Cellphone User Interface
RFID Guardian User Interface
The RFID Guardian is a system that allows people to administer the security of their RFID tags. Originally, the RFID Guardian had a minimal user interface: a serial RS-232 interface to a PC host, which contained an attached keyboard and screen. As the RFID Guardian is a portable device, it was more than clear that a more handy user interface was necessary. It is envisioned that the analog electronics of the RFID Guardian will be miniaturized onto a single silicon chip and this system will be eventually integrated into PDAs or mobile phones, so users will not be burdened with carrying an extra physical device. For these reasons, we have tried to design and build a very simple, user friendly, easy for one-handed use yet powerful application that will run on mobile devices to control the RFID Guardian over a Bluetooth connection link.
Device requirements and selection
One of the very first steps of this project was to choose a device on which the application would be developed and tested. Certain functionality support, like Bluetooth connectivity and support for Java applications, was absolutely necessary on the device.
Our goal was to design a portable, non-device specific application that would run on a wide variety of devices. Given that, we decided that the devices we would use to develop and test, would run the Symbian OS, as at the time of development this Operating system had a share of more than 60% of the market. A very detailed description of the requirements of the device we needed, the candidate devices and the elimination process between them, can be found here.
Communication and interaction between the RFID Guardian and a user can involve a lot of different actions. Thus, it is necessary that similar actions are grouped together in order to result in an application that is easy to use and learn. Initially, the four fundamental issues of the RFID Guardian, auditing, key management, access control and authentication, were used as the base for the UI design. A further analysis of the application requirements, however, as the application would get bigger and bigger in terms of functionality, lead us to categorize the actions according to other criteria. As such, the application's main menu consists of the following high-level functions:
Interaction between the RFID Guardian and the mobile device that runs the application is achieved over a Bluetooth connection. This manual describes most of the application's features and how to use it in order to control the RFID Guardian over your mobile phone.
In the following two pictures, we show a screenshot of the main menu of the new User Interface and a Nokia device running the application we developed.
The masters thesis related to the development of this new User Interface for mobile devices can be found here.