, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 273-283

Ubi-App: a ubiquitous application for universal access from handheld devices

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Abstract

Universal access from a handheld device (such as a PDA, cell phone) at any time or anywhere is now a reality. Ubicomp Assistant (UA) (Sharmin et al. in Proceedings of the 21st annual ACM symposium on applied computing (ACM SAC 2006), Dijon, France, pp 1013–1017, 2006) is an integral service of MARKS (Sharmin et al. in Proceedings of the third international conference on information technology: new generations (ITNG 2006), Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, pp 306–313, 2006). It is a middleware developed for handheld devices, and has been designed to accommodate different types of users (e.g., education, healthcare, marketing, or business). This customizable service employs the ubiquitous nature of current short range, low-power wireless connectivity and readily available, low-cost lightweight mobile devices. These devices can reach other neighbouring devices using a free short-range ad hoc network. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the UA service is the only service designed for these devices. This paper presents the details of Ubi-App, a ubiquitous application for universal access from any handheld device, which uses UA as a service. The results of a usability test and performance evaluation of the prototype show that Ubi-App is useful, easy to use, easy to install, and does not degrade the performance of the device.