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COMPATIBILITY: Ikanos Consulting's Go Gadgets brings Vista SideShow to Windows Mobile
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 28.12.07 - 12:09:22 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 17690x
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Late last month, I wrote about the possibility that Microsoft's Windows Vista SideShow might be supported soon on Windows Mobile devices as well and at that time, Matt from Ikanos Consulting shared with us the information, that Ikanos Consulting is currently working on a framework which enables SideShow on Windows Mobile devices as well as support for other devices is planned.
Now you can register for another Beta of Ikanos Connectivity Framework to test it out on your device as well, as well as you can use it to develop some cool new SideShow gadgets (if you are a developer) to enhance the gallery of available SideShow gadgets.

If you have no idea yet what SideShow is, it's a technology which is part of Windows Vista (go to Start -> Control Panel -> Classic View -> Windows SideShow) for distributing interactive content to small-screen connected devices. The content is created and managed by small software applications called SideShow gadgets.

Ikanos Consulting's Go Gadgets is a client-server framework for Vista which allows various existing devices to appear on Vista as SideShow devices. Whereas normally a device maker needs to build SideShow capabilities into a custom device and write custom drivers, Go Gadgets allows SideShow capabilities to be retro-fitted to existing devices. This is an important and critical business benefit of Go Gadgets. All that is requires is an installation package on Windows Vista.

Matthew Calamatta from Ikanos Consulting says: "There is a chicken-and-egg problem with SideShow devices, because device makers can see that only a handful of software gadgets have been written, whereas ISVs can see there is little incentive to write these gadgets because there are so few devices out there. Go Gadgets can kick-start things by suddenly enabling millions of existing devices (that are in daily use) and turning them into SideShow devices."

Go Gadgets, as well as exposing new devices to the built-in SideShow framework on Vista, is also a multi-transport framework which allows connected devices to switch seamlessly between transports. For example, a device could be connected over GPRS and doing a manual sync with the Go Gadgets server on the Vista machine; once the device enters Bluetooth or Wi-Fi range it will switch automatically to this higher-bandwidth transport and enable more interactive, 'live' synchronization.

I've just had the chance to play with the latest Beta and I'm quite impressed how powerful Ikanos Consulting's Go Gadgets framework is. It's just one file you have to install on your PC (the Go Gadgets server) which also installs the required client on your Windows Mobile device. Right after that, you can pair your Windows Mobile device with your PC, select which gadgets should be used and start using Windows SideShow on your device. Pretty cool and I can see dozens of useful use cases.
I will soon follow-up with a walkthrough but in the meantime you can watch Ikano's Consulting's video here to get a better understanding what Windows Vista SideShow on Windows Mobile is about.

Cheers ~ Arne

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