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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Software Development to Automatically Link Different Devices

July 1, 2002

Imagine you’re susceptible to heart attacks, so much so that a heart monitor is implanted in your body. When an attack occurred, wouldn’t it be helpful if the monitor relayed its information to your cell phone, which in turn summoned an ambulance and alerted your hospital’s emergency room, possibly even a cardiac surgeon and your personal physician? Researchers in the Computer Science and Engineering Department of the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington have secured a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop software architectures that will do just that.

Called Pervasive Information Communities Organization (PICO), the program creates an enhanced Internet framework that is not only unique, simple and versatile, but can also work with current and future hardware/software tools. PICO would enable automatic, real-time communications and collaborations among hardwired devices such as mainframe and personal computers and wireless devices such as laptops, PDAs and cell phones. “We’re developing a framework for all-the-time, everywhere access to information and services,” says Associate Professor Mohan Kumar, principal investigator for the project. “PICO will provide users with ‘what you want, when you want it, where you want it and how you want it’ types of services.”

Mohan is leading a team of Computer Science and Engineering professors and graduate students in this three-year, $426,000 project. Joining him are Drs. Behrooz Shirazi, Sajal Das, Farhad Kamangar and David Levine, plus two graduate students. “We began investigating the PICO concept in March of 2001,” said Kumar. “Now the research is funded by the National Science Foundations’ Strategic Technologies for the Internet program.”

At first, the team will concentrate on medical applications, with possible input from researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Additional applications for PICO could involve security, crisis management and military operations, to name just a few.