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Ubiquitous computing enabling greater cooperation

among members of a family

Roushdat Elaheebocus
School of Electronics and Computer
University of Southampton

ABSTRACT “Echelon” which happens to coincide with the name of the

The scenario is set in the year 2020. A decade ago major infamous widely distributed signal intelligence collection and
technological breakthroughs caused speculations about whether analysis network operated by five countries including the UK and
technology, specially computer-science related, was really our ally the United States of America [1], here refers merely to a family
or foe, whether it would tear the society apart or bring us closer name. Daniel Echelon and his wife Sarah live together with their
together. In this paper we go through one of these possible 20 years old daughter Flora and their newborn son Ryan in the
outcomes to demonstrate how large scale distributed and southern city of Southampton, UK. Daniel is a senior lecturer and
ubiquitous computing systems enables more cooperation among researcher at the University of Southampton for the School of
individuals, specially members of a family. The Echelon family Electronics and Computer Science while his wife has recently
consists of four members that we will follow during a day in their taken up a part-time job at a supermarket a few meters away from
normal life. their house. Flora is an undergraduate student in computer
science and wants to follow the footsteps of her father.

Keywords We are currently in the year 2020 and Weiser's prediction of

Distributed systems, ubiquitous computing, family, futurology technology weaving “themselves into the fabric of everyday life
until they are indistinguishable from it” [5] is now a reality. It has
taken almost five decades for what was research work some ten to
1. INTRODUCTION twenty years ago to mature into widespread usage of ubiquitous
While many researchers have produced research work based on computing.
smart-homes [1, 2, 3, 4] or ubiquitous devices, few have focussed
on the cooperation among individuals that such pervasive and 2. THE SMART-DEVICE (SD)
distributed systems will enable. Based on Mark Weiser's Facing stiff competition in the smart phone and PDA markets,
ubiquitous computing vision [5] of a world where individuals companies have found themselves compelled to adopt a more
seamlessly interact with computers just like they breathe-in air inter-operable approach supported by standards to develop the
without realising the mechanism behind, we present the new generations of 'smart phones'.
cooperation that pervasive technologies will make possible among “A large-screen, data-centric, hand-held device designed to offer
individuals, in this case, among family members in the future. The complete phone functions whilst simultaneously functioning as a
scenario is also supported by current research work going on in personal digital assistant (PDA).” [6]. Such is the definition of a
terms of ubiquitous technologies. smart phone widely accepted across the community. However in
The layout of this technical report is such that a description of the recent years, we have witnessed a surge in new functionalities
family and its members is given followed by an in-depth being added to smart phones that the original and major function
description of a smart-device known as the SD that all individuals which was: 'making phone calls' has blurred into the background.
will possess in the future and finally, some main activities Thus in the near future, researchers may even consider dropping
performed by one or more members of that family during one day, the word 'phone' from 'smart phone' and perhaps replace it with
each being separated under different sub-headings. For each 'device' as we have done in this futurology report. We will be
activity, there are two parts; firstly a description of the activity as referring to the new generation of smart phones as 'smart devices'
seen and experienced, and the second part is a brief literature (SD for short).
review grounding the activity into research work that has been All citizens of this pervasive computing era has an SD.
done so far in that context and the technologies behind it. Comparable to the wearing of watches on our wrists, individuals
go everywhere with it to enabling them to interact ubiquitously
with their environment. In one sentence, the SD has become the
sixth sense of the human race.
2.2 Interacting with objects and appliances
Some researchers have focused on using future SDs as input
devices [8] than can act as a wireless mouse, use their cameras for
gesture recognition or even handwriting recognition on their
touch-screen using limited computation and memory [9]. While
these will be useful functionalities, in a distributed and ubiquitous
environment, users will want to use these devices for much more
interaction with appliances in their surroundings. [10] proposed
the use of Elope middleware that will allow SDs to configure
themselves and communicate with tagged objects and let users
invoke services. Tagging here mainly refers to Radio frequency
identification (RFID) [11] that enables RFID scanners to read the
information without the requirement that barcodes has: direct line-
of-sight. These RFID readers will possibly be embedded in SDs
So far, the major obstacle that remains to be overcome is the wide
range of appliances and the fact that they are produced by
different manufacturers. Thus most of them will have different
interfaces. A solution proposed [7] is the use of a single
framework that can manage the different interaction models that
SDs are capable of engaging in, such as:
Universal Remote Control whereby each SD should store the
interfaces of entities it interacts with. Since pre-storing them all is
impractical and require too much memory for storage, allowing
the entities to 'teach' the SD their interfaces can be an option.
