Mobile CAD and Mobile IP
Mobility was at its early stage by the end of 1990s and early 2000. In fact, WiFI was at its infancy when Dr. Hernandez joined Microsoft in 2001. The thought of streaming in your vehicle was simply sci-fi, and nobody was able to predict having a movie streamed to your family and kids on a vehicle during a long trip. Today, watching an HD movie in a road trip and using a car’s hotpot or your tablet’s 4G or 5G are as common as electricity.
In late 1999 and early 2000, the question that posed itself to researchers was:
”Is it at all possible to keep an internet connection in a fast moving environment such as a car or train moving at high speed, while maintaining 1Mbps or even 10Mbps transmission speed?”
Back in 1999, the mobile technology available with “fast” internet was WiFi. Some initial developments were made using “Packet Data” services such as Motorola iDEN and Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) which was heavily invested in by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen as well as WorldCom Inc. However, the gap between reality and fiction was substantial. In general, it was not possible to watch a YouTube Video in a speeding bullet train back or even maintain a simple email session involving multimedia content.
Our research began at the University of Florida in a class called “Mobile Computing” designed and taught by Dr. Helal (back then an Associate Professor at the Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering department), and a small simulator that was created using C/C++. This class was a new format, where every student was given an IBM ThinkPad laptop connected to a WiFi network through a WiFi PC-Card (when the debate was FHSS an DSSS was heating up as a VHS-Betamax situation). The class was recognized by local and national media as the first wireless classroom and received donations from IBM, WaveLAN, Cisco, and other sponsors. The class allowed all students to think forward to the future in the mold of what seemed impossible at the time. The class was the first in its kind to design mobile apps for mobile phones in North America by receiving the first Java Micro-Ediiton (J2ME) phone from Motorola, the i85, well before it entered the US market. All this shaped a mindset for all students about what is expected of them. Dr. Hernandez rose to the occasion and met the expectation.
However, at that time NS-2 was unable to provide reliable and repeatable mobile simulations that would enable us to answer the important question on hand. In response, RAMON was created as part of Dr. Edwin Hernandez dissertation at that time. RAMON was a hardware tool that consisted of using a network emulator, NIST while simulating the wireless physical layer of propagation, simulated with a simple Path Loss model (PL) which matched a particular equation for the frequency in use, in the case of RAMON, a 2.4GHz prototype that operated using Cisco Routers, software-driven hardware attenuators, and a controller to change all simulation parameters. The assumption was that an All-IP network was going to be created one day and use the simulator for voice and data.
A photo of the RAMON prototype is shown below followed by the famous RAMON paper.
The Research Started and I dwelled into solution
The research in this field was basically unknown, ns-2 was failing to provide a clear answer to whether path loss models, propagation, and other parameters were able to handle speed. In the simulation RF propagation models were oversimplified and was not capable of predicting reality. Hence, a hybrid approach with Emulation and Simulation had to be created. Moreover, the state of the art at the time NS-2 was unable to meet the bar for handover simulation and proper study of mobility.
As part of the research, RAMON was created and by using RAMON a new mobility protocol was tested and created. We ordered attenuators, RF shield boxes, antennas, CISCO access points, ethernet switches, and all the components to build a prototype and experiment with it. And started experimenting, from the attenuation controllers, to RF leakage, to managing attenuation at different speeds, code was written and a simulator was created.
The Dissertation: The Adaptive Networking Protocol
RAMON became a stable and reliable system to test and create mobile protocols, and that is how the “Predictive Mobile IP” protocol was built and created using Mobile IP. In this particular case, Dynamics Mobile IP was used as a baseline. This protocol uses entities in the network to enable the creation of tunnels that are predicted based upon your location in the wireless infrastructure.
These are the slides in my dissertation defense:
Using Neural Networks and Machine Learning for Adaptive Networking in Wireless in the ‘508 and ‘417 Patents
The patent uses Kalman Filters to predict users state, however we also disclose Neural Networks and other AI methods in the patent.
RAMON ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY
For years RAMON kept being used by researchers at the University of Florida. Around 2008, Dr. Edwin was working for Motorola Mobility as a Principal Staff Engineer and decided to bring back RAMON to a startup company. Byf2009, Dr. Edwin signed a licensing agreement with the University of Florida under a company called “RAPID MOBILE” for his own patents.
In 2010, Dr. Hernandez confronted his employer, Motorola, after seeing a demonstration of an emulator device, that later was shown thru claim charts, implemented the ‘330 patent.
Despite being a high-performing employee, Motorola terminated Dr. Hernandez contract abruptly. Day 1 of his hiring Dr. Edwin excluded his patent(s) and inventions from his employment agreement. Dr. Edwin hired counsel to handle this employment and patent litigation dispute. The courts in the state of florida sided with Motorola and Dr. Hernandez was confronted to pay all attorneys fees and costs.
Finally, the case settle on appeal.
Therefore, if you are an employee with patents in the state of Florida, be extremely careful what you sign and hire a reputable attorney to review what you are agreeing to.
As a consequence of that employment lawsuit filed against Motorola and continued, Dr. Hernandez had to work for his own company EGLA CORP and despite many failures, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Motorola that later became Google. The case also settled and the matter got resolved.
EGLA CORP AND MOBILITY WORKX
As part of the termination of all litigation matters between myself, Motorola & Google, and the University of Florida Research Foundation, all the patents were assigned to the inventors Dr. Helal and myself, hence the creation of HERNANDEZ & HELAL, LLC to later be named MOBILITY WORKX, LLC. EGLA CORP made its own prototype using software defined radios (SDR) and other components of the MobileCAD platform that included LTE for emulation.
The Mobility Workx portfolio has generated several licenses with major phone manufacturers and carriers, This process has been quite bumpy and full of disappointments, and could be the source of a novel or even a movie. In the near future, these events will turn into a book, but all the details are known but just a few people.
Finally, in 2021, Mobility Workx reached a licensing agreement with Verizon Wireless which is the only one that we publicly acknowledge.
Where are DR. EDWIN and DR. HELAL today?
Dr. Edwin and Dr. Helal are operators of Mobility Workx, LLC. Professionally, Dr. Helal has continued teaching at the University of Florida, Lacanster University and many other prestigious schools around the world, and has acted as an Expert Witness for patent cases. Dr. Hernandez started EGLA CORP and the EGLAVATOR a technology incubator and accelerator with many startups in AI, MedTECH, Wireless, Marine, Cybersecurity, and Robotics. Dr. Edwin also acts as an expert witness for many cases.
Dr. Helal also licensed his IOT patent portfolio to BOSCH and SAMSUNG, and recently has been working on Digital Health, Health AI, and other amazing technologies. Dr. Hernandez has a media streaming portfolio that is being reviewed by major TV, Cable TV and Broadcasting players, as well as another portfolio with Augmented Reality and IOT in the medical technology space that has also sparked interest among investors in South Florida.
ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATED WITH UNIFIED PATENTS MAKE A CURIOUS REQUEST TO THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Unified Patents (UP) filed an IPR and was successful in invalidating some of the claims in the ‘417 Patent, however the surviving claims are strong and are being used by the wireless industry.
In 2020 a firm potentially associated with Unified Patents work filed a very curious request to the University of Florida. Despite Dr. Helal having dismantled the “Harris Mobile Computing Lab” in mid 2010s. Around February 2020, a “Florida Public Records” request was filed for documents and computers that dated back to 2000-2001 time frame. Almost 20 years after their existence, a group of attorneys were looking for information especially laptops, servers data, and everything that contained the research made by Dr. Edwin and Dr. Helal in “Rapid Mobility”