System details

MediaCups are computerized objects, that provide - additional to their intended traditional use - additional benefit for a user in a local setting (nearby the user). The characteristic of all scenarios with and around the MediaCup is the support for local applications (in the house, flat, room etc.). Consequently, the underlying technical system, the RAUM system, supports these kind of applications. The system consists of (see picture for an additional overview window):

  • the artifacts having computing power and communication capabilities inside, like the MediaCups, HotClock or SmartDoorplates (see picture). Some artifacts (e.g. SmartDoorplates) use the information in their environment to do something useful, mostly in the background without any user interaction. Some of these artifacts (e.g. MediaCups) communicate their status or the status of the surrounding environment to other artifacts.
  • the network (see picture) that allows different artifacts to communicate, either wired, wireless or both, and integrates the different communication technologies. The RAUM system allows programmers to rapidly build applications without bothering for network details 
  • the location system (see picture) like the IR-Beacon, that allows artifacts to know where they are 


Features of the RAUM system are: 

  • the RAUM system provides underlying services to support communication of different artifacts, e.g. the MediaCup 
  • the RAUM system provides support to detect and compute contexts 
  • the RAUM system integrates several network technologies and allows to flexibly enhance the system with other hard- and software applications 
  • the RAUM system consists of several hardware and software components. Because of the flexible hard- and software design these components can be combined and existing components as PDAs and PCs can easily be integrated.

 

Technical Detail

MediaCups are a part of the RAUM System. In the RAUM System three classes of technical systems are used: Network, Artifacts, Location System. All three should be described shortely. The hard- and software section contain more detailed information.

Network

Technically, the Network consists of some wired and some wireless routes. As wired routes

  • BNC (ethernet)
  • CAN

are used. Wireless technologies used in the RAUM System are

  • IrDA
  • RF (ASK)

For the description of the network ISO/OSI conform stack numeration was used. All objects inside the network system, that transfer data from one route to another, either only physical (usually called a hub or repeater) or logical (e.g. like a router) are called nodes. All objects (and that includes the nodes) have to speak the RAUM protocol. Nodes are distinct from their highest implemented level of the RAUM protocol, e.g. a router is a R(3) node, where a repeater is called a R(1) node (R stands for RAUM). The following kind of nodes are implemented in the system today:

  • IrC (IrDA to CAN) R(2) nodes, a hardware and software solution containing a IrDA transmitter and CAN bus access
  • CIp (CAN to IP) R(3) nodes, a hardware and software solution containing CAN bus access connected to a PC
  • IrIp (IrDA to IP) R(3) nodes, a software solution that uses standard PC equipement
  • IpIp (IP to IP) R(3) nodes, allowing to run the RAUM protocol over IP

Although the system was build to support the RAUM protocol only, the IrC/CIp node combination is designed to tunnel IP (SLIP) requests to allow existing computers (Laptops, PDAs) to access internet over the RAUM network.