Case Studies : Buck Rogers Technology Demo
Industry: Wireless PDA
Solution: Demo switching connections between streaming peers
One day in the July of 2002, David Loftesness, president
of Blue Mug, posed a challenge to the engineers; could they create a
PDA application that takes advantage of multiple network connections?
Ideally, the application would involve a media stream that migrates
seamlessly from one network connection to another.
In typical form, the engineers not only agreed to meet David's
challenge, but also raised the bar. Their demo concept, dubbed Buck
Rogers, involves multiple touchscreen PDAs connecting to each other
via a variety of network connections, e.g. serial/PPP, 802.11b, or
Bluetooth. At the press of a button, audio streams from one PDA to
others in the network. The connection can be seamlessly switched from
one network to another via a hand-off mechanism designed by Blue Mug's
For example, you can start the demo on two PDAs with wireless 802.11
network cards, start streaming audio, connect the PDAs with a serial
cable and yank the 802.11 cards, and the audio stream continues
without a glitch!
We also created a Doodlebug application which presents users with a
shared whiteboard for exchanging notes and, of course,
doodles. Doodlebug uses a custom, themed UI so users are free to
express their personal style.
As it turns out, Doodlebug is a wildly popular distraction during
business meetings. Blue Mug's engineering team is currently working
on ports of Buck Rogers to a variety of PDA platforms.
- Technology Concept: we could seamlessly switch connections while streaming data
- Performance: we proved that the concept works well, and identified
the performance envelope
- Prove the Team: our engineering team took an idea and ran
with it, producing a high-quality demo in only two engineer-weeks.