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The miml Micro Interface Message Layer – a link between smart displays and simple remote automation Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237615D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-27
Document File: 12 page(s) / 89K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database

Related People

Damian Murphy: INVENTOR


Using a recursive text based message system of the form {type|name|attribute[|...]}, the document describes how simple remote automation may create and manage information and control screens on common hand held display devices without either end needing any prior knowledge of the others capabilities. The system builds on emerging connection technology to allow a single display program to link to, display information from and control a remote device. The device retains full control of the exchange and so cannot be influenced beyond its exposed interface.

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Micro Interface Message Layer

 Copyright © 2014 Damian Francis Murphy all rights reserved.


  This document describes a simple, text based messaging system that allows control screens to be created by simple microprocessors without the programmer having to write any graphics code. The principle users of this are hobby constructors and education/training services though it can be applied to general small scale automation. It describes a recursive text based message system which allows data sets to be exchanged by simple devices over a range of serial connections using the Arduino hobby computer as a remote example and the Raspberry Pi, on which it was first developed, as the example screen device.

    Connecting a screen interface to a small device is always a problem. It's expensive and for most small automation devices, it's as complicated as the rest of the system. With the arrival of hand held display devices and cheap interconnections (Bluetooth, WiFi), the opportunity arises to detach the display functions from the automation and allow a remote control to be built which uses the hardware the user already has to perform the expensive part of the task and allows the remote device to remain relatively cheap.

    This is all achievable now but depends on each end being specially built to execute the interface, which is not very useful when there are many remote devices which each have a different function set as this would require multiple interfaces. As small automation systems are developed, additional features are added and existing features altered. The display side would need a new version. Which version will the users have and maybe they have old and new devices. It all gets complicated and messy very quickly.

    There needed to be a generic form of communication between devices such that the remote automation device has complete control of its own actions and the display device takes a more passive part in the exchange, providing the display and interaction abilities without needing any decision process itself. The task needs to be divided into the process logic on the remote device and the connection/interaction steps done by the display device. If the remote device follows strict command steps, the more intelligent display end can manage more complicated tasks in making and maintaining a connection leaving the remote end relatively simple.

    To achieve this, we need a common message format which allows the definition of fields which the user can interact with, along with layout clues so that the display can present the information in a meaningful form to the user. Popular hand held display devices have various screen sizes and layouts, so the remote should not need any idea about the display properties in the same way the display has no pre-knowledge of the device it is connected to.

 In addition to the layout and fields, there needs to be some connection syntax. With Bluetooth and Wi...