Patent for Sale:

Communication System for Mobile Terminals with Multichannel Wireless Access    

Transparent migration of application sessions ensuring continuity of transmitted data when switching between different wireless connection types

Overview

Through the use of the patented technique, an application can maintain an opened session and integrity of the data transmitted with a remote server or any kind of remote device when moving and switching connections between different wireless networks.

When a device changes network connectivity, all the applications connected to a remote party with a bidirectional stream oriented connection see their connections broken and require a lengthy process involving reconnection and synchronization of the former connection status. Through the use of the invented technique, an application can speed up the reconnection and resynchronization process, effectively compressing the resynchronization to only an optional resend of the last packet.
The connection break can happen in multiple situations, when a terminal changes the kind of underlying transport level technology (for example switching from 3G to WiFi), or when moving between different access point of the same technology (e.g. different WiFi access points) or even the same access point when the wireless connection is unstable or noisy, or, with the help of a specialized access point, to allow switching between a near field connection to a wide-area-network connection (e.g. Bluetooth to WiFi).

The main benefit of the invention is that it can be applied at the application level, and does not require support or special equipment exposed by the transport layer, thus leveraging existing network infrastructure and not requiring the need to collaborate with mobile device producers or telco operators.

The invention allows a connection to roam between different wireless networks, shortening reconnections and resynchronization, exposing to applications a bidirectional, stream-oriented connection, over which features such as unsolicited push of data from the server or remote party to a device can be achieved. On the negative side, the technique requires that both the application on the device and the server/receiving party implements the protocol described in the technique. Though on the client the additional software may be small in size and overhead, the receiving side, usually a server, needs a more complex logic to handle session handover logic.

Primary Application of the Technology

Application development, mobile or nomadic terminals, appliance and applications.

The Problem Solved by the Technology

The technology allows application and system to move freely terminals around, allowing physical connections to be broken and interrupted by a change of connection type (for example switching from 3G connections to WiFi) either caused by an action taken by the user on the terminal, or taken by the operating system on the terminal (for example the detection of a lower cost/higher bandwidth network), without disrupting the connection used by the applications implementing this technique.

These applications, when implementing the technique, can experience only a brief delay in send/receiving packets over the connection toward a remote server (also implementing the technique). Through the handover/reconnection technique, the messages sent by the client and the server are still delivered in the correct order and without losses, even when the client switches connection type or network address (for example in a WiFi network when switching access point). By using the technique, an application on-board a device can still receive push messages when roaming through different wireless networks or when such network is shaky

How the Technology Solves the Problem

The invention relates to a communication system in which mobile devices, access points and servers communicate with each other. Specifically, mobile devices connect logically between each other using wireless technology and connect through a server either directly or through an access point.

Mobile devices create a virtual communication channel with the server optionally using an access point as a relay or adaptor between one wireless network protocol and another. Over the virtual communication, the device (or the user represented by the device) is recognized via an unique identification (UID), while a session identification (SID) is determined by a client/server handshake and identifies the virtual communication channel and it is used to perform the migration. The UID remains unchanged through time and does not depends on the network or physical address of the device being used. The SID is instead associated with each virtual channel and helps server and the optional access points to re-establish the connection when the terminal moves between networks.

The patented technique allows an application to achieve transparent session handovers using consumer-grade equipment and technologies, doesn’t require specialized hardware, safe for those cases in which an access point is required to translate and adapt two different wireless network protocols.

The technology assures also integrity and ordered delivery of the messages exchanged between the logically connected parties. The established virtual channel is a fully bidirectional channel, that assures ordered delivery of packets/messages sent by both parties. Compared to other techniques for example those that involve continuous polling, the patent offers also lower latencies for messages/packet sent by both parties, exposing a “near-real-time” connection.

Competitive Advantage

The technique can be applied at the application level, doesn’t require specialized hardware nor the availability of special protocols, it works with consumer hardware using standard implementation of communication protocols and doesn’t require special features on the terminal.

The technique doesn’t require specialized network layer configurations such as Network Address Translations, and can work even when the moving terminal is in a network with private addressing schemes.

Provided that the technique can be implemented meeting memory and processing constraints, it can be used also in embedded systems and not only in applications (i.e. Apps) on mobile terminals (i.e. smartphones, cellular phones). It is not limited by the wireless protocols described in the invention but can be extended to any kind of wireless protocol, as long as the underlying transport and physical protocol do not hinder or limit (for example by introducing long delays) the creation or simulation of a bidirectional communication channel.

Over such communication channel, the technique allows for a full-duplex protocol, exposing push capabilities on both sides of the connection, and allowing it to work even in heterogeneous or unstable wireless networks. Application implementing this technique, executing onto a device that exposes network roaming or unstable wireless connections, may still benefit from faster reconnections and benefit from push capabilities even in such network condition.

The seller may consider selling these patents individually.