WO2006133737A1 - Method for setting up a network of mobile or stationary devices - Google Patents

Method for setting up a network of mobile or stationary devices Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2006133737A1
WO2006133737A1 PCT/EP2005/052801 EP2005052801W WO2006133737A1 WO 2006133737 A1 WO2006133737 A1 WO 2006133737A1 EP 2005052801 W EP2005052801 W EP 2005052801W WO 2006133737 A1 WO2006133737 A1 WO 2006133737A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
device
ci
profiles
data
devices
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PCT/EP2005/052801
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French (fr)
Inventor
Markus Rutz
Hannes Riedl
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Stream Unlimited Engineering Gmbh
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Priority to PCT/EP2005/052801 priority Critical patent/WO2006133737A1/en
Publication of WO2006133737A1 publication Critical patent/WO2006133737A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L29/00Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00
    • H04L29/02Communication control; Communication processing
    • H04L29/06Communication control; Communication processing characterised by a protocol
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L63/00Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security
    • H04L63/10Network architectures or network communication protocols for network security for controlling access to network resources
    • H04L63/102Entity profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • H04L67/1095Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for supporting replication or mirroring of data, e.g. scheduling or transport for data synchronisation between network nodes or user terminals or syncML
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/30Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/30Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving profiles
    • H04L67/303Terminal profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/30Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving profiles
    • H04L67/306User profiles
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/16Service discovery or service management, e.g. service location protocol [SLP] or Web services
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L69/00Application independent communication protocol aspects or techniques in packet data networks
    • H04L69/30Definitions, standards or architectural aspects of layered protocol stacks
    • H04L69/32High level architectural aspects of 7-layer open systems interconnection [OSI] type protocol stacks
    • H04L69/322Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions
    • H04L69/329Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions in the application layer, i.e. layer seven

Abstract

Method for setting up and operating a network of mobile or stationary devices (D1,...Dn) permanently or temporarily connected to each other by wired or wireless communication lines (17), whereby: profiles (P1,...P n) comprising information (CI1,...CIn) for identification of a device (D1,...Dn) and its data contents (C1,...Cn) and information (PII1,...PIIn) for identification of an authorized user; and data contents (C1,...Cn) are stored on each device (D1,...Dn) for each device (D1,...Dn) of the network, and each device (D1,...Dn) is enabled to a) automatically establish a data connection over said communication lines (17) with other devices (D1,...Dn) of the network and to automatically initiate data exchange, b) exchange profiles (P1,...Pn) of any of said devices (D1,...Dn), c) check for match of exchanged profiles (P1,...Pn), and to d) exchange associated data contents (C1,...Cn) upon match of exchanged profiles (P1,...Pn).

Description

METHOD FOR SETTING UP A NETWORK OF MOBILE OR STATIONARY DEVICES

The present invention relates to a method for setting up and operating a network of mobile or stationary devices permanently or temporary connected to each other by wired or wireless communication lines. The devices may be stationary personal computers (PCs) , notebooks, mobile phones, PDAs, or any other electronic device which serves the user's need for information and entertainment. The invention further relates to a mobile or stationary device for use with other mobiie or stationary devices of a network.

Usually, networks of mobile or stationary devices implement a client-host model to manage personal data stored on the mass storage of the host. E.g., a mobile device acts as a client and a stationary PC or a Notebook forms the host . Many mobile devices of today, for example mobile phones, handheld computers and portable music players as well as digital photo cameras, already contain mass storage for personal data, although the mass storage capacity of such devices is still a fraction of that of a conventional Personal Computer (PC) or Notebook: PC and Notebooks usually containt hard disk drives (HDD) as mass storage devices with a capacity that is about 20 times more than that of mobile devices. In the framework of such a network architecture a number of major tasks are assigned to the host, e.g.:

• Backup of personal data for the case of loss or destruction of the mobile device;

• . Synchronisation of personal data between the host and the client;

• More comfortable editing and management of personal data; Data source and data sink due to significantly more storage capacity (e.g. the PC contains the complete audio database and the mobile audio player contains only a part of it; or files downloaded on the limited mass storage of a mobile phone can be saved on the mass storage device of the PC) ;

• Data processing due to higher performance;

The physical connection between the host and the client is established by means of a wired communication line or by a connection implemented by means of wireless technology. The end user usually employs a so-called Personal Information Management (PIM) tool to manage the tasks of the host system and to perform synchronisation and backup of personal data. Due to the nature of the client-host model, each mobile device provides usually its own, dedicated PIM tool.

