Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo is teaming up with Hewlett-Packard (HP) to develop a new application platform that will interconnect cellular systems and sensor networks. The two companies are reported to be looking to develop a prototype of a new middleware platform, designed to work with sensor networks in homes and businesses. The so-called ‘Sensor Network Middleware Platform’ will allow interactive communication between the two systems using middleware equipped with an interface that works with various transmission methods and enables data exchange between mobile phones and sensor networks. Software using this middleware is installed on both sensor networks and mobile phones, enabling phones to access the sensor networks directly, across a variety of transmission methods. Sensor networks are essentially a collection of specialised transducers in a communications infrastructure that are intended for monitoring purposes. Potential applications of sensor networks include industrial automation, automated and smart homes, video surveillance, traffic monitoring and medical device monitoring.
DoCoMo and HP hope to develop the system whereby mobile phones can be used to pull data or even control devices connected to them. The middleware will also allow designers to develop applications and devices compatible with any sensor network, regardless of the transmission technology it uses.