Mobile Computing, is the use of portable devices (such as laptop and handheld computers) along with mobile communications technologies.
Mobile computing involves Mobile Communication, Mobile Hardware and Mobile Software:
- Mobile Communication: The signals are carried over the aircapable of receiving and sending signals. It will incorporate all aspects of wireless communication.
- Mobile Hardware: Mobile Hardware includes mobile devices that provide the service of mobility. E.g. laptops, Smart phones, Tablet PCâ€™s to Personal Digital Assistants.
- Mobile Software: Mobile Software is the actual program that runs on the mobile hardware. It is the operating system of that appliance. Apple'sÂ iPhoneÂ OS,Â Google's Android, Microsoft Windows Mobile and ResearchÂ inÂ Motion'sÂ Blackberry OS, are constantly competing to offer better products.
Working of Mobile Computing
- The user enters or access data using the application on hand-held computing device.
- Using one of several connecting technologies, the new data are transmitted from hand-held to siteâ€™s information system where files are updated and the new data are accessible to other system user.
- Now both systems(hand-held and siteâ€™s computer) haveÂ theÂ sameÂ information and are in sync.
The process is similar to the way a workerâ€™s desktopÂ PCÂ accessÂ theÂ organizationâ€™s applications, except that userâ€™s device is not physically connected to the organizationâ€™s system.
Benefits of Mobile Computing
In general, Mobile Computing is a versatile and strategic technology that increases information quality and accessibility, enhances operational efficiency, and improves management effectiveness. But, more specifically, it leads to a range of tangible benefits, including the following:
- It provides mobile workforce with remote access to work order details, such as work order location, contact information, required completionÂ date,Â assetÂ history relevant warranties/service contracts.
- It enables mobile sales personnel to update work order status in real-time, facilitating excellent communication.
- It facilitates access to corporate services and information at any time, from anywhere.
- It provides remote access to the corporate Knowledge base at the job location.
- It enables to improve management effectiveness by enhancing information quality, information flow, and ability to control a mobile workforce.
Limitations of Mobile Computing
- Insufficient Bandwidth: Mobile Internet access is generally slower thanÂ direct cable connections using cell phone towers. Higher speed wireless LANs are inexpensive but have very limited range.
- Security Standards: When working mobile, one is dependent on public networks. Security is a major concern.
- Power consumption: When a power outlet or portable generator is not available, mobile computers must rely entirely on battery power. Unusually expensive batteries must be used to obtain the necessary battery life.
- Transmission interferences: Weather, terrain, and the range from the nearest tower can interfere with signal reception. Reception in tunnels, some buildings, and rural areas is often poor.
- Potential health hazards: People who use mobile devices while driving are often distracted from driving are thus assumed more likely to be involved in traffic accidents.
Cell phones may interfere with sensitive medical devices. There are allegationsÂ that cell phone signals may cause health problems.
- Human interface with device: Screens and keyboards tend toÂ beÂ small,Â which may make them hard to use. Alternate input methods such as speech or handwriting recognition require training.