However, the client-host model puts the host, usually a PC, into the centre of each use case of a mobile device. All personal information is concentrated in the centre. In addition, a number of new developments will evolve in technology in the near future which will challenge the use of traditional client-host network architecture:

Mass storage capacity of mobile devices will increase significantly, leading to storage capacities close to that of PCs and Notebooks (factor 20 of today will decrease to about 5 in the near future) ;

Mobile devices will combine functionality that is separated today;

• Cars will become part of the family of mobile devices, as their information and entertainment system will also be equipped with high capacity mass storage; - Hard disk drive manufacturers forecast that in total around 15 hard disk drives will be present in consumer devices in an average household in 2007;

Wireless technology for data exchange will add more flexibility and use cases;

Consumer electronics devices will merge with (wireless) network interface devices and provide mass storage for audiovisual contents in the living room;

These developments will thrust the centralised PC as a host of personal information into the background. The PC will still serve as a backup of data for personal contents; however, mobile devices will be able to share audio-visual data contents among each other and with consumer electronics and automotive devices.

In this future environment, the existing model of personal information management does not satisfy the end user's needs.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a network of mobile or stationary devices permanently or temporary connected to each other by wired or wireless communication lines that are able to exchange personal data autonomously based on personal identification information and capability information of the devices. Each device shall have equal rights, hence no client-host model shall be applied.

According to the invention, a method for setting up and operating a network of mobile or stationary devices permanently or temporarily connected to each other by wired or wireless communication lines is provided, whereby profiles comprising information for identification of a device and its data contents and information for identification of an authorized user, and data contents are stored on each device for each device of the network, and each device is enabled to automatically establish a data connection over said communication lines with other devices of the network and to automatically initiate data exchange, to exchange profiles of any of said devices, to check for match of exchanged profiles, and to exchange associated data contents upon match of exchanged profiles.

Thus, each time a connection is established, devices exchange their profiles and define which personal data shall be transferred between them. Actual data transfer is initiated immediately afterwards . Each device of the network has equal rights, and no intervention of a host is necessary.

The features of the method according to the invention are implemented in said devices by so-called ,,information management entities". These information management entities are integrated into the devices, e.g., a mobile device, which can handle personal information in any kind of variety. The information management entity further knows the capabilities of the data carrier, e.g., the technical properties of the device. Based on the capabilities, the entity can define which kind of information is useful for the device. In addition to the device properties, the information management entities comprises personal identification information to protect data access on one hand and to define which information is desired by the end user to be available on the device on the other hand. Both the capability information and the personal identification information are summarised as the ,,profile" of the information management entity and its associated device.

Information management entities of different devices will be understood in the following of being capable of communicating between each other by means of any physical network or point- to-point connection.

Said information for identification of an authorized user may comprise information on access authorization and on data contents that shall be subjected to said data exchange. In a narrow context, personal data contents comprise private data like address book data, phone number directories, personal calendar, memos and notes. Also, email messages are classified as personal data. If the context of personal data is widened, all kinds of electronic documents (letters, reports,...) as well as audible and visual contents become part of personal data contents, not to forget digital images.

The device itself may create personal data contents. This can be done by means of a direct source of data (for instance, a digital still picture camera to create digital images, or a phone book in a mobile phone that can be edited by the end user) , or by gathering data from a 'transmission channel (for instance digital music download via a cellular phone network) .

Said information for identification of a device and its data contents may comprise technical parameters of said device relevant to storage and retrieval of data contents.

Said profiles are preferably stored in a profile database which is accessed by a processor of the device. Said data contents may be stored in a mass storage medium which is accessed by a contents analyser for retrieving and creating metadata for audio-visual data contents. Said profile database may be accessed by the contents analyser. The profiles may contain attributes of their current version, the timestamp of the latest change, and the predecessor version. A check for match of exchanged profiles as proposed according to the invention, then, may include comparison of said attributes and replacement of predecessor profile versions by current profile versions in case of mismatch of exchanged profiles.

