The Current State of Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiquitous Computing is a movement in computer science to bring computing away from the specialized ³desktop´ location and make it available everywhere that people live and work. Ubiquitous computing spans a very broad range of technologies, which we can summarize in the ³Ubiquitous Computing Equation´: Ubiquitous Computing = Mobile Computing + Intelligent Environments. In this paper we present taxonomy of approaches to ubiquitous computing, then we present the EasyLiving project at Microsoft Research. EasyLiving is a prototype architecture to support many of the technologies and scenarios of ubiquitous computing.

Present thinking in ubiquitous applications

"In the twenty-first century the technology revolution will move into the everyday, the small and the invisible. The impact of technology will increase ten-fold as it is imbedded in the fabric of everyday life. As technology becomes more imbedded and invisible, it calms our lives by removing annoyances while keeping us connected with what is truly important. This imbedding, this invisibility, this radical ease-of-use requires radical innovations in our connectivity infrastructure". ² M. D. Weiser

Ubiquitous computing is about networked microprocessors embedded in everyday objects - not just cellphones and home appliances but also books, bookshelves, bus stops and bathtubs--all talking to each other over some form of links. Hundreds of internet-enabled computers per human being

As you know networked computers are insecure. If the ubiquitous systems we deploy in our homes, offices, shops and vehicles are as vulnerable as today's PCs, the risks for society will be catastrophic.

A very good example of an ubiquitous approach in staying connected with your friends is Your Messenger. You can be connected to your friend wherever you are. But what about your enemies or malicious users ?

Messengers have built in security features (blocking) where you can control who can see you and who you do not want to see. But until recently even if you block someone, there are software that can detect whether you are online or not. That is until Microsoft Patched it up!.

Ubiquitous computing vision, however, is over a decade old at this point, and we now inhabit the future imagined by its pioneers. The future, though, may not have worked out as the field collectively imagined. In this article, we explore the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research

agenda and the contemporary practice that has emerged. Drawing on crosscultural investigations of technology adoption, we argue for developing a µµubicomp of the present¶¶ which takes the messiness of everyday life as a central theme


Collaboration with Interactive walls and Tables Collaborative Environment Computers will be disappeared in the architecture. The functionality remains ubiquitously available. (Tender et al. 2002)


motions in the world Feelings/Emotions will be judged by the sensors. Generated results in respect to emotions/feelings. Ex ± smart homes (Emotions in the world)


In future The characterization of computer as the ³intimate computer´ or ³rather like a human assistant´ makes this inappropriate attention to the machine itself particularly apparent. (Weiser 1993)

y When computing becomes ubiquitous you will not need to manually set preferences. y Everything will be controlled by natural actions, opposing to the current point-and-click interfaces. y The object you interact with will learn from you and provide information based on your environment. y Everything will become interactive and more importantly, reactive.

y In the coming future ubiquitous computing will greatly reform our world to create a smart world filled with a variety of embedded intelligence or smart real and virtual things ranging fromy software to hardware. y man-made artifacts to natural objects. y everyday appliances to sophisticated systems. y small rooms to large buildings, from enclosed sites to open spaces. y Stationary places to moveable vehicles. Towards a ubicomp of the present What this suggests, then, is an alternative domain of ubicomp research²a ubicomp not of the future but of the present. William Gibson famously quipped that µµThe future is already here; it¶s just not very evenly distributed¶¶ [43]. We take each component of this aphorism as a component of an alternative research agenda for ubicomp.

The future is already here The future is already here. The technological trends that Weiser insightfully extrapolated have, just as he anticipated, resulted in radical transformations and reconfigurations of the role of computation in everyday life. Weiser anticipated a world in which computation would be embedded into our everyday worlds²not just physically embedded but also socially and procedurally embedded, becoming part and parcel of how we act in the world. It has not, perhaps, taken the form that he anticipated, although PDAs, cell phones, large-scale displays and digital cameras do bear family resemblances to the devices that Weiser imagined would come to populate our world. However, the fact that the details are different should not blind us to the remarkable accuracy of Weiser¶s vision. Computation is embedded into the technology and practice of everyday life; we continually use computational devices without thinking of them as computational in any way. The desktop computer has not been displaced, but augmented. Interestingly, though, while the technological form of ubiquitous computing differs only in its details from the model that Weiser had anticipated, it is perhaps the use of

