Ubiquitous Computing

This week, our topic is about ubiquitous computing. The concept of ubiquitous computing was proposed by Mark Weiser in the late 80s of the last century. Mark Weiser thought that future computers would gradually disappear from people’s lives, and they would be a part of the enviornment. He also defined three types of ubiquitous computing devices: Tab – centimeter-level device, which could be very convenient to carry and move, and had a network connection and positioning functions; Pad – decimeter-level device, the size of an A4 the paper quite, which could be moved, but did not facilitate the long-term carry; Board – meter-scale devices, were generally placed in a fixed position, which could support the use of shared.

Until today, 20 years later, if looking around, we can still find that the electronic equipments around us are classified as the three devices, which refers to mobile phones, tablets and computers.

GeoLife is a good example. This application connects users’ smart phones to Geolife tracking system, and get information about current locations of their phones. Here is a graph that shows how Geolife works.


By uploading your GPS data and associated multimedia content like photos to the website of GeoLife, you can interact with your trajectory like playing a video. First, you can enjoy and memorize your past experiences on a map. Second, you can share it with your friends. Thus, your friends can know where you have been, see what you saw and understand the whole journey within a few seconds. It is more intuitive and convenient than writing and reading a blog.


Mobile phone’s main usage is changing to taking photos , sending and receiving emails, browsing web, gaming and social networking from simple calling and sending messages. Its ability has been closed to a traditional computer. In the future, by the use of  ubiquitous computing technology, mobile phones will be even more useful than the computers.



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