The tasks achievable by mobile handsets continuously exceed our imagination. Statistics show that the mobile phone sales are soaring, rising exponentially year after year with predictions being that they will rise to a billion units in 2009, with a large section of these being smart-phones. Mobile service providers, mobile application developers and researchers have been working closely over the past decade to bring about revolutionary and hardware and software advancements in hand-sets such as embedded digital camera, large memory capacity, accelerometer, touch sensitive screens, GPS, Wi-Fi capabilities etc. as well as in the network infrastructure to support these features. The advanced technology and widespread use of mobile devices make them an excellent platform for developing sophisticated applications for image, audio and video processing.
This thesis undertakes a study of conceptualizing, developing, implementing and deploying a multi-platform, unique emergency reporting and evidence data collection application suite on a mobile device. It discusses the challenges faced during these design and implementation stages and how they were overcome, resulting in a full-fledged, and feature-rich client/server application suite independent of both – the mobile device manufacturer and mobile service provider. Further, this thesis described in depth, existing similar applications, the complete range of present and future capabilities and this research's possible integration with other popular and upcoming wireless technologies.
This thesis begins by reviewing the technological capabilities of modern mobile devices. From this review, the need for choosing a development environment and consequently a generic, standardized mobile application platform on which to deploy the application(s) becomes evident. The needs addressed during choosing a suitable development platform are the wide variety of underlying operating systems and system architectures in terms of an ever-broadening spectrum of mobile device vendors and content/service providers. Then, a step-by-step account is provided on client application development and deployment, server connectivity and database design and data retrieval techniques. Finally the ever growing concern of information security and integrity is addressed by discussing and implementing two very popular security features to secure the mobile-server connection.
The goal of this thesis is to develop a framework for application development and demonstrate the suitability and potential of cellular platforms, to tap the infinite capacity of mobile application development to successfully implement, deploy and test a simple yet effective user-centric calamity and emergency reporting application suite. By giving a detailed account of every step involved in the application development cycle, we hope to spark an interest amongst young researchers in using mobile phones as a platform for cutting-edge, innovative software packages that will help public awareness, safety and general well-being in all communities across the country.