Said processor, in the following also called "information management entity processor (IMEP)", is preferably connected to a network interface for establishing said connection lines.

According to the invention, a mobile or stationary device for use with other mobile or stationary devices of a network is further provided comprising a network interface for permanently or temporarily establishing wired or wireless communication lines to any other of said other devices of the network, a storage medium for storing

-) profiles comprising information for identification of said device and its data contents and of said other devices of the network and their data contents, and information for identification of an authorized user, and -) data contents, and a processor with computer program logic recorded thereon for enabling said device to a) automatically establish a data connection over said communication lines with said other devices of the network and to automatically initiate data exchange, b) exchange profiles of any of said devices, c) check for match of exchanged profiles, and to d) exchange associated data contents upon match of exchanged profiles.

Said information for identification of an authorized user may comprise information on access authorization and on data contents that shall be subjected to said data exchange. Said information for identification of said device and its data contents and of said other devices of the network and their data contents may comprise technical parameters of the devices relevant to storage and retrieval of data contents.

Said storage medium of the device according to the invention serves to store a profile database for storing said profiles, and said data contents. Furthermore, the profile database may¬ be connected to said processor, and the storage medium may be connected to a contents analyser for creating metadata for audio-visual data contents. The profile database can be connected to the contents analyser.

Said profiles of the device according to the invention may contain attributes of their current version, the timestamp of the latest change, and the predecessor version.

The present invention provides several advantages. E.g., the invention enables the end user to autonomously synchronize personal data, especially audio-video contents between mass storage devices with a minimum effort of interaction. The system according to the invention further autonomously transfers data contents between devices and synchronises personal data based on personal profiles. Thus, the invention makes it possible to decentralise the host of personal information management systems. The invention will also support integration of functionality in future (multimedia) devices and simplify the use cases for the end users. Furthermore, the invention is not limited to a specific network or point-to-point technology, nor limited in the type of personal data.

The invention shall be described in more detail by referring to the enclosed figures: Fig. 1 shows a schematic illustration of the first time set-up of a device in order to become part of a network according to the invention .

Fig. 2 shows a schematic illustration for the case of data contents transfer between two devices being part of a network according to the invention.

Fig. 3 shows a flow chart for the transfer of data contents.

Fig. 4 shows a flow chart for profile exchange and synchronisation .

Fig. 5 shows a schematic illustration of the node hierarchy of profiles in a network according to the invention.

An exemplary device Di for employing the present invention is illustrated in Fig. 1. Device Di may be a mobile phone, a handheld computer, a portable music player, a digital photo camera, a notebook, a personal digital assistant (PDA) , or any- other electronic device which serves the user's need for information and entertainment. Device Di may also be an electronic entity integrated in, e.g., a car or a household appliance. Of course, device Di may also be a personal computer (PC) which may be utilized in connection with state of the art host-client networks such as the Internet or any other collection of interconnected public or private computers that are linked together with routers by a set of standard protocols to form a distributed network, or which may be utilized as a stand-alone database for personal data contents that may have been derived from the Internet and/or other sources . Device Di contains a device infrastructure 7 which comprises a network interface 4 and a storage medium 2. Compact discs (CDs) , digital versatile discs (DVDs) , a hard drive, or like devices may be used as storage medium 2. Storage medium 2 serves not only to store data content Ci of device Di, but also data contents C± (i=2,...n, with ,,n" being the number of devices Di being part of the newtork) of other devices D1 (i=2,...n) forming part of the network according to the invention. Network interface 4 is utilized by device Di to communicate with the other devices D1 (i=2,...n) of the network over communication lines 17.

