Overview Research Publications Funding People Download

Pebbles Project Overview

The Pebbles project is exploring how handheld devices, such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) including devices running PalmOS or Pocket PCs, and smart phones, can be used when they are communicating with a "regular" personal computer (PC), with other handhelds, and with computerized appliances such as telephones, radios, microwave ovens, automobiles, and factory equipment.

Palm logo Microsoft Windows Mobile

Interactive Communication

With today's wireless technologies, such as BlueTooth and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11), connecting handheld computers and conventional computers together are becoming no longer an occasional event for synchronization. Instead, the devices are frequently in close, interactive communication. Many environments, such as offices, meeting rooms and classrooms, already contain computers, and the smart homes of the future will have ubiquitous embedded computation. Household and office appliances will soon have wireless communication abilities. When the user enters one of these environments carrying a handheld or wearable computer, how will that computer interact with the environment?

The Pebbles project is exploring the many ways that small handheld Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) such as PalmOS devices or Pocket PC / Windows CE devices can serve as a useful adjunct to the "fixed" computers in those situations.

Supporting Groups

One set of applications supports meetings where the participants are co-located. All participants' PDAs are in continuous two-way communication with each other, and with the main computer which is often projected on a screen to serve as the focal point of the discussion. For classrooms, we are investigating how the student's hand-helds can enhance testing and notetaking when they are connected to the instructor's PC.

Supporting Individuals

Another set of applications supports a single user using the PDA as an extra input and output device. The PDA can also be a customizable, intelligent "personal universal controller" (PUC) for appliances. For the disabled, we are investigating how PDAs can serve as assistive devices for access to computers and appliances.


Summer, 2009 - We are working on an iPhone version of SlideShow Commander!

Announcing the release of Version 6.1.2 of the Pebbles software. See the change log for the new features! Go to the download page to get it. (You can also still download version 5).

Visit our EdgeWrite website for information on this text entry method.

SlideShow Commander licensed to Installigent for Palm and PocketPC; Also available for sale from Handango.com for Palm and PocketPC.

Pebbles Project   ||  Assistive Technology   ||  Classroom Technology   ||  Universal Control (PUC)   ||  Command Post (CPOF)   ||  Group Technology   ||  Software Applications 
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