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HTML5 for Mobile Apps at the Edge

August 2014 Podcast
Grace Lewis Interviewer Suzanne Miller

In this podcast, Grace Lewis discusses research that explores the feasibility of using HTML5 for developing mobile applications, for "edge" environments where resources and connectivity are uncertain, such as in the battlefield.

“HTML5 is receiving a lot of attention from developers these days because one of the promises of HTML5 is portability: the fact that you write the application once in HTML5, and all you really need to run it is a browser, right? You can run it on an Android device. You can run it on an iPhone device. ”


Software Engineering Institute



Many warfighters and first responders operate at what we call "the tactical edge," where users are constrained by limited communication connectivity, storage availability, processing power, and battery life. In these environments, onboard sensors are used to capture data on behalf of mobile applications to perform tasks such as face recognition, speech recognition, natural language translation, and situational awareness. These applications then rely on network interfaces to send the data to nearby servers or the cloud, if local processing resources are inadequate. While software developers have traditionally used native mobile technologies to develop these applications, the approach has some drawbacks, such as limited portability. In contrast, HTML5 has been touted for its portability across mobile device platforms as well an ability to access functionality without having to download and install applications. In this podcast, Grace Lewis describes research aimed at evaluating the feasibility of using HTML5 to develop applications that can meet tactical edge requirements. 

About the Speaker

Grace Lewis

Grace A. Lewis is the deputy lead for the SEI's Advanced Mobile Systems initiative and the technical lead for the Edge-Enabled Tactical Systems research team, which works on a number of projects related to mobile systems at the edge. Her main interests are mobile computing, service-oriented architecture, and cloud computing. Lewis has more than 20 years of professional software development experience, mainly in industry. Before joining the SEI, Lewis was chief of systems development for Icesi University, where she served as project manager and technical lead for the university-wide administrative systems.

Suzanne Miller

Suzanne Miller