However, not all entities will have such capabilities rendering it
only partially successful.
Dual Connectivity overcomes the limitation of Universal Remote
Control by requiring an object to only provide its identity to the
SD, usually through Bluetooth. The SD then downloads the
required interface from an interface-bank on the Internet using
either WiFi or GPRS and can thus interact with the object.
A wider scale model is the Gateway Connectivity whereby the SD
connects to a gateway station using Bluetooth or WiFi that knows
at least one of the entity that the SD want to interact with and then
Figure 1. The SD with some of its capabilities and acts as a relay. The entities on the other side may communicate
functionalities among themselves in a Peer-To-Peer fashion.
Peer-To-Peer Connectivity has the main advantage of overcoming
2.1 Connectivity features of the SD the distance limitation of the other models since it allows the
As shown in Figure 1, several connectivity options are already sharing of information and data without users being in direct
being embedded in smart phones such as Bluetooth, WiFi, the less proximity of one another.
popular Infra-red and the widespread GPRS. While Bluetooth is Generating interfaces on-the-fly for a wide range of appliances
suitable for short-range communication due to its low energy from the abstract specifications of their functionalities is another
consumption, WiFi provides a larger bandwidth with a longer approach [13]. However it will require that all the appliances are
range, typically 250 metres but at the same time is a greedy energy capable of communicating this crucial information in a way that
consumer. GPRS on the other hand is a paid alternative making it the SD can understand.
less attractive for frequent usage [7].
What has not been seen so far is Peer-To-Peer networking 2.3 Accessing ubiquitous services
capabilities in these smart devices but we are not far from there. Not only will SDs allow their users to interact with home
Bluetooth enabled devices support simultaneous connection with appliances but also benefit from services offered by third-parties.
up to seven other devices forming a piconet and several piconets A Mobile Service Toolkit (MST) was developed [14] for this
can join together to form a larger scatternet. This shall be the basis purpose and examples such as ticket machines, interactive product
for Peer-To-Peer in SDs and can be further expanded via the catalogues and electronic information kiosks were some of the
Internet through devices having Internet connectivity. Coupled services given as examples. Since information were being
with GPS data, the devices will enable applications to determine provided to third-parties in return for personalised services,
locations and thus set up these ad-hoc Peer-To-Peer networks privacy concerns were addressed by providing users with the
based on proximity. ability to choose among three privacy levels that are: 'Always
disclose' , 'Ask for confirmation before disclosure' and 'Request
pin number to authorise disclosure'. However, only services in
fixed locations can be accessed this way. For discovering services
that are mobile and ubiquitous in nature, SDIPP, a protocol
implemented by extending the Bluetooth Service Discovery 3. ACTIVITIES
Protocol (SDP) with web access, personalisation, context and
location awareness [15] can be used. SDIPP enables on-the-fly 3.1 Wake up
service discovery and supports a method of anonymous payment Scenario
based on electronic cash. Anonymity is preserved by using With a vibrating pillow under his head, Daniel is woken up at six
device-based authentication through the IMEI number of the SD in the morning by the bed's alarm system that has obtained data
instead of user-based. from his personal calendar service through his SD. Five minutes
2.4 Digital identity later, the alarm system detects that Daniel is still in bed with
Also shown in the image, digital identity and e-certificates are minimal movements and concludes that he has fallen asleep again
also a highly desirable features of the SDs. Digital identity is and thus give him another vibration, a little harder this time.
important to be established for some services such as banking and While Daniel's day has already begun, Sarah, is still sleeping in
authentication of certificates to function. This is discussed in [16] the same bed, undisturbed, since she works as a part-timer in the
where its importance for law-enforcement is highlighted. Since afternoon, she will woken up at 8a.m with the latest soft music
the SD will be used for authentication and trust establishment tunes that she has enjoyed listening recently or that her SD has
[17], it has been compared to a wallet, in this case: an electronic recommended to the alarm system.
wallet and its characteristic of having many functionalities
Flora, with the deadline of one her assignment and the end of year
embedded into one device is drawn from the Swiss Army Knife
examinations approaching, the alarm system is requested by the
latter's SD to consider these as parameters. The bed sensors has
2.5 Other functionalities detected however that she has been sleeping for only five hours
and concludes based on her sleep patterns and other data, that she
While listing all the functionalities of an SD is difficult, a set of
requires at least two more hours of sleep.
useful ones will now be briefly listed, mainly based from [18].
