May 5, 2008

Going Mobile

So, tonight was the third meeting of the Fort Smith .NET User Group, and the second time I've attended. First things first, I got no swag. I suppose that's what I get for winning that copy of ReSharper last time.

Tonight's speaker was a someone from my place of work, a man by the name of Kerry Jenkins, talking about the .NET Compact Framework. It was a good, though quick, look at what is and isn't available along with some of the challenges involved in programming for the varied Smartphone/PocketPC landscape. Just some general notes follow.

  • Get access to Battery level and other system related information
  • Tap into the received SMS messages to trigger program execution. To more securely handle this than Kerry did, you'd probably want to setup the interception based on the "Sender".
  • PocketPC and Smartphone environments differ, although the Smartphone environment maybe a subset of the PocketPC environment.
  • Due to varying aspect ratios and resolutions, if you want to make a truly universal application you'll need to do some multi-platform setup and testing.
  • There are actually internal database setups available/deployable in the environment.
The most interesting thing Kerry demonstrated was small, roughly built application that saved off GPS data from his phone to an internal database and then posted that to his website, creating waypoint map of sorts. He chronicled a recent recruiting trip using it. Nifty thing was, he started it using a text message reading "start tracker".

While I was there in the room and while I've been typing this I was thinking: you could totally set this thing up to help you/the police track down someone who's stolen your phone. Like I said above though, to prevent erroneous starts, you'd want to tie the interceptor to the sender of the message, and then scan the text of the message to determine what to do. Once you've done that, if it's a "start tracker" message, start the application and periodically send GPS data to a website, a personal email account, or even the phone that sent the text message.


Anonymous said...

Sneaky! That's a cool idea. I'm really sorry I missed the FSDNUG meeting. :( I think I'll be up to speak at some point, though.