San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Computing & Information Technology
25.266.1 - 25.266.12
Blurring the lines: The Intersection of Mobile and Embedded Systems and Information Technology Embedded systems have traditionally focused on independent single-‐use systems using sensors and actuators. Communications and networking are growing to be more and more important in these systems and consequently embedded systems design now needs to consider a broader range of issues. Furthermore traditional computers are migrating to newer platforms. Tablets, smart phones and similar mobile personal devices now include many of the capabilities, and problems, of personal computers within the broader IT enterprise. However mobile systems also include sensors, actuators and HCI design issues common to the embedded system world. Thus they straddle the worlds of IT design and embedded systems design. Embedded systems design, and consequently embedded systems education, should address this new reality. Designers and educators must consider the IT aspects of both mobile and embedded systems with their concerns about security, backup and integration into enterprise computing in these new environments. In addition, as these systems grow both in capability and popularity, system development issues for these non-‐traditional platforms must be considered in the light of computing development best practices. Thus designers need to adopt a new systems development approach incorporating software best practices appropriate to platform, networking, security, HCI design, sensors and actuator interfaces, and design for system management. Embedded and mobile systems designers and information technology designers have different backgrounds and cultural expectations. Adopting aspects of each other’s design expectations and principles requires understanding of each discipline. This paper presents and discusses the collision course that these disciplines are on, with examples of systems that are crossing boundaries between the disciplines. The design principles for an IT-‐inclusive systems approach for embedded and mobile systems are analyzed and compared to traditional design principles for these separate disciplines. A curriculum addressing courses or topics necessary to for educating designers is proposed and justified.
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