Related Research
• The SD will include all the features of the smartphones
currently available. Tracking movements in bed has been done for monitoring patients
at a hospital [21]. In that case, passive infra-red sensors were used
• Speech recognition enabling talks from a group of
and movement data was being recorded for batch processing. In
participants in a meeting for example to be recorded,
our case, a real time system will be desirable as described in [22]
classified person-wise and a text-script generated and
whereby not only movements but also sleeping patterns will be
monitored and analysed. This will require sensors embedded into
• Act as an intelligent agent capable of gathering, the mattress and pillows as well.
reasoning and inferring information from the Web, Interestingly, alarm systems have been largely ignored by the
made possible with the semantic web. research community. However an innovative alarm system [23]
• In-built projector allows a user to have a much larger makes use of vibrating pillows connected to an alarm for setting
screen to be displayed on any flat surface and the SD's the time was patented. Using vibrations instead of sounds make it
camera detects and recognises gestures made by the user possible to wake up an individual without disturbing others still
on the projected image. sleeping in the same bed.
• Act as a personal health monitoring system [19] by By providing the alarm system with some form of artificial
communicating with wireless bio-sensors and analysing intelligence to allow reasoning, connecting it with the sleep-
the data in real time. If necessary, ambulance or pre- monitoring sensor network and enabling interaction with devices
assigned care-givers are contacted automatically. The such as the SD normally through a wireless connection such
system can also provide medical advice to the user. Bluetooth or WiFi, we effectively obtain a smart alarm system that
has been demonstrated in the scenario.
2.6 Challenges to be overcome
While much of the technologies for developing the various 3.2 Lost Comb
functionalities in the SDs are already available, there remain Scenario
several challenges to be addressed. Privacy is a major concern for Sarah has the habit of always combing her hair as the first thing
such devices since they will be gathering, holding and sharing so when she is up from bed. The previous day , Flora used her
much data about individuals when the latter start to rely more on mother's comb and has not put it back in its place. Now since the
such pervasive devices [20]. Most research work are inclined at latter is still sleeping, Sarah, cannot ask her about the comb's
outputting new functionalities and have largely ignored privacy. location. Fortunately, since the comb, as most objects in the
One of the possibility to tackle this concern is by delegating the house, has an RFID tag, Sarah, just pick up her SD and search for
task of privacy level assignment to users [14] whereby they the comb's location. The room in which it currently is and the
specify different levels of privacy for different pieces of approximate distance from another bigger object in that room is
information. provided. With these information, the lost object is very quickly
Along with privacy, trust and security are also important issues as located.
discussed in [15, 18] which also mentioned energy consumption Related Research
as a constraint that has to be taken into consideration since SDs as
most mobile devices will be running on batteries that have limited The idea of using ubiquitous technology to find lost objects such
power. keys, purse, and in our case, a comb, commonly referred to as
Frequently Lost Objects (FLO) [24] has been around for the past here that RFID [25] will facilitate the refrigerator's monitoring
decades. Most systems [24, 26, 27] have proposed the use of low task; equipped with an RFID reader, it will be able to accurately
cost radio-frequency tags, known as RFID [25] attached to objects keep track of its content . Furthermore, taking the traditional role
and that can be read without line-of-sight unlike conventional of the empty refrigerator door acting as a notice board, a touch
barcodes. While the sole use of RFID present some challenges screen can be embedded into it as proposed in [31, 32], providing
such as the limited detection range or that the lost object has been a more aesthetically pleasing look and also enabling messages to
taken out of the house for instance, the smart floor solution is be sent through the web from the display to the family member's
proposed [24], whereby the information is provided to the user SDs or vice versa.