ubiquitous computing which would have surprised him. One notable aspect of Weiser¶s article is that, as he lays out a vision for a radically different form of computational experience, the settings into which those devices are to be deployed and the activities that they are used to support remain largely unexamined. Weiser¶s ubiquitous computing technology is used in workplaces; it relies on large fixed infrastructure investments by commercial entities; it is directed towards the needs of corporate efficiency. Weiser¶s ubiquitous computing is a tool for labor. From the perspective of a µubicomp of the present,¶ we can note that Weiser was entirely correct in one regard²that the purposes to which people would put computational devices are not radically new ones, but rather reflect existing social and cultural needs. However again, this did not necessarily take the form that had been anticipated. Computational technologies are embedded in social structures and cultural scripts of many sorts; ubicomp technologies prove also to be sites of social engagement, generational conflict, domestic regulation, religious practice, state surveillance, civic protest, romantic encounters, office politics, artistic expression, and more. What this suggests, then, is that we need a deeper understanding of how social and cultural practice is carried out in and around emerging information technologies. If ubiquitous computing is already here, then we need to pay considerably more attention to just what it is being used to do and its effects. Interestingly, while considerations of the social and cultural elements in ubicomp¶s agenda has traditionally been thought of in terms of µsocial impacts,¶ our focus here is more on technology as a site of social and cultural production; that is, as an aspect of how social and cultural work are done, rather than as something which will inevitably transform social practice. Indeed, it may be quite the other way around. Conclusion Instead, we take the fact that we already live in a world of ubiquitous computing to be a rather wonderful thing. The challenge, now, is to understand it. The UC will bring information technology beyond the big problems like corporate finance and school homework, to the little annoyances like where are the car-keys, Can I get a parking place, and Is that shirt I saw last week at Macy¶s still on the rack? Many researchers are working towards this new era ± among them our work at Xerox PARC, MIT¶s AIoriented³Things That Think´ program7, the many mobile and wearable computing programs8

Computers for personal use have focused on the excitement of interaction. But when computers are all around, so that we want to compute while doing something else and have more time to be more fully human, we must radically rethink the goals, context and technology of the computer and all the other technology crowding into our lives. As we learn to design calm technology, we will enrich not only our space of artifacts, but also our opportunities for being with other people. When our world is filled with interconnected, imbedded computers, calm technology will play a central role in a more humanly empowered twenty-first century.

thical issues related to ubiquitous computing
In accordance with widely held norms of behavior, or of written standards of conduct adopted by the members of a profession----- [1(] What ethical implications are to be expected from deploying ubiquitous computing and the implied surveillance for care giving and other domains? These issues may be discussed from both an end-user perspective as well as from a designer perspective. Can there be a code of ethics for designers of ubiquitous systems?

Computer ethics is a new branch of ethics that is growing and changing rapidly as computer technology also grows and develops. The term "computer ethics" is open to interpretations both broad and narrow.

Huge impact of pervasive computing on society: both good & evil

Main concerns
Is society ready for the pervasive future ? Are people mature enough for a large scale pervasive environment ? What are the environmental issues ? Is the legal system ready for a pervasive environment ? What about people s rights and privacy ? Are they threatened ?

Let¶s talk about« Social behavior The environment Privacy and human rights

Social behavior: Individual Behavior Ubiquitous computing challenges individuals to

rethink their behavior The airport anecdote«! Old habits die hard ! Is your grandmother ready for this ? The only possible exception: health care Social behavior: Individual Behavior (cont.) Impact on work environments (e.g. employees¶ supervision) Human relationships The cell phone example: Every cell phone owner usually leaves the cell phone on Every one expects that you should have your cell phone on (³if it¶s off, then why do you have it ?!´) Cell phone related behavior has become important to some people Constant (possibility of) communication affects the relationships between individuals (e.g. family members etc) People may become more insecure because they rely on the cell phone (e.g. for emergencies)

Environmental Issues
Computing devices consist of various hazardous and/or non-recyclable materials Plastics, heavy metals, toxic materials Pervasive computing goals require massively distributed devices embedded in the environment Environmental issues of mass production and destruction of these devices Energy consumption Environmental Issues (cont.)

