The (Bluetooth) StarTrek(tm) Communicator system
Yet another idea for abusing Bluetooth stuff...
The basic idea is to build a StarTrek like Communicator, a small device
attached to your clothes or body thru which you can communicate with other
people in the same building. The system should be very user friendly where
you just tap a button and say the persons name to who you want to talk to.
Just as in StarTrek(tm), beep ... Ricker to Pickard.
Since we need some infrastructure and properly a lot of Bluetooth
devices we will constrain ourselfs to an in building system. With
the right amount of equipment the system should be deployable almost
So for the environment we define a building with multiple levels and some
networking infrastructure in place.
The idea is to use a Bluetooth headset (the one you use with your mobile phone) as the
Communicator. Bluetooth headsets actually total satisfy all requirements: they
are small, stick to your ear, are easy to use and cheap to buy.
The system more or less consists out of some amount of access points which talk
to the Bluetooth headsets. These access points need to be equipped with of course a
Bluetooth interface and some other kind of network interface to connect to the infrastructure.
The actual system
The easiest way to implement these access points would be to use some (micro) PC running Linux or
some other decent (real) OS.
The actual system (the software) is the tricky part that is not 100% clear yet. Basically this
should be some kind of voice activated interface to some kind of PBX (private branch exchange). The
voice transport itself could be done via VoIP (using SIP or what ever). The voice dialling should
be the hardest thing here.
Bluetooth headsets need to be paired before accepting connections, which would be impossible if
the system has more then 10 access points. But it should be fairly easy to modify the Bluetooth
interface on the access points to all have the same hardware (MAC) address. Then you only
need to pair each headset once and just distribute the link key to all access points. This would then
just be part of the registration procedure each user has to go thru when getting access to the system.
A more serious problem would be paging (finding) a user in the system (e.g. for an incoming call to him) because
Bluetooth headsets don't respond to inquiries (also inquiries would take to long). The same problem exists
for outgoing calls since headsets don't connect to other devices they just wait until someone trys to
connect to them.
I think the idea is good (other wise I wouldn't have written this). But the paging problem is to serious
in order to actually start working (coding) on this project right now.
Any ideas are very welcome
StarTrek is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures.
Bluetooth is a registered trademark of the Bluetooth SIG.
version 0.0.1 (c) Collin R. Mulliner, updated: Wed Mar 16 14:43:41 PST 2005
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