Monday, June 15, 2009

Bolt-Ons, Blowers and Other Enhancements: Hotrod Device Clients

Jason Lackey

For about as long as there has been an auto industry, there have been people who have modified cars to get more performance out of them. Not everyone is a skilled machinist or is in a position to fabricate power-adding parts, so naturally an aftermarket parts industry grew up along with the automotive industry. These parts, often preconfigured and set up for a specific application, are referred to as "bolt ons" as all you (in theory) have to do is bolt them on. One of the cooler bolt ons is the supercharger, also known as a blower, because a supercharger is a high volume air pump which crams more air and fuel into an engine, allowing for more power (yeah!). A prime example of which is shown above on Mad Max's V8 Interceptor, an early 70's Ford XB Falcon GT coupe suitably ratrodded. From mild to wild in a few turns of the spanner, or wrench.

At InnoPath, one of the things we have seen that our customers want is the ability to hotrod their device management capabilities in the future. We have a pretty good idea what we want now, and we know that in the future we are going to want more and better, but it is not always clear what we are going to want more of and how exactly it is going to be better.

This is where the bolt-ons come in. We have released a new client, our 5.5 embedded client, that allows for "aftermarket upgrades" - a first in a device management client. The basic engine ships with the phone, already the equivalent of a hot V8 with FOTA packages up to 73% smaller than prior clients, a huge improvement. However, this is just the start, because now the mobile network operator can push customer care modules to these devices after they are already in the field, in effect bolting on a blower while the car is driving down the highway. After the customer care modules are installed, the operator is then in the driver's seat and can do a number of different things to help ensure a better user experiences, with capabilities such as device hardware control (DCMO), Software Management (SCOMO) and Lock and Wipe (LAWMO) all being on the bolt-on parts list.

Now, one of the things to know about tuners is that they are never done. The car is never perfect, there is always some additional optimization possible. Maybe they start doing track days or High Performance Driving Events instead of drag racing or autocross, so then it is time to change out some parts. Same can be said for device management standards - they are still evolving and changing and over the air customer car is too. Thus, it is good that the ActiveCare customer support extensions are both modular and field upgradable. The mobile operator, should a new version of LAWMO come out, can upgrade the LAWMO bolt-on and have a horse more suited for the new course.

For more, please check out this InnoPath press release:

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