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Browser with plug-in for home network control, and applications thereof

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009131D
Publication Date: 2002-Aug-08
Document File: 6 page(s) / 339K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Gaël Macé: INVENTOR [+3]

Abstract

n the home network world, the user is able to interconnect all his home devices to interoperate with all of them. The user is then able to control all his devices from one of them. Even if in the following chapters IEEE 1394 and HAVi stack are used in the different scenarios, other communication/interoperability control protocols such USB, AV/C and UPnP can be also used. Another interest of the networked view is to offer the user the ability to easily upgrade, update and maintain the home network control by downloading new software modules (HTML page, Plug-in, etc.) from a source external to the network. In the present case, the Internet will be used as an example. One of the ideas is to demonstrate how a Web Service (provided by CE manufacturer such as Thomson Multimedia) could take advantage of standard Web technologies to help the end-user to maintain and upgrade his home network, add new control interface for legacy device, etc.

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Browser with plug-in for home network control, and applications thereof

In the home network world, the user is able to interconnect all his home devices to interoperate with all of them. The user is then able to control all his devices from one of them. Even if in the following chapters IEEE 1394 and HAVi stack are used in the different scenarios, other communication/interoperability control protocols such USB, AV/C and UPnP can be also used.

Another interest of the networked view is to offer the user the ability to easily upgrade, update and maintain the home network control by downloading new software modules (HTML page, Plug-in, etc.) from a source external to the network. In the present case, the Internet will be used as an example. One of the ideas is to demonstrate how a Web Service (provided by CE manufacturer such as Thomson Multimedia) could take advantage of standard Web technologies to help the end-user to maintain and upgrade his home network, add new control interface for legacy device, etc.

In addition to the home network concept, one other issue of this paper is to present a well-known user interface to control the Home Network. This is due to the fact that the Web Browsers are today widely used.

A Plug-in is a separate code module that behaves as though it were part of a standard Web Browser and is used to extend Web Browsers with a wide range of interactive and multimedia capabilities, and that handle one or more data (MIME) types.

The Plug-in was designed with these goals in mind:

·                  extend the capabilities of Web Browser by providing inline management for types of data not supported by Web browsers themselves.

·                  provide an API that is as simple and concise as possible, making it relatively easy to leverage existing native code libraries or convert existing applications to take advantage of the web.

Plug-ins can use the Java Runtime Interface (JRI) to access Java and also JavaScript through Java. Plug-ins allow bringing existing code bases or operating system-specific code, and to adapt existing applications for the web.

The two concepts of home network and “Home Network Web browsing” are covered by three technical standards addressed here: HAVi, W3C HTML and the Plug-in Guide (any browser supporting Plug-ins).

Figure 1 gives an example of a home network (interconnected or not) in which at least one device has a standard internet connection and runs a standard Web Browser (any browser supporting Plug-ins) including one or several Plug-ins dedicated for the Home Network management. This combination shall allow:

-       To have access to external service such as technical support for newer version of software module or personalized maintenance service.

-       To provide a well-known environment to the user for controlling and accessing the different devices connected on the Home Network.

Figure 1

The problem to be solved is how to use well-known and standard Web Browsing technologies for controlling the home network and easily bridging be...