook computers to digital assistants like iPhone and blackberry to typical cell phones. This has made mobile computing become an indispensable way of life. Mobile notebooks and laptops can use only two types of wireless connection. The first one is WiFi which uses radio waves to transmit a signal from a wireless rooter to an immediate area. If not encrypted, anyone can have access on it. This connection is used for creating “hotspots” in public places. This means that one has to locate a hotspot. He or she should also stay within the range of a connection. The second alternative is to use a cellular broadband which uses modem or Air Card for internet connection. For this service, one has to remain stationery as the signal remains strong anywhere there is cellular service.

Another service linked with mobile computing is cloud computing, which is the ability to use website services from portable computers. Portable computing also grants access to a firm’s virtual private network (VPN) by tunneling through the internet. It makes life easy and also makes work to be manageable. There is an increase in productivity especially in developed countries where there is high use of technology. This clearly shows that mobile computing has so many positive effects to the lives of people. However, it also has its own limitations.

Advantages of mobile computing

1) Portability- devices used in mobile computing are portable thus making it easy to complete tasks. Portability means that they can be moved from a place to another. This means that one has the freedom to work from any place he or she wishes to be. This can be regarded as flexibility of location.

2) Increase in production- the returns are high because one has the freedom to work in a fixed place. A person is also in a position to multitask thus increasing productivity. It also, minimizes time wastage especially where one has to report to an office on a daily basis.

3) Marketing of products and services made easy- this is evident because one can market his or her products and online from anywhere as far as there is fast internet connection.

4) Communication made easy- calls making, text messages and emails can be sent or received anywhere using the mobile devices.

Disadvantages of Mobile Computing

1) Insufficient bandwidth- when using this process, internet connection is slower compared to when one uses a direct cable connection. There are cheap technologies available like EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates GSM Evolution), GPRS (General Packet Radio Services), HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) and HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access)3G which are fast but can only be accessed within a certain range.

2) Power Usage- This affects this process of mobile computing because it relies on battery power when power connection or portable generator is not present. This means that one has to buy an expensive battery which can keep power for a long time thus increasing consumption.

3) Security standards- When a person is working in a mobile basis, he or she depends on public networks thus use of VPN (Virtual Private Network) is necessary. It is dangerous if the VPN is not carefully used because one can attack it through a massive figure of networks interconnected through the line.

4) Health problems- those people who have a tendency of using mobile gadgets when driving has a high risk of causing accidents due to divided attention. Mobile phones are also likely to get in the way of sensitive medical devices. There are some beliefs that mobile phones cause health hazards.

5) Transmission interferences- In most cases, there are so many interferences involved in mobile computing. These interferences include terrain, weather, range of the nearest signal point and others. They can interfere with the passage of signal. Transmission of signals in some buildings, tunnels and rural areas is often slow.

6) Human Interface with Devices- some components of the devices used is not user friendly. For example, some keyboards and screens tend to be small, and this makes it hard to use them. In addition, some techniques like handwriting and speech recognition require thorough training

Mobile Computing

Mobile computing refers to the use of any kind of computer in a moving environment. The motion may be of the device itself, as in laptops, palmtops, wearable computers, and mobile phones; or it may refer to the dynamics of the computing process, as in digital cameras, podcasters and MP3 players. Mobile computing devices generally use wireless technologies such as LAN, Wi-Fi, GPRS and the more recently introduced MAN.

Mobile computing can be broadly classified into two categories – portable computing and mobility computing. Portable computing actually refers to wired communication. Portable devices themselves are movable, but in order to access them one needs to connect them to a network port. That means, portable computing devices can be carried to wherever there is a network port available. Mobility computing is also called simply mobile computing nowadays. This is true wireless communication. Not only are the devices movable, but they can also be accessed from almost anywhere. Today, portable computing is almost on the verge of extinction; mobile computing has made its foray into almost every aspect of human life.

The first usage of mobile computing devices was perhaps in vehicles. Speedometers were among the first devices to get computerized. Almost every modern vehicle has several mobile computing devices under its dashboard. Cell phones are another rampant proliferation of mobile computing today. Every single cell phone is a computer in its own right. With the advent of wireless technologies, it is also possible to access the Internet through cell phones. Blue tooth has brought cell phone users closer than ever before and has facilitated data transfer within a stipulated area. Another brilliant advancement in the field of wireless technologies is the Metropolitan Area Network, or MAN, which will allow vehicles and cell phones to remain in communication with each other forming a network probably much vaster than the internet.

Today, mobile computing is a boon to people on the move. It can be used for checking mails while in transit and even carry out transactions and businesses. Services like SMS (Short Messaging Service) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) are targeted towards the younger generation to remain in contact with their colleagues and friends. During sports events, mobile networks keep users informed of the goings-on.

However, critics are concerned with the intrusion of privacy that mobile computing creates. Several members of the younger generation are turning into ‘gizmo freaks’ and becoming almost addicted to their mobile computing devices like watches and cell phones. Some of these devices which work on infrared technologies can also pose potential health risks.

Yet, mobile computing has become an indispensable extension of technology today. It is definitely here to stay.

Electronic Evidence Discovery May Shift To The Mobile Computer Forensic Specialist

As the computing world advances and especially as the world of the wireless computing advances, there are certainly going to be instances where the services of a mobile computer specialist will be required.

The mobile arena now includes hand-held devices with comprehensive capability, in fact there are many more wireless units than desktops.The complexities of today`s wireless units such as iPods, iPads, Smartphones and tablet computers now have the same computing power of PC`s that were manufactured within the last decade. With cutting-edge technology such as infrared and bluetooth now integrated in to mobile computers, the advances in mobile computing are rapidly surpassing those of the desktop computer.

The hand-held device now includes a wide variety of units and can include video cameras, iPods,digital recorders or any hand held units.Mobiles may differ from the desktop computer in the way that they operate. The mobile computer forensic field now shifts from hard drive recovery to electronic evidence discovery of hand held units.

The mobile operating systems and hardware standards may change more frequently as new advances are introduced. New versions may be introduced several times within the product year, whereas computer software, may be revised annually or bi-annually. There are many different platforms in the wireless computing arena which makes the job of the mobile computer forensic specialist even more challenging and additionally, there may be variations within each communication technology. There are several variations of the 802.11 which is the standard used by all wireless networks. Shorter range wireless communication involves the use of Bluetooth, while within even shorter ranges, communication is handled by the infrared light waves.

Mobile computer forensics does not only involve mobile phones and the approach is not yet standardized due to the rapid advances and multiple operating platforms. The main reason for the state of affairs is that many manufacturers are pushing different standards in hardware, interfaces, operating systems and protocols. As a result, mobile forensics cannot be treated in the same way as static computer forensics, even though the concepts, may appear to be similar. The mobile forensic specialist job may rely less on technology and more on skills, procedures and problem-solving ability and the approach can be different.

Perhaps the most important forensic component of the mobile phone would be the Subscriber Identity Module card which is used to authenticate the user and verify the services. Alternatively, this information can be embedded in the phone. Forensic information may also be available in external Secure Digital cards that can be used by most mobile devices.

The mobile forensic field is primarily concerned with the acquisition of mobile phone data and there are tools, both hardware and software. Another challenge for the mobile forensic specialist is to keep up with the avalanche of changes in the mobile computing industry. Mobile forensic software may behind the curve with regard to the new mobile technologies and you should be aware of the various tools both forensic and non forensic that can be used.

The new burgeoning field of mobile arena is sure to offer satisfying available opportunities and challenges for the mobile computer forensic specialist.