Ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp) is defined as the integration of information technology in the environment of the person, so that computers are not perceived as distinct objects. This discipline is known by other terms such as Pervasive computing, Calm technology. Since a few years ago also called “Ambient Intelligence” .
Its promoters advocate the integration of devices around scenarios where the human being is located, in which it can interact naturally with their devices and perform any daily task in a completely transparent with respect to their computers. During its ordinary activities, someone who is “using” ubiquitous computing makes it through various computational devices and systems simultaneously. This model is seen as a further step in the paradigm of desktop computer use.
As a point common to all models of ubiquitous computing could highlight the fact that they share the vision of being small and concealable, sturdy and able to network processing, distributed at all scales, and are usually integrated into our environment without being particularly striking. For example, a domestic ubiquitous computing device might interconnect lighting and heating systems with temperature control so that changes depend on the time of day and its characteristics.
This system could react and change the temperature and light conditions in a home or building, continuously and imperceptibly. Another frequent application are refrigerators that are aware of its contents when it has been suitably labeled, able to plan healthy menus for the week based on the needs of each family member, and warn users of stale or spoiled food state.
Mark Weiser is credited with the authorship of the concept in his last articles written in 1988 while working for Xerox in Palo Alto Laboratory (PARC). The advance of science has not been as fast as Weiser predicted, but in recent years there have been significant strides in this direction.
In a 2004 article, the American writer Adam Greenfield coined the term witty everyware for incorporating ubiquitous computing technologies, ambient intelligence and tangible media.
Mark Weiser has proposed three basic models that can be considered to develop ubiquitous systems:
Tabs: few inches devices that can be carried by a user
Pads: devices the size of a hand
Boards: devices that can measure meters
These categories proposed by Weiser are generally characterized by being large, having a flat or incorporate some visual output. If these considerations are relaxed (allowing accept, for example, devices to the size of nanometers) can extend this range to a much larger number of devices, and also to a number of potentially more useful devices. Therefore, with time are over proposing three types of classifications:
Dust (powder): miniaturized devices that may not have any visual output (eg micro-electromechanical systems MEMS), whose size can range from nanometers to microns or millimeters.
Skin (skin) capabilities can be made to emit light and various materials, such as conductive polymers, some organic devices, etc. … They are often as clothing, curtains, or various decor items
Clay (clay) different sets of MEMS can be combined to create three-dimensional shapes.