The device Di further integrates an information management entity (IME) 1 on top of its device infrastructure 7 which basically implements the features of the invention. The information management entity 1 comprises a profile database (PD) 3, a information management entity processor (IMEP) 5 and, optionally, a contents analyzer (CA) 6. Profile database 3 may be physically stored on storage medium 2, however, in Fig. 1 it is illustrated as separate entity. Profile database 3 not only stores profile Pi of device Di, but also the profiles P± (i=2,...n) of all other devices D1 (i=2...n) forming part of the network according to the invention. A certain profile P± comprises information CI± for identification of device D1 and its data contents Ci, and information PIIi for identification of an authorized user. Therefore, profile database 3 stores profiles Pi, ...Pn comprising information CIi, ...CIn for identification of device Di and its data contents Ci and of other devices D1 (i=2, ...n) of the network and their data contents Ci (i=2,...n), and information PIIi, • • -PIIn for identification of an authorized user. In Fig. 1 this is abbreviated by "CI" and "PII", respectively. Information CIi for identification of device Di is provided to the profile database 3 over data line 10, and information PII1 for identification of an authorized user is provided to the profile database 3 over data line 11.

The profile database 3 is connected to the information management entity processor 5 over data line 12, the information management entity processor 5 is connected to the contents analyzer 6 over data line 13, and the contents analyzer 6, in turn, to the profile database 3 over data line 14. The data contents C± are provided to the contents analyzer 6 over data line 15, alternatively, they may also be accessed directly by the information management entity processor 5. Information management entity processor 5 is further connected to the network interface 4 over data line 16.

In order to integrate device Di into the network according to the invention, a first time set-up of device Di will be necessary. The user is asked to enter personal identification information PIIχ via an appropriate user interface. The personal identification information PIIi is stored in the profile database (PD) 3 of the information management entity 1. Besides access information the personal identification information PIIi also defines which kind of personal data the user wants to store on the device Di and which personal data the user wants to share with other devices O± (i=2, ...n) . The user may, for instance, configure device Di to store his favourite music. In this case, the information management entity 1 will take care that all audio content that meets this criteria is collected from other devices Di (i=2, ...n) . Or the user may specify which contents he likes to have copied to the car.

There may also be devices Di that only collect and store profiles, so-called profile managers (e.g. a web-based profile management service) . The capability information CIi defines technical parameters of the device Di that are needed by the information management entity 1 to create a list of properties. This includes, for instance, the capacity of the storage medium 2, the presence of audio-visual playback or recording means, ect. Also the capability information CIx is stored in the profile database 3.

The information management entity processor 5 reads the profile database 3 and adds information about personal data that is available on this information management entity 1 and which personal data is candidate to be transferred to other information management entities 1 of other devices Di (i=2,...n). To do so, the information management entity 1 uses the device infrastructure 7 to gather all necessary information.

The contents analyser 6 supports the information management entity processor 5 by retrieving and/or creating metadata for audiovisual contents. The contents analyser 6 may use adaptive algorithms to analyse audio and video contents to create metadata autonomously. E.g., there are algorithms available to analyse audio streams to determine the genre of the music. Similar but more complex algorithms can be used to analyse visual contents of a video file in order to classify its genre .

As aforementioned, the profile Pi consists of two parts: the personal identification information PIIi and the capability information CIi. Personal identification information PIIi is dynamic by nature and can only be defined by the end user. However, even capability information CIi can be considered to be dynamic, e.g., device Di may be extended in functionality or capabilities by means of software updates (e.g., a portable music device can be updated with a number of audio coders/decoders to process different audio formats) . Therefore, profiles Pi are considered as dynamic entities in the frame of the present invention.

Initially, the personal identification information PIIi is absent. When the end user starts operating a device Di that incorporates the invention, a set—up procedure is executed. At this point, capability information CIi of the device Di is known. The set-up procedure usually comprises the following steps :

1. User identification creation:

A new personal identification information set PIIi is created that identifies the new user. Identification can be done by any method that differentiates users, like username/password pairs, or identification items like smart cards, memory sticks and so forth.

2. Authorisation (e.g., link user identification with digital rights management)

Protection of data contents Ci is becoming a key technology for audio/visual contents distribution. Purchased data contents Ci are usually linked to personal identification information PIIi. If the device Di supports digital rights management handling, authorisation of a user can be established in the user set-up procedure.

