Ubiquitous Computing

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Ubicomp Demo Video By Mark Weiser

Reading Critiques

Haoran Zhang 10:43:07 9/19/2016

The computer for the 21st century: In this paper, author discussed about the “future” computer in the 21st century. In 1991, that is 25 years ago, the development of computer technology was not like today’s computer, especially in human computer area. At that moment, all components were not as small as today, and human computer interaction design principle was not well developed. Author give us a look of future computer at that time moment. Author think, in the future, a lot of things can be replaced by computer, such as chalkboards can be replaced by live boards. Today, we have this kind of thing, but it smaller, such as tablets, and we integrate more functionalities into the tablets. Also, author think we can build networks using wired and wireless connection. From today, we can see that, this is true in this time. We can find wireless hotspot anywhere, and those wireless hotspots were connected by wired networks. The other thing is active badge, this is a small device and it can trigger automatic doors, telephone forwarding and computer displays customized to each person reading them. This is more like the concept of smart home. Due to devices become cheaper and smaller, this concept is not just a concept anymore. The fourth thing is computer scratchpads, this is another not well developed prototype at that time, but now we have powerful tools like tablets, or scratchpads for computers to give you a true scratching feeling. Author also mentioned a radio transceiver to construct wireless network, today, we can see them in any modern building, and we call it hotspot. The author correctly predict our lives will associate with computer, but our lives may beyond the author’s imagination. Charting past, present, and future research in Ubiquitous Computing: This paper also discussed ubiquitous computing. There are three main interaction themes were developed in 90s, they are natural interfaces, context-aware applications, and automated capture and access. For natural interfaces, we want to provide an intuitive input form to users, and it should be easy to use as mouse and keyboard. Since the limit of technology, error handling is also important, there are several ways to handle it, error reduction, error discovery, and reusable infrastructure for error correction. Author also used few examples to point out the challenges for ubicomp, so that we can know, at that time there are a lot of problems need to be solved. Some of them are not solved even today I think. In this paper, author talked about few technologies during that time, but now, we have more powerful solutions, and more easy to use. Even though, they are better than the same devices at that time, the design principle of interfaces are not jump out of the circle.

Steven Faurie 15:43:52 9/21/2016

Steve Faurie The Computer for the 21st Century: This article described a hypothetical future where computing has become ubiquitous and consequently almost invisible to people. The author compared it to writing. We have writing on everything from candy wrappers to road signs and people don’t really notice it, but do get information from it. This is an interesting point and it could be interesting to see computers turn into something similar. There are some things described in the author’s hypothetical future I would find very intrusive. An overlay of the paths people had walked seems a bit much. I wouldn’t really want my neighbors to see when someone walked out of my house to a parking spot where my car usually is. It seems like a good way to get robbed. However there were many interesting ideas in the article too. The idea of small computers that could essentially substitute for a piece of paper would be nice. And the thought of seamlessly integrating the power of computing into your everyday life is appealing. Smart phones seem to offer many of the capabilities described, but share many of the draw backs he described about laptops and desktops too. You generally only have one per person. And they can’t really be strewn about your desk, each one its own monotasking device until it is tasked to do something else. I think a future like what the author described could happen, but battery life and costs would need to improve dramatically. Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing: This article was a survey of the technologies needed to develop and assess ubiquitous computing. Natural interfaces were discussed. As in the ability for a computer to communicate with users in similar ways to how humans communicate with others and interact with their environment. The idea of developing data types to represent this type of interaction was interesting, and seems like it could pose many challenges. Error tolerance is a huge area of research that needs to be developed as natural human language and interaction has many inconsistencies. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of ubiquitous computing that needs to be solved is context aware computing. The article described location based contextual awareness as the most developed. Which is still true, especially for phones and mapping applications. Interestingly they also included that the computer should know who it is working for. As in what types of things would this particular user type need. What the user is doing could also help determine what information or assistance is actually useful. The idea of when someone is doing something is discussed as well. As in does someone’s routine differ drastically from normal. Maybe there is an issue. Determining why a person is doing something could be the most difficult task for context aware computing. As there is the most depth to that question. It was interesting to see this article discussing using context for augmented reality. Something that has come up quite a bit recently with the release of Pokemon Go on smart phones. Automated capture seems fraught with potential pitfalls and privacy violations. I remember when Google glass came out how uncomfortable people were with it. People didn’t seem to like interacting with someone that had a device on their face that could potentially be recording the conversation they were having. The next section of the survey overviewed areas of research that would be needed to continue the development of ubiquitous computing. Most of these issues sound relatively difficult to solve at the moment. The section on evaluating different ubiquitous computing systems was interesting. It reminds me of the need to quantify other types of human computer interaction we discussed in class. Such as using things like Fitt’s law to evaluate how good different pointing devices were.

