IP protection



1 Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?
Nowadays, everybody can observe an exponential growth in smart-phones, GPS systems,  games and social network users. Given the mobile communication network capabilities,  the growth is going to continue. Smart devices are all multi-network enabled to allow the access to remote contents and dozens of applications and protocols have been implemented to allow the mobile access to web services. The Context-aware Browser (CAB) pertain to that world but adds the context information to allow a more effective access to the services. 

The Context Aware Browser empowers a generic mobile device with a browser that can automatically and dynamically load Web pages, services, and applications selected according to the user’s current context. The context is something the user is aware of but it is difficult to use in e.g. refining a web search. If the context (surrounding environment, the user’s personal history, preferences,etc.) is automatically detected, the provision of suitable and useful contents is likely to happen and the user can benefit of them without spending too much time in intricate searches by a resource limited platform as the smart-phone is.



2 What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
Putting together context and multimedia remote contents the filled gap is mainly in usability:  services and information that otherwise are difficult to reach become easily available. In fact, due to the mobile user activities, some factors as the limited time available, missing context information (location, language, etc), screen size/visibility, may prevent the user to look for something that could be useful, if provided. 

In most of the current applications is the user action to determine the access to useful contents.


3 What is the potential for further research?
The result may be considered as a first step in a path leading to the so called “internet of things”:  an open network in which objects can inter-operate depending on the context (events or environment). 

Furthermore, the potential of the result concerns the implementation of new concepts coming from the research that currently have no commercial worthy applications. That academic cases, may take advantage of an existing working platform to be validated spending a smaller effort.

At the same time, the validation of the the result may help to discover situations, coming from the real usage in which current applications are still poor in terms usability.




4 What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)
The project was born in an academic environment and the research was published at that time. Later, when the spin-off of the laboratory was started a prior art research showed some works concerning similar arguments. 

At the moment, the only envisaged method is the copyright.


5 What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
Since a simple web search shows some pertinent issues (e.g. on Google), the first step is to perform a patent search and a detailed analysis, the cost is not considered relevant. 

Copyright protection by the registration of the software on the Public Register for computer programs has a cost starting from 120 €.

A similar level of protection can be pursued by the researcher by sending the software description and the software itself on a CD in a closed envelop by certified mail to himself. The stamp certifies the date of release of the software and can be used against claims of originality or to claim originality.



6 What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
The result needs 24 man month to be finalized to a product and to be deployed. 

Currently, a possible limiting factor is that not all the mobile terminals on the field are implementing sensors capable to gather a complete context situation. The most common case of sensing capability concerns location, in a smaller number of cases sensors as accelerometers, gyroscopes and light sensors are available and usable by a non native application. In the near future, falling prices for accelerometers and gyroscopes will significantly promote the penetration of mobile phones equipped with such sensors.

Some issues about the usability and product/service business model have to be still considered.

Eventually, some synergies are possible thanks to the large diffusion of networks with large bandwidths and mobile phones with increasing multimedia capabilities.





Please put X as appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5
Scientific maturity X
Synergies X
State-of-the-art/innovation X
IPR-potential X



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