3. User preferences, based on available capabilities

In this step, the user specifies his interests. The scope of the preferences may be any variation of properties. If, for instance, the device Di is able to playback audio files, the user may be able to specify genres that he prefers to listen to. More abstract, the user may specify to wish to listen to his favourites, or always to keep the latest purchased data contents Ci on the device Di. In case of a video playback device, the preferences may specify a number of favourite series that the user wants to keep with him.

4. Link user identification PIIi with capability information CIχ (multi-user environments)

More than one end user may use, e.g., a stationary device Di like a PC or consumer electronics equipment. Therefore, the information management entity 1 may contain a number of personal identification information PII sets, if the device infrastructure 7 supports multiple users.

5. Store entry in profile database 3

The personal identification information PIIi is provided with a version string and a timestamp and stored in the profile database 3 of the information management entity 1.

After first time set-up, device Di is ready for use as part of the network according to the invention. In particular, device Di may communicate with other devices Di (i=2, ...n) of the network and to exchange profiles Pi and data contents Ci.

With reference to Fig. 2 the use case of an audio data contents transfer shall be described. Fig. 2 schematically illustrates a device Di, e.g., a PC, and a device D2, e.g., a car. Both devices Di and D2 comprise an information management entity 1. When the car (device D2 in Fig. 2) comes close to the wireless network of a PC, the device infrastructure 7 of the car informs the information management entity 1 of the car that a network is available . The information management entity 1 of the PC and information management entity 1 of the car start to establish connection over communication line 17. When authentication information with respect to the personal identification information PIIi of device Di (the PC) and personal identification information PII2 of device D2 (the car) match, the information management entity processor 5 in the car requests for synchronisation of profiles P± (i=l, ...n) of the devices D± associated with the network.

In the course of profile synchronisation, the profile Pi indicates that audio content is desired to be transferred from the PC to the car, based on personal preferences defined in the profile Pi of the car. The information management entity- processor 5 in the car first requests the content directory from the PC and then checks the capabilities information CI2 of the car in order to select which audio content is playable in the car (e.g. due to format limitations or digital rights management, it may be impossible to play all audio contents) . The negotiated audio content is then transferred from the PC to the car.

The process of interaction between information management entity 1 of the PC and information management entity 1 of the car is also illustrated in Fig. 3 by means of a flow, chart. According to step a) of the method according to the invention, devices Di (the PC) and device D2 (the car) permanently or temporarily search for other devices O± that may enter the range of possible data exchange. As soon as a device D1 (D2 in Fig. 3) enters the range of possible data exchanges, a data connection is automatically established over communication lines 17 between both devices Di and D2. Subsequently, data exchange is automatically initiated.

According to step b) of the method according to the invention, the car requests authentification of the PC. Since the car "reached" the PC first it acts as initiator in the given example. Subsequently, the exchange of profiles Pi, ...Pn of any of the devices Di, ...Dn associated with the network is initiated. According to step c) of the method according to the invention, the match of exchanged profiles Pi, ...Pn is checked by synchronisation of the profiles Pi, ...Pn. Fig. 3 also indicates the possibility to transfer contents directory in IME format. This means that the directory als contains metadata information.

After application of profiles Pi, ...Pn and selection of data contents Ci to be transferred, step d) of the method according to the invention is initiated, i.e, the exchange of data content C± upon match of associated profile P±. After completed transfer of data content, e.g., of data content Ci from the PC to the car, the connection is closed and both devices Di and D2 scan again for other devices Di that may enter the range of possible data transfer.

