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Pervasive Computing


What is Pervasive computing ? Goals of pervasive computing. Ultimate goal Current Technology Four Themes Examples Projects Pervasive Computer Problems Security & Privacy Management-nightmare Management-the solution

Pervasive computing:

An environment in which people interact with embedded (and mostly invisible) computers (processors) and in which networked devices are aware of their surroundings and peers and are able to provide services or use services from peers effectively

Technology View Computers everywhere embedded into fridges, washing machines, door locks, cars, furniture, people intelligent environment Mobile portable computing devices Wireless communication seamless mobile/fixed
User View Invisible implicit interaction with your environment Augmenting human abilities in context of tasks Ubiquitous = mobile computing + intelligent Environment

Ultimate goal:
Invisible technology Integration of virtual and physical worlds Throughout desks, rooms, buildings, and life Take the data out of environment, leaving behind just an enhanced ability to act

Current Technology


mobile phone

Bluetooth headset

Four Themes
Automated capture of experiences with easy access Context-aware/sensitive interactions and applications Ubiquitous services independent of devices/platforms Natural/Implicit interfaces

1. Automated Capture
Record-taking is hard Multiple streams of information need to be captured Machines are better at some of these things than we are

Meeting capture (scribe at Xerox PARC), Mark Weiser Classroom 2000

Live Board

Classroom 2000

Stream integration -- At what level?
Very finest level of actions or more coarse?

Modifying a record after the fact

Can student notes be added later?

Networked interaction
Why cant your notes be put up on the Liveboard?

2. Context-Aware Computing
Computing services sense aspects of environment (location, user emotion,) and tailor provided services
Walk into conference room, my email is projected on a big screen there

Active Badge & PARCTab Shopping assistant Cyberguide Perception system for recognizing user moods from their facial expressions House where position is sensed and temperature adjusted automatically

Augmented Reality

How to integrate all the different aspects of context? What about the loss of privacy?

3. Ubiquitous Services
Care about service, not application Want to receive a message using whatever device is handy nearby Message is tailored to work according to device

What is software infrastructure for integration? Do we get it by just adopting some standard?

4. Natural/Implicit Interfaces
Computer interfaces and devices are more natural interaction tools
Pen input Speech Gesture Tangible interfaces

Putting Them Altogether

Progress in
computing speed communication bandwidth material sciences sensor techniques computer science concepts miniaturization energy and battery display technologies ...

Enables new applications Post-PC era business opportunities Challenges for computer scientists, e.g., infrastructure

Some Examples:

Smart Clothing

Conductive textiles and inks print electrically active patterns directly onto fabrics Sensors based on fabric e.g., monitor pulse, blood pressure, body temperature Invisible collar microphones Kidswear game console on the sleeve? integrated GPS-driven locators? integrated small cameras (to keep the parents calm)?

Smart Glasses
By 2009, computers will disappear. Visual information will be written directly onto our retinas by devices in our eyeglasses and contact lenses -- Raymond Kurzweil

Radio Sensors
No external power supply
energy from the actuation process piezoelectric and pyroelectric materials transform changes in pressure or temperature into energy

RF signal is transmitted via an antenna (20 m distance) Applications: temperature surveillance, remote control (e.g., wireless light switch),...

RFIDs (Smart Labels)

Identify objects from distance small IC with RFtransponder Wireless energy supply ~1m magnetic field (induction) ROM or EEPROM (writeable) ~100 Byte Cost ~$0.1 ... $1 consumable and disposable Flexible tags laminated with paper


Making Lego Smart: Robot command Explorer (Hitachi H8 CPU, 32KB RAM, IR)

Lego Mindstorms

Example Projects
ETH Zurich The Smart Its Project HP Cooltown project AT&T Sentient System

Berkeleys Wireless Sensor Network

Intel Mote/RFID Project

Idea: Making Objects Smart

The Smart Its Project
Vision: make everyday objects as smart, interconnected information artifacts
by attaching Smart-Its

Smart labels
Atmel microcontroller: (ETH Zurich) 4 MIPS, 128 kB flash

Magnifying Glass
An object as a web link
e.g., by displaying a dynamically generated homepage Contents may depend on circumstances, e.g., context and privileges possibly mediated by different name resolvers HP Cooltown project

Smart Environment, Dumb Object

A context-sensitive cookbook with RFID


Can be Context-Aware
Properties of the ingredients
Check whether there is enough of an ingredient Prefer ingredients with earlier best-before date

Properties of the kitchen

Check whether required tools and spices are available

Preferences and abilities of the cook

Prefers Asian dishes Expert in vegetarian dishes

Pervasive Computer Problems

What means of communication Radio spectrum shortage Light based very directional
Batteries would be impractical power source for 100K processors per person. Solar cells are not suitable for all environments. Power not speed is the key issue for future process or designs

Interactions cross multiple organizational 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 Need for secure out 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

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 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 personalized service cf web sites Constant spam of context dependent advertising

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 organization Complexity of software 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

References odlyzko/