What is ubiquitous computing and how is it applied?

What is ubiquitous computing and how is it applied?

October 30, 2020 0 By carolc

At present it is evident that technology is always connected, allowing to generate increasingly intelligent environments, capable of interacting with the human being naturally, simulating the perception of human reality represented by an information system, which involves the generation of learning to adapt to the characteristics of the context and the agents of the environment.

According to Wikipedia: “The term ubiquitous technology comes from the late computer scientist Mark Weiser who developed this idea in the 1980s. The concept of ubiquity was used by Weiser in the information and communication technology sciences in a job for Xerox PARC in 1988. Subsequently, in 1991 it had a major impact and the term began to be used worldwide.”

Ubiquitous computing is a tendency of all electronic or intelligent things towards network connection, using information systems as the basis. We can also define it as the integration of information systems into our real world. In this way computers cease to be differentiated objects and access to information is achieved at any time and through various devices, giving way to the generation of ubiquitous technology, where technology and human beings are immersed as the main actor of this work called Future.

Ubiquitous computing is a paradigm that contains models related to mobile computing, combined with the distributed computing model. It starts from mobile systems; they work in a distributed way and have the ability to integrate into autonomous environments due to the use of ubiquitous devices.

Models for designing and developing Ubiquitous technology

The technology depends on the use that we will give it, but also its development, design, features. Mark Weiser proposed three different models to shape this technology.

Model 1

Technological devices with small sizes (Tabs), such as tablets or folding phones that can be easily used and transported by a user.

Model 2

Smaller devices (Pads), such as watches, bracelets or small screens the size of a hand, could also be like Nintendo Game Boy game consoles, etc.

Model 3

Includes larger objects (Boards) that can measure meters.

This new form of computing has the following characteristics

  • Invisible: intervenes in our daily lives, but it is so insignificant, that people forget about its great impact on the everyday.
  • Ubiquitous: Allows integration between the computer and the environment in which people are developed through integrated devices (tablets, cell phones, cards and radio frequency identification readers (RFID), among others) in the environment so that they allow access and communication anywhere and at any time.
  • Dynamic: on the one hand, there are users who are continuously on the move within a ubiquitous computing environment; on the other hand, devices entering and leaving a computing environment, leading to the structure of systems changing dynamically.
  • Self-assessment: a ubiquitous system is capable of detecting and/or inferring the needs of its users, and voluntarily providing them with the required information services.

Main functions of a Ubiquitous system

  • Sensing: Sensors provide a means of acquiring data or information about the physical world or some aspect of the same context or reality.
  • Think: The captured data is processed and, in combination with other information possessed by the system, new information about the situation of the different entities that are using the system is inferred.
  • Act: once the system has characterized the situations of the different entities, that is, it has understood its context; it is in a position to implement the actions most suitable for the achievement of its objectives.

Tendencies to the future

A very relevant role for virtual worlds in relation to entertainment and its strong relationship with social media is in ubiquitous technology. One idea that has been around computer smokers lately is to predict that humanity’s future is in the virtual worlds, even talking about a new educational model or models developed from the implementation and dissemination of new technologies in the world of learning, improving cognitive abilities through computing and communications worldwide. Another big trend is to create interfaces that are adaptable to the size of the devices, that can be everywhere and that also do not need the use of hands. The idea is that you can use sensors and other peripherals (cameras or microphones) instead of your hands.

Areas of research

Ubicua Computing represents a great scientific-technical challenge, a great niche opportunity and is an attractive area for the business sector. Its adoption, as one of the strategic lines of development of the country, will be reflected in a social impact, a scientific impact, a technological impact, and finally an economic impact. The areas of research and development that are identified as high priority within the ubiquitous computation and without being exhaustive specialize in the areas for sensor creation, distributed systems, mobile computing and e-medicine.

Architecture for ubiquitous computing

Components of an intelligent environment, analyzing the physical and intermediate layer of Ubiquitous computing.

Physical layer

It is related to tangible components that allow an approach and interaction with the environment, such as: sensors, chip systems, insightful interfaces, intelligent materials, reconfigurable processors, speech recognition systems and signs. Both for obtaining user information and receiving system response; among these sensors we find visuals, audio, actuators, among others.

This layer has a responsibility to manage the input and output information that is part of the intelligent environment. This includes data networks and devices connected to it. The physical layer contains the related technologies required for the deployment of a context-sensitive application.

Intermediate layer

They constitute the software components of the system. Reconciles the information obtained in the physical layer and sends it to the application layer; considering that the physical layer contains or uses various technological components, it is necessary for the middle layer to integrate the obtained information. Includes new features in addition to those offered by the physical layer; for example, abstraction of information. Intermediate layers can be classified into three types: oriented to ubiquitous computing, context, and intelligent environments.

Application layer

They include intelligent agents, as well as the processes and tasks involved with each of the processes, in order to offer the necessary services.