about the last location that the object was detected and with
whom. All this information is transmitted from the wireless sensor 3.4 Car Navigation & Automated Driving
network to a display unit, in our case, the SD. A step further will Scenario
be the use of mobile robots [28] to help locate the object. An After breakfast, Daniel gets ready for work. In the mean-time,
important target population for such systems has been for people Sarah prepares Ryan so that his father can drop him at the
suffering from Alzheimer [29]. kindergarten on his way to university. Since dropping the baby
before going to work is an everyday routine, the car navigation
3.3 Smart Refrigerator system has already programmed itself for taking that route.
Scenario However occasionally, Sarah may not send Ryan with his dad. In
As Daniel takes out the milk from the refrigerator for breakfast, these cases, the car's sensors will detect that there is no baby on
the latter records that action and if the milk bottle is not returned board and thus modify the route. Traffic jam is no longer an issue
back, the stock level will be decreased. The Echelon family need now since most of the time, cars auto-drive themselves at constant
not worry about any items from the refrigerator getting out of speed.
stock since the stock level is constantly monitored by the Cars communicate with one another and also with road-side nodes
refrigerator management system. Along with stock levels, expiry that they encounter on their way, sharing information about their
dates are also monitored and family members are notified destination and traffic flow. With these data, routing is optimised
whenever an item's expiry date is approaching. and time to reach destination is calculated in real-time. With
Sarah wanted to speak to her father about some computer-related automatic navigation, cars are able to travel closely to one another
assignment she is currently working. But since Daniel has been while passengers can relax. Car sensors and cameras detect the
rather busy lately, he has not been able to discuss it with her at mood of the passengers and react accordingly for example by
home. As both individuals will be on the campus today, Daniel playing some soft music by recognising who is currently in the car
thought that maybe they can meet up there. So he writes a note on and adapting to their taste.
the modern 'stick-notes' on the refrigerator's door: a touch screen Related Research
used as a display panel for the refrigerator's system, acts as a
notice board for 'sticking' notes for other family members and While navigation systems using GPS technology is now
finally, is an interface for the kitchen management system widespread [33], cars having automated driving capabilities are
providing recipes for example. The appliance is also WiFi enabled still not on our roads although research works and prototypes
and provides a web interface for the family to access when they have been produced since the early 90's [34]. The idea of having
are away from home as shown below in figure 2. one human driver in a vehicle and several other vehicles following
it in automated mode forming a platoon was explored in France in
1993 [34]. The automated highway project demonstrated the
feasibility of automated driving using several technologies
including vision based, radar-based and also platoon-based
[35].It has been shown that the automated system is safer than
having human drivers [36, 37]. One major obstacle that hindered
the success of these early systems was a lack of appropriate
wireless communication technology such as Bluetooth and WiFi.
These were explored in [38] which suggested that cars should
share information about their destination, and the route they
intend to take with other cars. This will allow cars to process
information and optimise their routing. A peer-to-peer network is
used to establish communication with cars over a long range. This
system can be further enhanced by placing road-side nodes to
collect and distribute these information to passing cars. A recent
Figure 2. Interaction between Smart Refrigerator and SD work studied how ants do not have traffic jam problems [39]. This
via the Web is attributed to the fact that they do not overtake one another, are
able to travel very closely to their neighbours and also maintain a
constant speed even when traffic density increases. Comparing
Related Research this with cars, it will be very difficult if not impossible for human
The smart refrigerator, as described in [22, 30] does not only store drivers to control cars with such precision. Thus, an automated car
food but can also generate shopping list, manages stock levels, re- navigation and driving system is the ultimate solution.
order some common items online automatically, while
considering expiry dates of products stored. It must be highlighted
3.5 Daniel at work installed in his bed at the kindergarten. Ryan can also see and hear
Scenario them through an LCD display embedded in every baby's bed.

