Monday, November 13, 2006

The Automobile Whisperer - Handheld PDAs Communicating with Vehicles


His name is Tom Booker. His voice can calm wild horses, his touch can heal broken spirits. That is from the back cover of the book, The Horse Whisperer. I can't do that, but we can talk to cars, trucks and vans and they can talk back to us.

We have had the opportunity to work with a company in Vancouver BC, that I have written about in an earlier blog article, that had a requirement to communicate with the vehicle's engine computer. The image to the right shows a cable connection, but we have also connected to the vehicle's engine via bluetooth.

What was the purpose of this project? Our customer was converting conventional delivery vans to "hybrid" vans. So during and following the conversion the company was using handheld computers to monitor the engine diagnostics. The mechanics and engineers now can walk up to a car and survey its vitals without lifting the hood. Analysis software on the handhelds can use the data to make recommendations to improve performance and/or configurations.

Think about all the mobile handheld computer applications that are now associated with automobiles:

All of these mobile software applications for handheld computers used MobileDataforce's PointSync Mobility Platform for design, development and deployment.