Alireza Samadian Zakaria 22:54:19 9/21/2016

The computer for the 21st Century is a paper about ubiquitous computers in the 21st century. It has some predictions about it. The author starts with an interesting sentence: the most profound technologies are those that disappear. By that, he means the good technologies become a part of our lives and we won’t be aware of them anymore. As an example, he mentions writing which we use it every day and we are not aware of its presence as a good technology. According to his prediction, computers would be a part of our lives like writing. He talks about an imaginary world with hundreds of computers in form of tabs, pads and board-size writing and displaying surfaces in each room. In this world, all the things would be automated for example doors open to the right persons and greet people by name. However, many of these predictions are valid today. Furthermore, the paper introduces tab as a small display, pad as something like modern tablets. Then he mentions some of the features of the software used in large shared display such as the location of menus. In this world, live boards can also be used as bulletin boards (like what it is today). The author mentions that the technology required for ubiquitous computers comes in three parts: cheap and low-power hardware, software for ubiquitous applications and a network that ties them all together. In their prediction for network they proposed infrared and radio frequency which are obsolete and are not used much today. ------ Charting past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing is the title of the second paper which was focused on the same subject. The past researches in ubiquitous computing had pushed themes like natural interface, context aware applications and automated capture and access. This paper talks about another topic which is everyday computing and scale of interaction with respect to the time. The first them is natural interface: since we are interacting with ubiquitous computers continuously for ease of use there should be a natural interface but the problem is that these interfaces has some errors and these errors will not be fixed since even humans have these recognition errors to some extent. However, there are researches conducted in error handling focusing on error reduction, error detection and correction. The second theme is content-aware computing, by knowing the context, computers would be able to do many things. The authors suggest that there are context is not just position and identity and they provide 5 W’s of context: Who is the user? What the user is doing? Where is the computer? (It is explored more than the others) When? (It is not just about the time but the meaning that comes from duration of an action) Why? (The most challenging) The third theme is about capturing; it is a good idea that computers capture some information that we need so that we can focus on other tasks that we are better at. Every day computing has many challenges like being continuously present. Thus it is suggested that we should perform more research in these area. Another challenge is evaluating these systems; since these systems were on the cutting edge there were not good developer and designer for them and it is hard to find a human need. At the end, the authors talk about some of social issues regarding ubiquitous computers such as privacy and security which we have already met many of these concerns and most of them are familiar for us.

Keren Ye 23:13:29 9/21/2016

The Computer for the 21st Century The authors present their view toward the future of the computer technology. They state that machines should truly make computing an integral, invisible part of daily lives, thus they try to conceive a new way of thinking about computers, one that takes into account the human world and allows the computers themselves to vanish into the background. To further describe their idea, they give several details in the paper. Firstly, the authors proudly mention products developed in Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. The goal for these products is to make computers aware of the environment rather than require humans to notice about their surroundings. The authors introduce interesting features of their products. However, the vanishing techniques also bring some side effect such as the privacy problem. Once they want to make the system interfaces transparent, it means malformed operations are also easy to access the system. To sense location and create machines with different sizes, shapes and functionalities, as mentioned by the authors, is a significant requirement of ubiquitous computers. This is crucial for resolving all of the challenges. Although developing ubiquitous computing is a challenge, the authors are still optimistic about it. As we read the paper today we find that it is quite insightful and predictive. Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing This paper also discusses the future of ubiquitous computing. According to this paper, developing ubiquitous computing is also tricky. Not limited to the traditional keyboard-mouse interface, ubiquitous computing could apply other interfaces such natural interface, which use natural user inputs such as speech, handwriting and gestures. Improving in these interfaces could help to fade the machines into the background. However, an important issue is that the system should have enough knowledge about the context. In nowadays, cellphone is a trend and people like to use it to access internet. According to the author, humans may rely much more on the cell phone thus ubiquitous computing will be more popular in the future.