Computer recycling: no efficient methods Current design & production practices do not take recycling into consideration Computing devices become obsolete very quickly Pervasive computing should incorporate mechanisms to minimize environmental impact: Save physical materials Save energy Extend the lifetime of devices ³Smart´ & efficient disposal World wide agreement is needed nvironmental Issues: Minimizing physical materials Functional integration Combine several functions into a single device (e.g. PDA + cell phone + universal remote control + «) Resource sharing Many users sharing one resource Requires personalization features (e.g. use of biometrics) Most computers are tremendously underutilized ! (challenges: internet scale operating system and economic models providing incentives for users to lease out computer resources) Environmental Issues: Minimizing physical materials (cont.) Modular design Each device should have the components needed for a specific application and no more Modular design usually leads to ³bulky´ components

In the industrialized nations of the world, the "information revolution" already has significantly altered many aspects of life -- in banking and commerce, work and employment, medical care, national defense, transportation and entertainment. Consequently, information technology has begun to affect (in both good and bad ways) community life, family life, human relationships, education, freedom, democracy, and so on (to name a few examples). Computer ethics in the broadest sense can be understood as that branch of applied ethics which studies and analyzes such social and ethical impacts of information technology. In recent years, this robust new field has led to new university courses, conferences, workshops, professional organizations, curriculum materials, books, articles, journals, and research centers. And in the age of the world-wide-web, computer ethics is quickly being transformed into "global information ethics"

A typical problem in computer ethics arises because there is a policy vacuum about how computer technology should be used. Computers provide us with new capabilities and these in turn give us new choices for action. Often, either no policies for conduct in these situations exist or existing policies seem inadequate. A central task of computer ethics is to determine what we should do in such cases, that is, formulate policies to guide our actions.... One difficulty is that along with a policy vacuum there is often a conceptual vacuum. Although a problem in computer ethics

may seem clear initially, a little reflection reveals a conceptual muddle. What is needed in such cases is an analysis that provides a coherent conceptual framework within which to formulate a policy for action [Moor, 1985, 266].

Conclusion ` Thus Ethics is a major issue that needs to be followed by people of all folks in life. ` We cannot ignore ethics whether it may be in the field of Ubiquitous Computing as without it no courtesy would be maintained. ` Hence the world requires a medium or a belief that needs to be followed so that the Ubiquitous Devices too can have a long lasting name in the History of mankind.

Intelligence´ concept in ubiquitous computing

Natural and palpable interfaces to invisible computers, spontaneous and continuous interaction, user intention/demand anticipation and proactive computing, self-management system and autonomic computing, organic computing, sustainable computing, intelligence scalability, etc.

Distributed artificial intelligence (DAI), distributed soft computing, natural/biological modeling for ubiquitous intelligence, multi-agent modeling approach, massive multi-agent system,

heterogeneous intelligence management and collaborations, intelligence competition and evolution, amorphous computing, spray computing, etc.

Meaning and impact of ubiquitous intelligence, social implications of ubiquitous intelligence and smart world, positive and negative sides of ubiquitous computing, ethical issues, training, policy and legal issues, economic and culture impacts, psychological and emotional factors, politeness in computational intelligence, etc.

Conclusion:The ubiquitous intelligence, as an emerging and very promising multidiscipline, aims at new models and technologies for graceful integrations and mutual actions of real worlds and virtual eworlds with different scales and purposes.

Discussion on agents and multi agent systems.

Discussion of current mobile devices, wearables & network applications in ubiquitous computing

Areas in Ubiquitous security Privacy issues in ubiquitous society, privacy regulation and low, privacy intrusion automatic detection, privacy protection framework and infrastructure, identity and behavior trust, trust model and measure, risk estimation, trust management, security technology for privacy and trust guarantee, etc.