Being an academic staff for the 'Intelligence, Agents, Multi-Media Through the interface, Sarah usually look at what time Ryan has
Group' (IAM), it is not surprising that Daniel and his colleagues been fed his meals, and read comments made by the care-givers
are taking full advantage of advanced computer agents to help looking after him. The feeding time, quantity can also be edited by
them in their various tasks. This morning, Daniel wants to set up a Sarah or Daniel online. At these specified time, the staff at the
meeting for the group to discuss about some important kindergarten are reminded by the system.
development in a research project that they are currently working Ryan also wears a special diaper that can detect when it needs to
on. Since he has already logged-in into his personal computer, he be replaced by detecting moisture level. Thus the care-givers do
'summons' the computer agent and provides the latter with some not need to keep checking the baby manually.
information including his intention of setting up a meeting, the
Related Research
group of people he wants to attend it, the urgency level and the
time range. The agent first interacts with Daniel's SD to make sure Video-conferencing is already widespread but with time, the cost
he doesn't have any other appointment himself in case of which, of equipments will drop significantly. As demonstrated in [47]
he will be warned. The agent then proceeds to contact the other baby-care through the Internet using video link reduces cost and
people concerned through their own agents that will each have in this situation allows parents to look after their babies even
information about their masters. A consensus is reached among when they are away. Research has been carried out in facial
the agents, a meeting room is booked and their respective masters expression recognition for babies to detect when they are in pain
are notified about the meeting being scheduled including the time [48]. In future research works, recognition of other kind of
and location. expressions such as hunger and joy may also be possible and thus
relayed back to parents.
During the meeting, each individual uses his SD to jot down
comments, take notes as well as making reviews about different With low cost RFID tags [25], a smart-diaper has been developed
ideas being discussed. Participants may choose to share comments that uses semi-passive tags that are activated when moisture is
directly from their SDs to the other attendees. detected [49]. RFID readers incorporated in the beds can thus
detect signals emitted from these tags and transmit them to the
Through an email on his SD, Daniel is informed about a baby-care monitoring system with information about which bed's
conference being held next month and his agent on the SD has occupant requires a diaper change.
already annotated the date and time of the conference with a
comment that Daniel will probably be free based on his current 3.7 Lunch time
calendar data. A link has also been added to book air and train Scenario
tickets. Daniel clicks on the link and the agent proceeds to book
the tickets on his behalf. The information is then recorded in his At 11am, Sarah starts preparing a quick lunch for herself since she
calendar. is the only one at home. She accesses the kitchen advisor system
through the touch-screen on the refrigerator's door, choose the
Related Research option of 'lunch preparation advice' and select 10 minutes as the
Autonomous agents have as primary objective to reduce the preparation time. Based on her food preferences, which
cognitive loads of their users by performing calendar management ingredients are available and what she has eaten recently, tuna
on their behalf [40, 46]. The use of agents for meeting scheduling salad and scrambled eggs are the two options advised to her. She
is considered as an “inherently distributed” task [41, 42] whereby selects tuna salad and the system provides her with the
agents have to find the right balance between protecting their preparation steps as well as the location of the different
users' privacy and preferences with the overall organisation which ingredients.
in our case will include availability of other agents' users,meeting At the university, Daniel decides to go to the Piazza restaurant on
room, equipments and other resources. The negotiation process the campus to eat something. Since most of his colleagues that he
among agents is described as a “distributed search process” [41] usually enjoys lunch with have left for a conference, he ends up
in which agents have to choose the optimal strategies [43]. going to eat alone. But his SD's agent also knows about the lunch-
As far as reviewing is concerned, the mobility of the Web enabled mates absence since their agents shared that information. The SD
by smart phones and in the future by SDs make this activity search for potential people that can accompany Daniel. Her
possible [44]. With the connectivity among SDs collaborative daughter Flora happens to be going for lunch and She wanted to
work will be greatly facilitated. discuss with her dad about an assignment. Daniel's SD is aware
about the fact that he had written a note on the refrigerator's
The scenario of agent understanding emails,annotating them and
digital notice board. Flora's SD is contacted using an ad hoc peer
performing bookings online is made possible through the
to peer network and she is asked whether she wants to join her
semantic web [45] whereby data is given meaning through the use
dad. Both entities agree and the meet-up location is shared by
of ontologies expressed in RDF or OWL for example and thus
their SDs share : 'The piazza' enabling both family members to
allowing agents to perform reasoning and make inferences.
share a nice lunch-time together while discussing about Flora's
3.6 Looking after baby Ryan assignment.
Scenario Related Research
From time to time both Sarah and Daniel look after the baby The kitchen advisor system, is linked to the smart-refrigerator
during the day by connecting to the kindergarten's Web Interface system described earlier. Since the system is connected to the
through their SDs. They are able to see Ryan via a camera Web, the Semantic Web to be more precise, information such as
recipes, preparation time and ingredients are pulled in real-time
from several websites in real-time as described by Tim Berners
Lee [45]. In addition to these information, the system also use
data collected by SDs such as the kind of food that Sarah usually
orders and runs some recommender system algorithms based on
these parameters.
