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IrDA - Past, Present and Future

Williams, Stuart


Keyword(s):infrared; free space optical communications; wireless data communications; IrDA

Abstract:The core Internet technologies were in the hands of the research community 10 or more years before the "worldwide-web" happened and popularized the internet as a place the find information, access service and as a place to trade. The Infrared Data Association (IrDA) has been in existence for in excess of 6 years. Products embedding the communication technology IrDA defines have been around for in excess of 5 years, starting with printers and portable PCs. IrDA is cheap to embed, uses unregulated spectrum, and is increasingly pervasive in a wide range of devices. From its roots in portable PC and printers, IrDA technologies are present in virtually all new PDAs, it is emerging in mobile phones, pagers, digital cameras and image capture devices. We are sitting on the cusp of the information appliance age and IrDA plays a significant role in enabling the interaction between information appliances, between information appliances and the information infrastructure and between appliances communicating across the information infrastructure. This paper discusses IrDA's communications model. It charts the evolution of the IrDA-Data (1.x) platform architecture and the early applications and application services now in common use. It considers the present day and the explosion in device categories embedding the IrDA platform. It broadens its horizons to consider other emerging appliance technologies and to consider communications models that arise from a blend of IrDA short-range wireless communication and mobile object technologies. Finally, it briefly considers future directions for the IrDA platform itself.

9 Pages

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