Privacy VS ubiquitous computing At the heart of the ubiquitous computing vision lies an inherent contradiction: Computing environment must be highly knowledgeable about the user BUT Large numbers of users, different physical regions and service providers pose threat to privacy and trust among parties Privacy issues and concerns Pervasive computing requires continuous monitoring of user actions Data are not always ³anonymous´ Who has access to this information ? Governments ? Law enforcement agents ? Marketing companies ? Strangers ? All internet users ? Privacy issues and concerns (cont.) The vision ubiquitous computing is thrilling and tempting« This guarantees commercial success But after the technology is widespread, will the users be able to say ³thanks, butno thanks !´ ? Balance between privacy and ubiquitous computing Increased Awareness The user is informed about the ³privacy level´ of a certain application/situation/location

Maintaining an audit trail Monitoring who has sensitive information about a person. Helps investigating abuse of personal info Fear of being tracked down may sometimes help« Creating a ³sixth sense´ Sense the environment and judge whether it looks ³suspicious´ or not Balance between privacy and ubiquitous computing (cont.) Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PETs): Subject oriented (anonymity proxies) Object oriented (exchanged objects do not contain traces of identification) Transaction oriented (clean up transactions) System oriented (combination of some or all of the previous concepts)

Security y y y Interactions cross multiple organisational boundaries Specification, analysis and integration for heterogeneous OS, databases, firewalls, routers Lessons from history: Cell phones, IR garage doors, CATV decoders Everything worth hacking gets hacked y y y Need for secure µout of the box¶ set up Identify friend or foe level of trust

Small communicators, with confidential data, are easily lost or stolen ± biometric authentication


Necessary security technology exists

Privacy y Location service tracks movement to within metres (cf mobile phones but pay-as-you-go can be anonymous).


Clearly indicate you are being sensed or recorded + user control to stop recording or control distribution of information

y y y

You are now predictable System can co-relate location, context and behaviour patterns Do you want employer, colleagues or insurance company to know you carry a medical monitor?


Tension between authentication and anonymity ± business want to authenticate you for financial transactions and to provide µpersonalized¶ service of web sites


Constant spam of context dependent advertising


Ubiquitous Computing, Ethics and Social Inclusion
Key Ethical Issues
Freedom from harm
How to ensure new technologies are effectively tested to ensure they will cause no harm?

Respect for human dignity
Do ubiquitous computing solutions, because of their nature of being unseen, provide a particularly effective response to issues of stigmatisation?

Informed Consent
Because of this same quality of being unseen, do ubiquitous computing solutions create more challenges for providing informed consent? With a vulnerable group, as the primary users, what other key challenges exist for achieving informed consent?

By utilising ubiquitous computing, how much control is given up ± is there a risk of technology paternalism? Do opt-out options lessen the effectiveness of technologies put in place to enhance safety and health?

What are the implications of the Internet of Things, and the ability to track location of persons and things, as it impacts the individual¶s right to privacy? How does this relate to identity?

Management ± the nightmare! Huge, complex systems Billions of processors Multiple organisations Managing physical world, controlling sensors, actuators Humans will be in the way Errors propagate to bring down complete regions Hacker and virus paradise System propagates false information about individuals or organisation Complexity of s/w installation on a workstation or server ± how do you cope with billions?

Management Solutions Intelligent agents, mobile agents, policy QoS Management Fat pipes and large storage can convert media streams to short traffic bursts in core network but still needed for wireless links Adaptive self-management is the only answer Partitioned domains of responsibility Genetic algorithms may be suitable for long-term strategy but need more deterministic solutions for short term decision making Remove human from the loop

Conclusion (

Themes Emerging from Discussions
The need to resist against broad categorisation of individuals as ³ageing´ or ³elderly´ ± but rather to focus on clinical or other needs? Need to effectively address ethical ambiguities ± how to use ethical cost/benefit comparisons to reach solutions/provide guidance

Will the availability of technology to solve problems limit how far caregivers will go in trying to find the root issue of elders¶ needs (i.e., taking the technological way out of every situation?) Viewing technology as empowering users rather than merely safeguarding them from harm ± in the case of the elderly, solutions need to look at what people CAN do, and want to do, rather than only focusing on what they can no longer do In designing technology solutions, there is a need to clearly determine whose needs are being met (the elder¶s? or the caregivers?) Self-determination: Subject must have full control of applications with opt-out capabilities Need to recognise continuing constraints of technologies ± many are still in their infancy, and there are continuing strong barriers to overcome in terms of accuracy, cost, and availability/accessibility

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