looks like a
really neat project. Keep up the good work!
'Mobile Application Server'?
I noticed that a company called aligo
seems to have their
own project that they are calling a 'mobile application
server'. Our definitions of the term seem to differ a
bit. They're developing a small-footprint application
server for handheld devices, that's J2ME based, and
provides centralized messaging, sync services, etc.
I'm also calling a 'mobile application server', focuses on
providing speech recognition, speech synthesis, and LCD
display services for hands-free applications. ALICE is
intended to be used in situations where using conventional
input methods (mouse, keyboard) might be impractical or
dangerous (i.e. while driving). The app is also intended
to run on a larger footprint platform than a handheld, such
as a laptop or permanently installed system in a car. I've
also thought about using ALICE in my house, in conjunction
with a module that'd control X-10 devices, and take
advantage of the permanent DSL connection to provide news
and other useful information on demand.
A little project history
A very early version of this system was developed back when
the Ricochet wireless modem service was still alive. The
input device that I used was a little kids PDA called a
Cybiko, that had a full (if microscopic) QWERTY keyboard,
along with an RS-232 port, and a terminal program. Via a P-
133 box running RedHat 6.2 in the trunk, I got a serial
console running on it, and used MP3View
play MP3s. After several of my friends expressed some
concern about me trying to squint at the 4 point type on
the screen, while trying to navigate the fast lane on H-
101, I decided to use voice recognition instead. What
started as a simple attempt to clean up the codebase that
I'd been using resulted in a total, and much needed re-
architecture, that made the whole system modular and easier
to maintain. Thus, ALICE was born. Muhahaha :-)
The reference to Ricochet above was in relation to the
fact that the original version would grab and parse RSS
feeds from CNN on demand, parse them, and then speech
synthesize the headlines. It was kludgy, though, and after
Ricochet went away, it became less of a priority.
P.S. If anyone would actually like to play with a pre-
beta release of the project, drop me an email
(firstname.lastname@example.org), and I'd be happy to oblige.