Ad hoc peer to peer networking [7] is one of the four modes of
communication that the SD is capable of. As described in more
details in the 'Smart Device' section, this allows communication
among individuals although they may be out of range for
Bluetooth or WiFi to function.

3.8 Sarah at work

At noon, Sarah walks to work at the nearby supermarket. She is
working on the afternoon shift today. As soon as she enters the
building, her presence is acknowledged along with the time of
entry by the supermarket's staff attendance system which has
identified Sarah through her SD coupled with a face recognition
Figure 3. Shopping cart with LCD
At the supermarket, the shopping carts now have digital touch
touch-screen display [51]
screen displays (figure 3) that can be used to advertise products
currently on discounts. Shoppers normally download there
shopping list from their SDs to the digital display of the carts Related Research
since it is larger in size. The display then convert it into a As discussed in the SD and the smart-refrigerator sections, they
checklist, guiding the shoppers to the items' shelf locations as can interact with one another through several methods. In this
well as providing suggestions and advice about each product. As case, the SD communicates with the refrigerator system through
soon as a product is added to the cart, it is marked accordingly in the Web.
the digital list.
Radio Frequency Identification tagging [25], is once again used
Checkout is simply about rolling the cart nearby an exit space and on all products instead of barcodes. A large portion of the
the SD then ask the user to confirm payment for the items scenario above has been derived from an experimental store
purchased and a digital receipt is issued. developed by the METRO Group [50] that have referred to the
Sarah's job, although being called a cashier, is no longer like the system of intelligent shopping cart as personal selling assistants
traditional one. She rarely performs checkout, she just need to be (PSAs). These are WiFi enabled with Internet connectivity and
present for special cases where a customer has trouble with the equipped is RFID readers thus enabling them to know the exact
self-checkout system. content of the cart. This information is sent back to the store's
main system at the moment of checkout and thus avoiding the
At the end of her shift, Sarah use her SD to query the home need for scanning each item one by one as is currently being done.
refrigerator's system for a shopping list as depicted in figure 2. There is a video clip that demonstrates how these technologies
Within seconds, a list is sent to her. Knowing that prices at the work together [51].
supermarket can be higher than elsewhere or the suggestions by
the supermarket can be biased, Sarah's SD camera is used to 3.9 The dinner
detect gestures made with her fingers and perform actions such as Scenario
price comparison of a product with several other supermarkets.
Reviews made by customers are also downloaded from the Web On Friday nights, the Echelon family usually dines outside in
and shown to her. One of the items in the list: 'Corn' is out of different the restaurants located in the city. Tonight it it is Flora's
stock at the supermarket. So the SD advises Sarah to delegate this turn to choose which restaurant they will go, so she grabs her SD
item to Daniel who can purchase it on his way back home from and start flipping through the digital business-cards of restaurants
somewhere else. Sarah agrees and a few more items that were out that had been automatically sent to her while she was within 100
of stock at the supermarket are also delegated to Daniel's SD. meter range of them previously. Her SD has automatically
classified them into categories and assigned ratings based on her
personal preference of food. These data were collected every time
she spent time in a restaurant and ordered specific dishes.
Having marked a few top desirable restaurants, she summons her
SD's AI-agent to help her come up with a final selection. The
latter connects to the restaurants websites and download their
latest menu updates including special offers.
