pen is an experiment into low powered, low range ubiquitous wireless networking. We imagine pen as offering a first-level communications channel, available to even the simplest sensing and telemetry devices, within the Active Office.
pen concurs with many of the ideas of ubiquitous computing. We expect the environment to be littered with a multitude of different types of computing devices - static, mobile and embedded, used for sensing, communications and control. An office which is aware of, and adaptive to, changes within it requires a collaboration and communication between these different devices. The primary requirement for this to be possible is a network.
pen makes it possible for us to experiment with different aspects of what the requirements of such a network will be. These range from systems design - low powered, low rate radio telemetry, through to protocols for ad-hoc networking and higher level resource description mechanisms.
The first implementation of a pen architecture operates at 418MHz where we have transceivers providing us with 40kHz of bandwidth. We have developed media access and networking protocols above this, and conducted experiments putting the system to use in various embedded control and telemetry applications.