computing (pervasive) is a concept in software engineering and computer science
where computing is made to appear everywhere and anywhere. In contrast to
desktop computing, ubiquitous computing can occur using any device, in any
location, and in any format. A user interacts with the computer, which can
exist in many different forms, including laptop computers, tablets and
terminals in everyday objects such as a fridge or a pair of glasses. The
underlying technologies to support ubiquitous computing include Internet,
advanced middleware, operating system, mobile code, sensors, microprocessors,
new I/O and user interfaces, networks, mobile protocols, location and
positioning and new materials.
paradigm is also described as pervasive computing, ambient intelligence, or
'every ware'. Each term emphasizes slightly different aspects. When primarily
concerning the objects involved, it is also known as physical computing, the
Internet of Things, hap tic computing, and 'things that think'. Rather than
propose a single definition for ubiquitous computing and for these related
terms, taxonomy of properties for ubiquitous computing has been proposed, from
which different kinds or flavors of ubiquitous systems and applications can be
computing touches on a wide range of research topics, including distributed
computing, mobile computing, location computing, mobile networking,
context-aware computing, sensor networks, human-computer interaction, and
1 Core concepts
At their core, all models of ubiquitous computing
share a vision of small, inexpensive, robust networked processing devices,
distributed at all scales throughout everyday life and generally turned to
distinctly common-place ends. For example, a domestic ubiquitous computing
environment might interconnect lighting and environmental controls with
personal biometric monitors woven into clothing so that illumination and
heating conditions in a room might be modulated, continuously and
imperceptibly. Another common scenario posits refrigerators "aware"
of their suitably tagged contents, able to both plan a variety of menus from
the food actually on hand, and warn users of stale or spoiled food.
Ubiquitous computing presents challenges across
computer science: in systems design and engineering, in systems modeling, and
in user interface design. Contemporary human-computer interaction models,
whether command-line, menu-driven, or GUI-based, are inappropriate and
inadequate to the ubiquitous case. This suggests that the "natural"
interaction paradigm appropriate to a fully robust ubiquitous computing has yet
to emerge - although there is also recognition in the field that in many ways
we are already living in an ubicomp world (see also the main article on Natural
User Interface). Contemporary devices that lend some support to this latter
idea include mobile phones, digital audio players, radio-frequency
identification tags, GPS, and interactive whiteboards.
Mark Weiser proposed three basic forms for
ubiquitous system devices: tabs, pads and boards.
wearable centimetre sized devices
hand-held decimetre-sized devices
metre sized interactive display devices.
These three forms proposed by Weiser are
characterized by being macro-sized, having a planar form and on incorporating
visual output displays. If we relax each of these three characteristics we can
expand this range into a much more diverse and potentially more useful range of
Ubiquitous Computing devices. Hence, three additional forms for ubiquitous
systems have been proposed:
miniaturized devices can be without visual output displays, e.g. Micro
Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS), ranging from nanometres through micrometers
to millimetres. See also Smart dust.
fabrics based upon light emitting and conductive polymers, organic computer
devices, can be formed into more flexible non-planar display surfaces and
products such as clothes and curtains, see OLED display. MEMS device can also
be painted onto various surfaces so that a variety of physical world structures
can act as networked surfaces of MEMS.
ensembles of MEMS can be formed into arbitrary three dimensional shapes as
artifacts resembling many different kinds of physical object (see also Tangible
In his book The Rise of the Network Society, Manuel
Castells suggests that there is an ongoing shift from already-decentralized,
stand-alone microcomputers and mainframes towards entirely pervasive computing.
In his model of a pervasive computing system, Castells uses the example of the
Internet as the start of a pervasive computing system. The logical progression
from that paradigm is a system where that networking logic becomes applicable
in every realm of daily activity, in every location and every context. Castells
envisages a system where billions of miniature, ubiquitous inter-communication
devices will be spread worldwide, "like pigment in the wall paint".
Ubiquitous computing may be seen to consist of many
layers, each with their own roles, which together form a single system:
Layer 1: task management layer
user task, context and index
user's task to need for the services in the environment
Layer 2: environment management layer
monitor a resource and its capabilities
service need, user level states of specific capabilities
Layer 3: environment layer
monitor a relevant resource
reliability of the resources