Once Flora has decided on the restaurant, its GPS coordinates are
sent via Bluetooth to the in-built car navigation system while an
entry is made to the online family-blog about the restaurant-dinner Related Research
online to be edited and approved later on by a member of the The above scenario is made possible due to the semantic web
family. The latter which is WiFi enabled, downloads the latest explained in [45] making data available for agents to reason upon.
updates from the transport-department to know current traffic- And the remaining capabilities have already been described in the
flow status, whether any particular road have been closed for Smart Device section earlier.
road-works between their current location (home) and the
restaurant. Finally it generates the optimal path to reach 3.11 The family blog (Flog)
destination. Scenario
Two minutes prior to reach destination, the car-navigation system The family blog has enabled an effortless way of keeping a 'family
queries the transport-department for available parking spaces diary'. One blog post is made daily by pulling together different
closest to the destination and also queries the law-enforcement- activities automatically from devices such as SDs and the car
department for theft and other related crime in that area and navigation system.
advise Daniel about these.
For example today, a picture was snapped automatically when
When they enter the restaurant, the menu is downloaded onto Daniel was taking Ryan to the car and annotated accordingly.
their SDs . Other dinners' reviews are also made available to the While Sarah was preparing the quick lunch at home, the kitchen
family. They make their choice which is then sent directly to the cameras made a high-quality movie of her cooking, this was also
restaurant management system. Their SDs also store the included in the blog post. Similarly, when the family went out for
information about the food ordered. After having completed dinner, the car-navigation system sent the destination and time
dinner, the family members are requested by their SDs to review data to the blogging system which then downloaded the comments
the food. and reviews each family member had made from there SDs.
Related Research While the final blog post is very interesting for the family
members to learn how the others spent their day, privacy can be
Mobile-based advertising has for long been subject of research,
an issue. There are some information that they would not like to
starting with the short message service (SMS) [57]. However the
share. Thus there exist some privacy features such as by default
advertising could not be targeted and required that users opt in
everything about each family member is made private to himself
voluntarily. With Technologies such as Bluetooth and WiFi being
or herself. Then there is the allow-list and group-privacy levels for
embedded in mobile phones, location awareness was used to
example, a group of relatives are allowed to see the different
target users [58] but still from a group of people passing at a
activities of the family when they were together, another one for
location it was difficult to know about them, their habits and
particular member of the family only and another without time
preferences. With the SD, users can choose to share some
and precise details making it just some kind of summarised post.
information about them and thus enable advertisers to better
personalised advertising and do better targeting as mentioned in Related Research
[59]. Users will accept to share information to advertisers since
While automated-blogging as described in this scenario has not
they can also benefit from advertising to some extent as pointed
been research much, some work in this direction has already been
out in [57].
done. Mobilog [52] is a framework that automates the creation of
As far as trusting reviews made by other dinners, trust and distrust blog posts by pulling together information from different websites
values among people [60], probably by grouping people with and weather services to incorporate contextual information in a
similar food taste will give an indication about how much one can post and thus saving user's time. They just need to go through the
rely on a review usually made on mobile devices as demonstrated automatically-generated post, add some personal text if they want
in [44]. and approve it for posting. Mobile blogging has also been
investigated in [53] while adding video in blog posts been
3.10 Going to Cinema explored in [54]. While these automated and mobile blog posts
Scenario are very interesting, they are not of much use for machine, in our
After a wonderful dinner, the family decides to go to watch a case, agents to crawl and understand their contents. Since the
movie. Since Sarah's birthday was a few day away, she gets to Semantic Web has been made for machines to understand,
choose the movie. She grabs her SD and request for a list of latest similarly, Semantic blogs are now being designed to give meaning
movies. The SD is aware about Sarah's taste and which movies to data [55, 56].
she has already watched. She is then asked with whom will she be
going: Daniel only, complete family or friends. When she selects
The extent to which ubiquitous computing will change the life of
'family', the other family members' SDs are contacted via
individuals is difficult to imagine. But what has been presented in
Bluetooth and their movie preferences queried. Finally Sarah's SD
this paper is not fiction, for most of the systems presented,
provide a final list of suggestions that will please everybody and
research works have been published and prototypes implemented.
also taking their current location into consideration, with Sarah's
One of the most common technologies that has been used in
taste having a higher priority. Sarah make the final decision, the
pervasive computing is RFID mainly because of its low cost,
SD proceeds to purchase the tickets for the family members on the
wireless capability and it does not require line-of sight to be
Web and the location for the cinema building is uploaded to the
car's navigation system. Reaching the cinema, their seats locations
are transferred to their respective SD which is then able to guide
them inside the dimly-light building to their seats.
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