US 7039033 System, device and computer readable medium for providing a managed wireless network using short-range radio signals

ABSTRACT – A system, a wireless hand-held device, and software component for accessing information responsive to short-range radio signals is provided. The system includes a wireless gateway device coupled to a network, such as a cellular network. The wireless gateway device includes a network manager software component for accessing information from the network responsive to a first short-range radio signal. The network may be a corporate, private or public network, such as the Internet. A first wireless device is coupled to the wireless gateway device. The first wireless device provides the first short-range radio signal. In an embodiment of the present invention, the first wireless device is a cellular telephone, personal digital assistant or thin terminal having a Bluetooth™ processor and transmitter. In an embodiment of the present invention, the network manager software component includes a plug and play software component for loading and executing software for the first wireless device. In an embodiment of the present invention, a second wireless device accesses information on the first wireless device using the wireless gateway device.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates generally to wireless devices in a wireless network using short-range radio signals.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A user has numerous wireless devices for accessing and processing information. For example, a user may have a cellular telephone for communicating with others, a personal digital assistant (“PDA”) for storing contact information, a laptop computer for storing and processing files, a digital camera for obtaining images and a pager for being contacted. Each one of these devices also may access remote information on a private or public network, such as the Internet. However, this system suffers from several disadvantages.

First, typically only a single device originates and can access the Internet at a time.

Second, Internet protocol (“IP”) addresses are held while connected to the Internet. This can be expensive and use scarce IP address resources.

Third, each device requires its own security management, such as a Virtual Private Network (“VPN”) and firewall software component.

Fourth, there is no ability to share, add to or manage the services of the numerous wireless devices. In particular, there is no communication between wireless devices. If a user obtains a wireless device having an additional service, such as extra persistence storage, other wireless devices typically are not capable of using the extra persistence storage.

Bluetooth™ technology (www.bluetooth.com) provides wireless communications between devices. Yet, Bluetooth™ technology also suffers from many disadvantages. Bluetooth™ technology does not allow for a “plug and play” capability at a wireless device application level. In other words, a wireless device cannot merely be turned on and Bluetooth™ technology recognizes it and establishes a communication protocol. If a user desires a wireless device to communicate with a Bluetooth™ technology device, the added wireless device must have software drivers and applications loaded to operate. Otherwise, the Bluetooth™ technology device is not able to communicate with the newly added wireless device. This makes it difficult to add new functionality or types of wireless devices. Bluetooth™ technology does not provide an open environment for software programmers to provide application software components for wireless devices. Further, Bluetooth™ technology does not allow devices to share information and resources at an application level.

Therefore, it is desirable to provide a system of wireless devices which can effectively communicate with each other and access information on the Internet. The system of wireless devices should efficiently use IP resources and security management. The wireless devices should effectively share and manage services and allow for seamless plug and play capability. The system should allow for new functionality and types of wireless devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A system, coupled to a cellular network, provides access to the Internet according to an embodiment of the present invention. The system comprises a wireless gateway device, coupled to the cellular network, having a network manager software component for accessing information from the Internet responsive to a first short-range radio signal. A first wireless device is coupled to the wireless gateway device. The first wireless device provides the first short-range radio signal.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the first wireless device is selected from a group consisting of a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a personal digital assistant, a headset, a printer, a pager, a watch, digital camera and an equivalent thereof.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the wireless gateway device is a cellular telephone using a Global System for Mobile communications (“GSM”) protocol.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the wireless gateway device is a cellular telephone using a Code Division Multiple Access (“CDMA”) protocol.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the wireless gateway device is a cellular telephone using a Time Division Multiple Access (“TDMA”) protocol.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the first wireless device is a thin terminal.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the first wireless device includes a Bluetooth™ processor having a 2.4 GHZ transmitter.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the wireless gateway device includes a Bluetooth™ processor having a 2.4 GHZ transmitter.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the network manager software component includes a plug and play software component for loading and executing software for the first wireless device.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the network manager software component includes a PIN number management software component for obtaining and supplying PIN numbers.

According to embodiment of the present invention, the network manager software component includes a service repository software component for obtaining and providing an availability of a service from the first wireless device.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the first wireless device includes an application software component for providing a service. The network manager software component includes a management software component for accessing the service.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the system further comprises a second wireless device coupled to the wireless gateway device. The second wireless device provides a short-range signal. The first wireless device communicates with the second wireless device through the wireless gateway device.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the system further comprises a second wireless device coupled to the wireless gateway device. The wireless gateway device provides access to the Internet for the first and second wireless devices.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the network manager software component operates with an operating system software component.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the operating system component is a Linux, EPOC or a PocketPC operating system.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the wireless gateway device includes 1) an application software component for providing a service, and 2) an application server software component coupled to the network management software component.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the wireless gateway device further includes a firewall software component.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, the wireless gateway device includes a VPN software component.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a hand-held device for providing a personal area network is provided. The hand-held device comprises a storage device coupled to a processor. The storage device stores a software component for controlling the processor. The processor operates with the component to provide a short-range radio Internet protocol communication between the first hand-held wireless device and a second hand-held wireless device.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a Bluetooth™ transmitter is coupled to the processor.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a GSM transmitter is coupled to the processor.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, a wireless hand-held device accesses a router in a personal network. The wireless hand-held device comprises a storage device coupled to a processor. The storage device stores a software component for controlling the processor. The processor operates with the component to provide a first short-range radio signal to the router for accessing the Internet and a second short-range radio signal to the router for accessing another wireless hand-held device.

According to an embodiment of the present invention, an article of manufacture, including a computer readable medium is provided. The article of manufacture comprises an application software component for providing a service. An application server software component provides the application software component. The article of manufacture also includes an Internet protocol network manager software component and an operating system software component. Also, a short-range radio software component for providing a short-range radio signal and a cellular software component for providing a communications signal to a cellular network is included with the article of manufacture.

Other aspects and advantages of the present invention can be seen upon review of the figures, the detailed description, and the claims that follow.

 

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