Tazin Afrin 23:18:46 9/21/2016

Critique of “The Computer for the 21st Century”: In this 1991 paper, the author Mark Weiser describes what he believes to be the future of computing devices should be. He believes that the most overpowering technologies are those that disappear. Which means humans become so free to use them that we forget the existence of the product and focus beyond them towards achieving new goals. It is a human nature that, whenever people learn something well, they tend to think less about the task and just automatically do it. The scientists believe that ‘personal computer’ is just a transitional step and a new way of thinking about the computers may achieve the real potential and allow the computers to vanish in the background. However, now a days in this 21st century computing devices have become an extension to human ability and a part of every moment of human life. For example, if we think about social networking website, we get into virtual relationships so much that it has tend to become the reality of relationship now and we forget that networking has the internet on the background. Which means the authors vision of ubiquitous computing have become a real thing. He also developed an idea that boards or pads in offices or universities should be ownerless and could be accessed by anyone, which has also become a practice for many universities. Yet, people still finds walking in the woods more refreshing than computers. Computers penetrated in all groups in the society but yet people find them frustrating sometimes. The author believes that instead of forcing human into the machine environment, machines should be developed such a way that they fit human environment. Only then the gap of technology and human environment could be overcome. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Critique of “Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing”: In this paper, the authors represent the past, present and future of ubiquitous computing how to shape these technologies to facilitate human tasks. Beside reviewing the accomplishment of interaction themes, the authors also proposed a new area of application research, called everyday computing. Speaking, gesture, writings are natural form of human interaction and they are converted to keyboard, mouse, display to communicate between human and computer naturally. But this type of computing is more error prone and recognition based. Context aware computing in ubicomp uses contexts such as location, physical world, time, reason etc. Coupling the natural interaction and context aware computation results in augmented reality which is a tighter integration of information and perception. An emerging area is everyday computing, which results from scaling ubiquitous computing with respect to time. Many new applications are moving towards everyday computing where they provide a framework to augment user functionality in a natural world. The authors took inspiration from Weiser’s 1993 work that ubiquitous computing will create compelling applications that may help the development of the infrastructure. Moreover, here the authors proposed to add successful computational technology.

Anuradha Kulkarni 0:10:28 9/22/2016

The Computer for the 21st Century: This article provided a vision about ubiquitous computing. Computers will eventually become part of our everyday environment, but invisible to us. The article presents a way that discusses out the difference between ubiquitous computing and multimedia. The multimedia focus on the user’s attention and ubiquitous computing trend to fade into background. Three aspects of computing technology need to be met: cheap low-power computers with convenient displays, a network that ties them all together, and software systems implementing ubiquitous applications. Some of the potential issues and benefits with this future of computing have been discussed in this article. The overall idea of the paper is fascinating and I truly believe that this paper had a huge impact in the upcoming of the ubiquitous computing. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Charting the Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing: This paper gives an overview of current state and future of ubiquitous computing. It explains the design challenges facing researchers in this field. The paper addresses three topics: natural interfaces that allow natural communication between humans and computers, context-aware applications that align their behavior to the particular environment, and capture and access of live experiences. The two critical issues with respect to natural interfaces has been noted in the paper. They include error recognition and natural data types. The main contribution of the paper are the ideas and concepts discussed with respect to the future ubiquitous computing and tackling the obstacles that comes with it. Extraordinary visions about privacy and security issues have been discussed in the paper. Computation is definitely moving in the direction of everyday computing, with smart phone, internet of things, etc.

nannan wen 0:19:51 9/22/2016

Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing by Gregory et.al review: This paper is about application-driven research in ubiquitous computing (ubicomp), it has pushed three interaction themes: natural interfaces, context-aware applications, and automated capture and access. Weiser introduced a area of ubiquitous computing and put forth a vision of people and environments augmented with computational resources that provide information and services and so on. He also attempted to give vision about what the future will look like in digital world, and also some specification about the development and deployment of infrastructure. In this article, they explored how the applications has evolved in the decade since the start of the Ubiquitous Computing project. The Computer for the 21st Century by Mark Weiser review: The paper claims that surrounds personal computers is not just a “user interface” problem. They investigated the history of ubiquitous computing through exploration of some interaction themes, which include natural interfaces, context-aware computing, and automated capture and access for live experiences. They also outlined some of the remaining research challenges for HCI researchers to pursue in the new millennium. They explained the necessity for ubicomp research to explore continuous everyday activities.

