Mobile computing is a form of human–computer interaction by which a computer is expected to be transported during normal usage. Mobile computing has three aspects: mobile communication, mobile hardware, and mobile software. The first aspect addresses communication issues in ad-hoc and infrastructure networks as well as communication properties, protocols, data formats and concrete technologies. The second aspect is on the hardware, e.g., mobile devices or device components. The third aspect deals with the characteristics and requirements of mobile applications.
Mobile computing is "taking a computer and all necessary files and software out into the field."
"Mobile computing: being able to use a computing device even when being mobile and therefore changing location. Portability is one aspect of mobile computing
"Mobile computing is the ability to use computing capability without a pre-defined location and/or connection to a network to publish and/or subscribe to information ." Uwe Vieille, ACM.org
Mobile Computing is a variety of wireless devices that has the mobility to allow people to connect to the internet, providing wireless transmission to access data and information from where ever location they may be.
Many types of mobile computers have been introduced since the 1990s including the:
- Personal digital assistant/enterprise digital assistant
- Tablet computer
- Ultra-Mobile PC
- Wearable computer
Mobile data communication
Wireless data connections used in mobile computing take three general forms.] Cellular data service uses technologies such as GSM, CDMA or GPRS, and more recently 3G networks such as W-CDMA, EDGE or CDMA2000.
These networks are usually available within range of commercial cell towers. Wi-Fi connections offer higher performance, may be either on a private business network or accessed through public hotspots, and have a typical range of 100 feet indoors and up to 1000 feet outdoors.
Satellite Internet access covers areas where cellular and Wi-Fi are not available and may be set up anywhere the user has a line of sight to the satellite's location, which for satellites in geostationary orbit means having an unobstructed view of the southern sky. Some enterprise deployments combine networks from multiple cellular networks or use a mix of cellular, Wi-Fi and satellite.
When using a mix of networks, a mobile virtual private network (mobile VPN) not only handles the security concerns, but also performs the multiple network logins automatically and keeps theapplication connections alive to prevent crashes or data loss during network transitions or coverage loss.
- Insufficient bandwidth: Mobile Internet access is generally slower than direct cable connections, using technologies such as GPRS andEDGE, and more recently HSDPA and HSUPA 3G networks. These networks are usually available within range of commercial cell phone towers. Higher speed wireless LANs are inexpensive but have very limited range.
- Security standards: When working mobile, one is dependent on public networks, requiring careful use of VPN. Security is a major concern while concerning the mobile computing standards on the fleet. One can easily attack the VPN through a huge number of networks interconnected through the line.
- Power consumption: When a power outlet or portable generator is not available, mobile computers must rely entirely on battery power. Combined with the compact size of many mobile devices, this often means unusually expensive batteries must be used to obtain the necessary battery life.
- Transmission interferences: Weather, terrain, and the range from the nearest signal point can all interfere with signal reception. Reception in tunnels, some buildings, and rural areas is often poor.
- Potential health hazards: People who use mobile devices while driving are often distracted from driving and are thus assumed more likely to be involved in traffic accidents. (While this may seem obvious, there is considerable discussion about whether banning mobile device use while driving reduces accidents or not.) Cell phones may interfere with sensitive medical devices. There are allegations that cell phone signals may cause health problems.
- Human interface with device: Screens and keyboards tend to be small, which may make them hard to use. Alternate input methods such as speech or handwriting recognition require training.
Security Issues involved in Mobile Computing
As oppose to the benefits of being able to access information from any location through wireless transmission, there is it faults with the need for security protection. In a wireless mobile communication environment, the messages transmitted over the wireless medium are more susceptible to eavesdropping than in a wired network. Also, it is possible for any user to access the mobile communication system using false identity.
In order to provide security from eavesdropping or false identities, systems use encryption. which provides confidentiality of the messages sent over wireless channel and to authenticate. The main idea is to conceal the content of the messages before transmitting them in clear (radio signals).