Hello again readers!
It is I, András Fekete coming to you with another interesting application. During the summer, I was working on a program involving PDAs, wireless, and voice communication. I have developed this program called WiChatter. It uses a wireless ad-hoc network and constantly monitors who is nearby on the network using the same program. Once a new person comes within range, the PDAs exchange information about who they see around them and pass that information onto the user. Then the user can pick from any one of those users and talk to them privately or broadcast text messages for others to see. The catch however is that you must have matching encryption passwords to read other’s messages. This app was a reimplementation of the Project54′s AroundMe application. When trying to use that program, there were a lot of configuration options that needed to be set correctly in order to function.
With WiChatter, all you do is set your name and it handles the rest. You may want to change the default password if you know you’re going to be only talking to a private group and want nobody else to read into your conversation (at the same time, you won’t be able to read theirs either). Some PDAs have a proprietary method of setting up the wireless card so you may have to connect manually, but the application tells you very simply how to get that accomplished. Just connect to the ad-hoc network with no encryption (it’s handled within the program to allow those PDAs that don’t support any encryption to work as well).
This application was made for the police and emergency rescue teams who in the near future will be using PDAs on a regular basis to wirelessly control their vehicles. Since many of them already have a PDA (or at least a cell phone), then it seemed logical to develop a program that would help them communicate at an incident scene. They would be able to share data and notes on a chat screen. Those PDAs equipped with cameras could send pictures to others as well. PDAs with microphones and speakers could exchange short voice messages.
This application has been thoroughly tested on the HP IPAQ HX2795 (Mobile 5.0), and the Symbol MC50 (Pocket PC 2003), but it should work well on any Windows Pocket PC edition PDA. Here is a video of the program in action. Note that voice messages are sent by activating a press-to-talk (PTT) button (in the video one click to turn the PTT on, one click to turn it off). However the PTT automatically stops recording after 10 seconds.