In the final quarter of 2010, smartphone shipments have finally overtaken that of PCs, with the former shipping 100.9 million units to stores worldwide , while the PC camp could muster only 92.1 million units according to a study released by IDC. The operating systems of these smartphones comprise Android, Blackberry, Microsoft, Apple, Palm, Symbian.
The EMANT380, a US$159 Bluetooth DAQ, allows the users to quickly build a proof of concept, smartphone DAQ system using either the Android or Symbian S60 operating systems and the bluetooth SPP and socket services available on these smartphones. By building on the existing app notes (like measuring heart rate, blood pressure, weight, temperature, respiration, ECG etc), students and hobbyists have examples that they can Observe, Recreate and Modify to their new solutions.
Some application areas that can be considered include
- elderly monitoring (silver hair program)
- energy conservation instrumentation
- gaming human interfaces
In Singapore, to inspire student interests in Engineering and Technology and to demonstrate that Engineering is essential to developing products and services that improve our daily lives, SIAA (Singapore Industrial Automation Association) together SPRING-IE Singapore has initiated an Outreach Program to encourage student projects around the smartphone DAQ. The smartphone DAQ acts as a low cost and quick prototyping platform to demonstrate novel M2M (machine to machine) applications.
Symbian’s David Wood wrote in his article Smartphone programming goes mainstream that Python is poised to potentially play a significant role for smartphones programming. Quoting Jürgen Scheible, the seminar leader of a week-long course held at the University of Art and Design, Helsinki, the reasons for choosing Python include:
- It is easy to learn
- Students don’t need to master any advanced computing concepts
- It can be used to create working applications in a short space of time
- A multitude of ideas can be tested and the best ones kept
- The motivation for pursuing an idea is high because results can be achieved quickly and an iterative development cycle easily applied.
- It provides easy access to smartphone features such as the camera, Bluetooth, text messages, graphics drawing, and networking
This site recognises that most applications require collaboration between users coming from different disciplines. The Projects page allows the specifier or user of the solution to contact and work with the developers who come from different disciplines and/or even different continents.