Of course, it is also possible that data contents Ci shall be transferred from the car to the PC, even if the PC may not be the "final" destination of these data contents Ci. For instance, a user may have added an entry into his personal address book on his device D3, e.g., a notebook, which is part of the network according to the invention. This additional entry is stored as altered data content C3. The altered profile P3 of the notebaook governs that the additional entry shall be transferred to the PC, the mobile phone and the user's PDA. If notebook D3 reaches the car's range of data transfer first, it transfers the altered data content C3 to the car' s information management entity 1, although the car has not been specified as recipient for the altered data content C3. However, as soon as the car reaches the range of data exchange with, e.g., the PC, it transfers the altered data contents C3 to the PC. The PC also receives the altered profile P3 and, thus, is further instructed to transfer the altered data contents C3 also to a specific mobile phone and a specific PDA. As soon as, e.g., the PDA enters the PC's range of possible data transfer, the altered profile P3 and data content C3 are transmitted to the PDA which, thus, also receives the instruction to transfer the altered data contents C3 also to a specific mobile phone. If the PDA is the first device which succeeds to set up a data connection with the mobile phone since the altered data content C3 had been generated, it transfers the altered data contents C3 to the mobile phone, after the latter has been identified as being properly authorized by comparison of the associated personal identification information PII. In that example, the car actes as a ,,bridge" for the altered data contents C3 as well as for the altered profile P3.

Furthermore, profiles Pi maintain attributes of their current version, the timestamp of the latest change, and the predecessor version. During synchronisation of profiles Pi, these attributes are checked for consistency as indicated in Fig. 4. If, for instance, device D2 (in Fig. 4 indicated as ,,device B") contains a newer version of profile Pi (in Fig. 4 indicated as ,,profile A") of device Di, the mutual profile attributes are checked. In case of a conflict, it is either possible to merge the profiles Pi automatically, if changes to attributes are independent and can be applied together without any ambiguity. In that case, a new version of profile Pi of device Di is created and, subsequently, distributed to device D2. On the other hand, if changes to profiles Pi cannot be solved automatically, user interaction is requested in order to store an adapted profile Pi of device Dif which, again, is distributed to device D2.

Fig. 5 illustrates the resulting network structure of the present invention. The profile database 3 of the information management entity 1 is also able to store information about other information management entities 1 that are available in the network. By means of that, the profile database 3 on one information management entity 1 may contain all profiles Pj of all devices Di that are assigned to a specific network. Profiles Pj distribute through the network of devices Di and update dynamically. A mechanism is necessary that takes care of version handling for profiles P,. In Fig. 5 different versions are illustrated as, e.g., ,,Pl-1.4" for ,,version 1.4 of profile 1". Once all profiles Pj are distributed over all information management entities 1 of a network, the node hierarchy of a network is known to all information management entities 1.

As already mentioned this also allows for information management entities 1 to act as a ,,bridge" for both data contents Ci as well as for profiles Pj themselves.

As the node hierarchy of the network is distributed among the information management entities 1, each information management entity 1 knows possible content transfer paths. This knowledge can be used in order to distribute contents via a number of nodes instead of limiting the transfers to point-to-point connections .

For instance, when the end user has configured the PC in the example of Fig. 2 to send the personal address book to, e.g., a mobile phone, the car may act as bridge storage for the address book. The next time, when the mobile phone is connected to the access point in the car (e.g. via a wired connection), the address book is transferred from car's storage medium 2 to the one of the phone without the need of connecting the phone to the PC. Thus, the invention exhibits several advantages over known network architectures.

-) It enables the end user ' to autonomously synchronize personal data content Ci, especially audio-video contents between storage media 2 with a minimum effort of interaction.

-) It autonomously transfers data contents C± between devices

Di and synchronises personal data based on personal profiles

Pi.

-) The invention makes it possible to decentralise the host of personal information management systems.

-) The invention will support integration of functionality in future (multimedia) devices Di and simplify the use cases for the end users .

-) The invention is not limited to a specific network or point-to-point technology, nor limited in the type of personal data.

