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Submit 'keystrokes' from WinMobile app to PC

Posted on 2013-12-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-19
I'm investigating what it would really take to collect data on a WinMobile device and 'submit' that data to the PC's foreground app as keystrokes.  One constraint is that absolutely nothing can be added to/installed on the PC.

Cruising the web, I'm getting bogged down in HID jargon overload and dead-end websites.  In a perfect world, someone will simply say, "Go to <here> and there's great documentation and a sample C++ solution!"  Yeah, right!

I'm a long-time WinMobile developer.  We have a PC app that goes onto a device, grabs files and submits keystrokes to a prescribed target app.  Another supports the device app sending files directly to a PC app for submission to the target.  But none of that is allowed for this potential client.  HID is my issue.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:lsn2mkt
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Expert Comment

by:hjgode
ID: 39728413
If I understand correctly, you want to use HID to mimic a keyboard on the Windows Mobile device. AFAIK there is no such stack to host HID either for Bluetooth nor the (possibly available) USB OTG connector.

I remember a setup, where you can use serial input on the PC as keyboard input in accessibility options. I have posted an article some years ago on hwo to use BT serial input via accesibility input: http://www.hjgode.de/wp/2010/02/26/connecting-a-bluetooth-barcode-scanner-to-winxp-with-sp2-2/.
You may need to change the setup and define what uses incoming and outgoing serial port: the PC or the WM device.

You need a windows mobile device with BT and write an app that outputs to serial port. You can define an incoming serial port on thw WM device and connect to this from the PCs via Bluetooth. Then use the above article to setup the accessibility options to define the serial input as key input.

If you do not have BT on the Windows Mobile device, you may use a USB to Serial adapter (one that uses a chipset already supported by the WM device (ie Intel) or use an adapter where you can get Windows CE drivers (ie FTDI, see my web site for FTDI). Possibly you need another USB-to-serial adapter on the PC side, if that has no RS232 port.

See also http://www.hjgode.de/wp/2010/04/26/reveal-incoming-bt-port-on-wm5wm6-devices/ to reveal incoming Serial BT port on WM.
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Author Comment

by:lsn2mkt
ID: 39728961
Thanks for your response.  I actually need OUTgoing from WM through a USB connection TO the PC and whatever app owns the PC keyboard at the time.  The WM app sends the 'keystrokes' when the user says, "Go!".  We cannot add ANY software, etc., to the PC.  Does that change anything?
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Accepted Solution

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hjgode earned 500 total points
ID: 39729073
Yes, as you have no common protocol between the PC and WM that you can use to communicate. As you said, an app implementing a TCP/IP connection is not allowed on the PC.

The only way I see is using the accessibility software setup (which is part of windows and no additional software) I described and having either a tethered or Bluetooth serial connection between the PC and the WM device.

WM is a HID host device like Windows PC and so does not support acting as HID service device. WM is missing the L2CAP layer (HID runs over the Bluetooth L2CAP layer).
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Author Comment

by:lsn2mkt
ID: 39729111
Thanks.  This holiday season, I really was hoping for the 'perfect world' answer.  But I also knew the manufacturer had to provide the client's old solution (pre-WM).  Rats.
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