nannan wen 0:20:37 9/22/2016

Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing by Gregory et.al review: This paper is about application-driven research in ubiquitous computing (ubicomp), it has pushed three interaction themes: natural interfaces, context-aware applications, and automated capture and access. Weiser introduced a area of ubiquitous computing and put forth a vision of people and environments augmented with computational resources that provide information and services and so on. He also attempted to give vision about what the future will look like in digital world, and also some specification about the development and deployment of infrastructure. In this article, they explored how the applications has evolved in the decade since the start of the Ubiquitous Computing project. The Computer for the 21st Century by Mark Weiser review: The paper claims that surrounds personal computers is not just a “user interface” problem. They investigated the history of ubiquitous computing through exploration of some interaction themes, which include natural interfaces, context-aware computing, and automated capture and access for live experiences. They also outlined some of the remaining research challenges for HCI researchers to pursue in the new millennium. They explained the necessity for ubicomp research to explore continuous everyday activities.

Xiaozhong Zhang 0:56:32 9/22/2016

The computer for the 21st century The paper gave a good vision of the how ubiquitous computing will look like in the near future. It is divided into three parts. The introduction of the technology, the current research status at author's lab, and outstanding challenges on the path. At the end, it gave and a daily life usage case and concluded emphasizing the promising future of the technology. In the first part, it argued that the most profound technologies being used is the ones that we don't realize that we are using like writing. Then it stated that if human can learn computer operations enough well, the the computer will disappear to the background like what writing did. I agree with the author that in order to make computer disappear, we should make it everywhere and make its usage so simple and easy to learn like breathing. As the author claimed, the most natural way to realize this goal is to make the reality filled with task-specific computers and human can interact with them easily and directly. However, one thing the author hasn't realized or intentionally avoided to talk about is that it's not possible to exhaust the possible intentions of human. The solution the author gave may fulfill some simple tasks like handling meeting routines in a meeting room. But what if people go crazy and want to play games in the meeting room. The specific system might not be able to accommodate this situation well. Therefore, in my opinion, instead of building task-specific computers, we should build a central computer that can handle different tasks under different scenario. All the other devices are just sensors, signal receivers and executors. This is actually what some tech giants today are trying to do, like the amazon Alexa, which is a speech-guided assistant for household electronic devices. Charting past, present, and future research in ubiquitous computing In this article, the author attempted to outline the trajectory of ubiquitous computing research in the decade since the inspiring work of Weiser and colleagues at Xerox PARC. The author identified three research themes for ubiquitous computing, provided some background on significant achievements in those areas, as well as highlighted some of the remaining challenges. The author did this with the desire to motivate budding ubiquitous computing researchers to attack some important and well-defined problems. Weiser claimed that the whole point of ubiquitous computing was to create compelling applications that would drive the development of devices and infrastructure. The author agreed in spirit with this claim, but want to promote a broader view that promotes the general-purpose utility (and challenge) of ubiquitous interaction with computational resources. The application or task-centric focus has been a fruitful one for HCI research. If we look at successful computing technology, however, it is not the case that a single application has driven critical-mass acceptance and deployment. What is the motivating application for the personal computer in our office or home, or for a Palm Pilot􏰀. There are many applications, different for each person. The real goal for ubiquitous computing is to provide many single-activity interactions that together promote a unified and continuous interaction between humans and computational services. The focus for the human at any one time is not a single interface to accomplish some task. Rather, the interaction is more free-flowing and integrative, akin to our interaction with the rich physical world of people, places, and objects in our everyday lives.

