Perhaps you’ve never heard the term, “Intelligent Systems” but I can pretty much guarantee that you use at least one of these devices on a regular basis. Any technological device that is able to autonomously communicate to another device as well as access the Internet is considered an Intelligent System. These devices include the obvious examples of smartphones and GPS navigation systems, but they also include devices and systems such as: telemedicine, smart vehicles, smart grid energy, and home security systems.
Though its usage has been limited in the past, OMG’s Data Distribution Service (DDS) middleware has great potential in the Intelligent Systems industry. The DDS specification enables scalable, real-time, dependable, high performance, and interoperable data exchanges between publishers and subscribers. Systems that use DDS are not only able to communicate independently of each other (thus eliminating the risk of being knocked “offline” because of an issue often experienced by systems that rely on a server or another system- such as too many other users), but they automatically know how to send and receive messages from other DDS devices.
OMG member, Twin Oaks Computing, Inc., recently wrote a whitepaper demonstrating how DDS could be used with the Android operating system. The paper acknowledges that most Android developers today build their apps without middleware as early apps did not communicate off of Android devices. Now that Android has taking a large part of the market, developers want to adapt their existing apps to the Android operating system: a project that can prove to be very costly and time-consuming! Using Communications Middleware, such as DDS, will not only provide portability across different operating systems, it will also simplify the resulting app’s code, all the while dramatically reducing system complexity.
DDS also reduces development, administrative, and maintenance costs of smartphone apps. Instead of completely rebuilding an app when updates need to be added, DDS can be used to simply integrate the update to the existing system. DDS also allows publishers and subscribers to be either added or subtracted without altering the overall system.
The Android operating system is, of course, only one example of how DDS can be used by Intelligent Systems: Real-Time Innovations demonstrated in a case study how the City of Tokyo Metropolitan Highway Line system used DDS to connect a central information-control center with hundreds of information kiosks and displays scattered along the highway. The control center passes information to the kiosks which give drivers information on traffic conditions, projected arrival times, alternate routes, and enforcement points where traffic is being redirected or controlled due to obstructions in the roadways caused by construction or accidents.
DDS could also be integrated into a home security system that allows homeowners to turn lights on and off at certain times; home meters that can determine exactly how much energy a house is using and send this data to the utilities company; or as OMG member, Prismtech, demonstrates: into medical devices that will connect healthcare staff and patients in diverse geographical locations. This includes home-used devices that transmit medical data to healthcare providers’ offices, and technically advanced scanning and treating devices where data is logged and transmitted.
Can you think of other uses for DDS? If you have any whitepapers or case studies illustrating DDS’s capabilities in various industries, we would love to feature it on our DDS page! Please send all information to OMG’s PR specialist, Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org.