The Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Information Technology FIT and Secure Information Technology SIT will demonstrate the Hydra middleware at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 16-19, 2009. The middleware, which has context awareness and security among its main features, assists the manufactures of intelligent environments and speeds up the development of innovative systems.
Today's cars, aircrafts, intelligent buildings and home cinema systems all rely on embedded systems for vital functions. Advanced solutions actually are networks of embedded systems, mostly including devices from several different manufacturers. For this type of environment, the European Hydra project develops a "Networked Embedded System Middleware for Heterogeneous Physical Devices", which will help manufacturers and system integrators in combining and connecting devices that can be networked easily and work together in cost-effective and flexible solutions.
"A main issue in the Hydra project is networking a broad range of heterogeneous devices", Dr. Markus Eisenhauer from Fraunhofer FIT, the project’s coordinator, explains. "The middleware makes it easy for developers to integrate additional devices and sensors into a distributed infrastructure. And it helps them take care of privacy and security requirements."
Hydra supports several operating systems and programming languages. Thanks to its flexibility, Hydra can be used in a broad range of applications, e. g., hospitals, airports and large-scale production facilities. Here, security and privacy have long been major issues. Hence, the concepts for minimizing information exchange and the mechanisms for secure communication, developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT, are significant features of the Hydra middleware.
The demo of the Hydra middleware at the GSMA Mobile World Congress consists of two different scenarios. First, a sensor-equipped midget-building that sends short messages to inform about a technical defect. This demo includes a situation where a sensor detects humidity inside the house’s heating system and alerts the inhabitant by sending a message to their mobile phone in case she is not at home. In the next step, an order for an emergency repair request is sent to a service company, including a limited-validity electronic key for the building.
Second, a mobile health assistant is being developed showing a conceptual healthcare assistance system. It consists of a personalized device for patients under supervision at home that reminds them of important activities inside their personalized healthcare-plan. Another part of the demonstrator shows a mobile application running on a secure server. A physician and a mobile healthcare service can access different parts of that application by authenticating themselves with a smartcard. Depending on the access right, different information about the patient’s current status is available. Additionally the physician has the opportunity to change the medication, prescribe measures and to send messages to the patient in order to give advice. Alternatively, instead of visiting the patient himself, a healthcare service can be assigned to look after the supervised patient.
The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik (FIT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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