Zhenjiang Fan 1:33:59 9/22/2016

The Computer for the 21st Century:::::::: The author illustrated a vision of future daily life, where the usage of computers would become so ubiquitous that we won't even realize their existence. The author implied that everything that described or represented would be replaced by computers. From my point of view, I do not hold this view, even though, I agree with the author in some sense, given the fact that lots of things in live have been replaced by computers. First of all, computers won't replace everything, that does not make any sense. Why would you replace a simple note with a computer? Why would you want to have more than 100 computers in one room? If computers would be as powerful as the author described in the article, then why would we just simply use a single computer instead, in this way, life will be much simpler to manage. I can see why the author made such a prediction years ago, in terms of the rapid development of computing technology. Even now, it still makes some sense to many of us. The author spent a lot of time on giving us examples or cases trying to convince us, either example from everyday lives or cases from his work. The author gave us a conception of embodied virtuality or ubiquitous computing. It means that, in the future, computers would be so ubiquitous that we won't realize their existence. Before the author came to what are the most important factors that impact the development of ubiquitous computing, the author provides us lots of advanced technologies that could potentially make it come true. Most of these case are related to devices, such as prototype tabs, pads and boards, because they are just the beginning of ubiquitous computing in the author's standpoint. Then the author listed three most important parts of the technology required by ubiquitous computing: cheap and low-power computer, software for ubiquitous applications and a fast network that ties them together. Then the author went on explaining challenges ahead to make these parts come true. The author estimated that the first part would be met. In this case, he was right. The problem, though, in the author's mind, was larger displays. In this case, the author was also right, since even today the price of larger displays is still very high. The author also talked about the possibility of other hardware technologies, such as storage, shortness of wireless networks. The more challenge obstacle is computer systems and software because these systems and software were not designed to support ubiquitous computing. Then the author provided several examples how the popular computer systems were not suitable for ubiquitous computing, either they lack mechanisms of collaborating with other computers or their high-level applications were too rigid to deal with dynamic and mobile situations. The other issue that the author brought up was the privacy issue, given the fact that many people and devices would be allocated in one space. Fortunately, cryptographic techniques already exist to secure messages from one ubiquitous computer to another and to safeguard private information stored in networked systems. Finally, the author believed that ubiquitous computing would eventually come to a reality and gave us examples how it might bring great changes to our lives.  :::::::::::::::::::::::::Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing::::::::::::::::: Weiser's visionary conception, ubiquitous computing, has two important parts: hardware and infrastructural support and software application support. As the author mentioned in the article, this hardware support of a variety of devices has become more and more convincing. From this application perspective, the author categorized three important themes: natural interfaces, context aware and automated capture and access. Based on these three themes, the author went over some past development of the field as well as outlined some challenging research topics ahead. In the discussion of the first theme, natural interface, the author stated why the natural interface is so important: mainly because, ubiquitous computing more likely need to deal with human physical activities and these activities come out natural. So it is very important for ubiquitous computing to support more natural human forms of communication. Then the author went on talking about how do we build applications that can deal with natural human activities. First, ubiquitous computing applications need to process raw data types that are different from the input of the mouse or keyboard, such as audio, video, ink and sensor input. Then author discussed some specific examples of these input forms. How to deal with errors is the must-do task for any application or software, given the fact that the input data from these natural human physical activities are extremely complicated, so the error rate of data that ubiquitous computing applications have to process must be relatively high comparing to common data input. The author did give us some of his ideas how to deal with errors in ubiquitous computing applications(some old concepts): error prevention, error discovery, error correction. The second theme, context-aware computing, seems to be very popular in these days. The author spent a lot of time on explaining what is context, which I think it is not necessary at all. And the author mentioned how to couple context-aware and natural interaction, which I find very interesting and a little bit disappointed because of less content of the topic. I do think the second theme and the third theme are much like one topic, even though the author talked about them in separated discussions. If you can find what kind of context you are in right now, then you must have already capture activities around you. So I do think they are the same topic.

Debarun Das 8:41:51 9/22/2016

“The Computer for the 21st Century” by Mark Weiser: This paper gives an insight into ubiquitous computing. This is an old paper (1991) and it uses examples to introduce the concept of future computing for the 21st century. It describes that the most “profound technologies are those that disappear” like writing. By this, it means that the technology becomes a part of the daily life of the people and the skills required to access it is easily attained. That means, the computing technology becomes an essential part of everyday life of people. This paper presents an idea which has very well turned into a reality now. In modern world, technologies like smartphones, tabs and laptops have become a part of everyone’s life. The paper uses several real life examples as well as examples of technology already developed by then at the Xerox Palo Alto Research center. One such technology is that of live boards that replaced chalk boards. Also, it discusses about wired and wireless technology and how a device should be aware of its location for better performance. Overall, this paper seems to introduce the concept of ubiquitous computing and gives direction for future research in this. ………………………………………… “Charting Past, Present, and Future Research in Ubiquitous Computing” by G.D. Abowd and E.D. Mynatt: This paper discusses about the works that have been done in Ubiquitous computing since the publication of the paper by Mark Weiser discussed above. The authors have discussed the work that had been done in three main research directions of ubiquitous computing and the challenges that are to be met further. Some of these research directions include ‘designing a continuously present user interface’, ‘presenting information at different levels of the periphery of human attention’ and ‘connecting events in the physical and virtual worlds’. In brief, this paper provides an overview of all the research works that have been done in ubiquitous computing and provides ideas of future research in this area.