How do Covia's products work?
Our products are all built on top of the DART (Dynamic Adaptive Run-Time) platform. The DART technology is unique in its ability to rapidly form ad hoc teams of devices into securely encapsulated Operations networks. It uses an entirely new approach to unifying the operation of devices and synchronization of messages, media and data by running a unification program called the Covia Connector at the OSI application Layer 7 on each device to create a new interoperability Layer 8.
This new Layer 8 spans all devices that run the Covia Connector unification program, enabling a new type of sophisticated cross-device super application, called “Connected Applications,” to rapidly form tightly integrated ad hoc teams of devices into collaborative Operation networks. Covia’s Alert and Respond and Push- to-Talk products are examples of Connected Applications which form teams of devices from those running the Covia Connector unification program.
Covia’s Command and Control product is a packaging of the DART platform into SDKs that include all the documentation, tools, frameworks and code needed to quickly port the Covia Connector to new devices and to rapidly build new command and control, situational awareness and collaborative communications Connected Applications.
What does the Covia Connector do?
The Covia Connector
- Contains a Sandbox which executes Connected Application code while protecting against viruses and enforcing access rights.
- Establishes and carries out encrypted communications sessions.
- Exposes APIs and details about the device’s capabilities and characteristics to Connected Applications that run on it.
- Effectively turns all devices it runs on into one super device which gives Connected Applications direct access to the combined resources and capabilities of all.
What are Connected Applications?
Connected Applications, such as Alert and Respond contain all the code needed to rapidly form operational teams of devices (running a Covia Connector) and distribute the appropriate code parts of themselves to each device in the team. Which code parts of the Connected Application are sent to each individual device in the team is based on the role selected for each device when a commander selects the device into an Operation. The code parts then run simultaneously on all devices seamlessly unifying the Connected Application’s access to shared media and messages.
The Covia Connector program runs the code parts in a secure sandbox and synchronizes all the events and data that drive Covia Connected Applications, such as Alert & Respond across the devices. The effect is the same as having multiple code threads of a conventional software application run on different CPUs in a multi-core processor, except that the different threads of the Connected Application, i.e. the self-distributed code parts, are running on different devices. Because the threads are running on different devices, the Connected Application has direct access to everything its threads are running on and can easily mix and match the capabilities and resources of all devices as needed. Messages, media, voice, maps, pictures and data collected by each of the devices become available on all the devices.
What device operating systems are supported?
There are currently Covia Connectors for iPhones, MS Windows, Mac OS, Windows Mobile, Linux, Android and several proprietary embedded OSes.
What are the security features provided by Covia Labs' DART technology?
Here is a list of major security features provided by DART technology:
- Security is based on standard NSA approved PKI algorithms such as AES.
- The platform creates a public/private key pair when the Covia Connector runs the first time. A 128-bit statistically Unique Device Id is generated as a hash of the public key as the basis for all PKI operations.
- Connected Applications are signed to prevent tampering and to prevent unauthorized applications from running.
- Two-way authentication is established in different ways for different market requirements. Devices are addressed by their Unique Device Id.
- As each device is selected into an Operation, credentials are sent along with the Connected Applications’ code AppParts that suits their security level and role. These credentials permit direct communications only between devices that are part of the same Operation, with the access rights that are part of each device’s credentials.
- Data stored on a device for a particular Operation is encrypted using an Operation Key and the Device’s public key. Only the Operation instance of the Connected Application that stores the data running on that exact same device can make sense of the data. When a particular Operation has ended or the device’s private key has been erased, the data becomes unintelligible.
- Devices have security levels assigned and signed into their Covia Connector unification program. Operation code AppParts sent to carry out a particular application role can never be sent to a device with too low a security level for that role.
- Devices that do not have hardware Public Key support will never get assigned a high security level. Likewise, devices allowed to run third-party software or are connected to the Internet will be assigned low security levels.
- Transactions that carry messages and media between devices are all assigned a security level so that they will never be sent to devices with a lower security level or to devices that have Operation Roles with security levels lower than that of the transaction.
- Every Connected Application Instruction is carried out by a Sandbox in the Covia Connector. If a Connected Application’s code part tries to access hardware or memory for which it has no access rights, its execution is immediately shut down. This prevents inadvertent software bugs or malicious viruses from gaining control of devices.
What are the minimum device requirements to run a Covia Connector program?
- A two-way communications protocol
- 6 Kbytes of ROM to hold the Connector Program itself
- 1 KHz processor
- 2 Kbytes of memory
Note: The Covia Connector has been ported to a one dollar CSR Bluetooth chip, with only the above resources and no embedded OS.
How long does it take to port the Covia Connector to a new OS?
Typically, two programmer weeks to two programmer months depending on the complexity of the device and its operating system, if one exists.
Can third parties enable new devices by porting the Covia Connector?
Yes, if they license the Covia Connector Porting SDK. Covia Labs or other trusted entity must inspect and sign each Covia Connector to ensure the integrity of the Sandbox.
Does the Covia Connector require any third-party licenses?
Can third parties write or modify Connected Applications?
Yes, if they license the Connected Application SDK. Covia Labs or another trusted party must sign each Connected Application. Agencies with ultra-secure facilities and procedures may license their own signing credentials.