Claims

Claims :
1. Method for setting up and operating a network of mobile or stationary devices (Dj., ...Dn) permanently or temporarily connected to each other by wired or wireless communication lines (17) , whereby
-) profiles (Pi, ...Pn) comprising information (CIi, ...CIn) for identification of a device (Di, ...Dn) and its data contents (Ci, ...Cn) and information (PIIi, ...PIIn) for identification of an authorized user, and
-) data contents (Ci,... Cn) are stored on each device (Di, ...Dn) for each device (Di, ...Dn) of the network, and each device (Di, ...Dn) is enabled to a) automatically establish a data connection over said communication lines (17) with other devices (Di, ...Dn) of the network and to automatically initiate data exchange, b) exchange profiles (Pi, ...Pn) of any of said devices (D1, ...Dn) , c) check for match of exchanged profiles (Pi, ...Pn) , and to d) exchange associated data contents (Ci, ...Cn) upon match of exchanged profiles (Pi, ...Pn) .
2. Method of claim 1, wherein said information
(PIIi, • • -PIIn) for identification of an authorized user comprises information on access authorization and on data contents (Ci,...Cn) that shall be subjected to said data exchange .
3. Method of claim 1, wherein said information (CIi,... CIn) for identification of a device (Dx, ...Dn) and its data contents (Ci,... Cn) comprises technical parameters of said device (D1, ...Dn) relevant to storage and retrieval of data contents (Ci, ...Cn) .
4. Method of claim 1, wherein said profiles (Pi,...Pn) are stored in a profile database (3) which is accessed by a processor (5) of said devices (Di, ...Dn) .
5. Method of claim 4, wherein said data contents (Ci, ...Cn) are stored in a storage medium (2) which is accessed by a contents analyser (6) for retrieving and creating metadata for audio-visual data contents (Ci, ...Cn).
6. Method of claim 5, wherein said profile database (3) is accessed by said contents analyser (6) .
7. Method of claim 4, wherein said processor (5) is connected to a network interface (4) for establishing said connection lines (17) .
8. Method of claim 1, wherein said profiles (Pi, ...Pn) contain attributes of their current version, the timestamp of the latest change, and the predecessor version.
9. Method of claim 8, wherein said check for match of exchanged profiles (Pi, ...Pn) in step c) includes comparison of said attributes and replacement of said predecessor profile versions by said current profile versions in case of mismatch of said exchanged profiles
(P1, ...Pn) .
10. A mobile or stationary device (D1) for use with other mobile or stationary devices (Di, i=2...n) of a network comprising a network interface (4) for permanently or temporarily establishing wired or wireless communication lines (17) to any other of said other devices (Di, i=2...n) of the network, a storage medium (2) for storing
-) profiles (Pi, ...Pn) comprising information
(CIi, ...CIn) for identification of said device (Di) and its data contents (C1) and of said other devices (Di, i=2...n) of the network and their data contents (Ci, i=2...n), and information (PIIi, ...PIIn) for identification of an authorized user, and
-) data contents (Ci,... Cn) and a processor (5) with computer program logic recorded thereon for enabling said device (Di) to a) automatically establish a data connection over said communication lines (17) with said other devices (D±, i=2...n) of the network and to automatically initiate data exchange, b) exchange profiles (Pi, ...Pn) of any of said devices (Di, ...Dn) , c) check for match of exchanged profiles (Pi, ...Pn) , and to d) exchange associated data contents (Ci, ...Cn) upon match of exchanged profiles (Pi, ...Pn) .
11. The device of claim 10, wherein said information (PIIi, • • .PIIn) for identification of an authorized user comprises information on access authorization and on data contents (Ci,... Cn) that shall be subjected to said data exchange .
12. The device of claim 10, wherein said information (CIi, ...CIn) f°r identification of said device (Di) and its data contents (Ci) and of said other devices (Di, i=2...n) of the network and their data contents (Ci, i=2...n) comprises technical parameters of said devices (D1, ...Dn) relevant to storage and retrieval of data contents (Ci, ...Cn) .
13. The device of claim 10, wherein said storage medium (2) comprises a profile database (3) for storing said profiles (Pi, ...Pn) , and said data contents (Ci, ...Cn) .
14. The device of claim 13, wherein said profile database (3) is connected to said processor (5) , and said storage medium (2) is connected to a contents analyser (6) for retrieving and creating metadata for audio-visual data contents (Ci, ...Cn) .
15. The device of claim 14, wherein said profile database (3) is connected with said contents analyser (6) .
16. The device of claim 10, wherein said profiles (Pi, ...Pn) contain attributes of their current version, the timestamp of the latest change, and the predecessor version .
PCT/EP2005/052801 2005-06-16 2005-06-16 Method for setting up a network of mobile or stationary devices WO2006133737A1 (en)

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