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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

Ubicomp Ruminations

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ubiquitous computing envisages an age where every device has computing ability inbuilt and can talk to other devices. It integrates computing into the environment rather than having computers as discrete objects. It is known "Third Paradigm" in computing where technology recedes into the background of our lives. The first generation were the Mainframes which were shared by multiple users. It pawed the way for the desktop computing which brought computing power to the individual. The next wave is expected to be the era where every device can be a computer in itself.

Mobile ubiquitous computing refers to the term where mobile devices can be used to wirelessly connect to a network and access centrally located information. There are several devices notably the laptop and the mobile phone which are portable by nature and have an inherent ability to connect to a network. The third generation wireless technologies such as UMTS and EVDO and Wireless Ethernet technologies such as WiFi and WiMAX provide an infrastructure for these devices to connect wirelessly to the internet.

With the internet moving towards becoming one big Operating System one can extend this concept to move the bulk of computing from the device to the internet itself. The device can be built to have minimum computing power which is suffecient to connect to the internet. Such devices are called Network Computers. Network Computers in conjunction with the Internet can be used to provide the user with a pervasive computing experience. It can be an Ubicomp for the user.

Such a device would also have to aim to be the convergence device for the user. It would have to provide all functionalities provided by mobile phones, laptops, PDA’s, portable music players and personal game consoles in the long run. It would also have to be an ultra mobile device as well with a small form factor. The challenges involved in creating such a device would include vision, design, hardware and software content. It will take several attempts before one can come up with the devenitive device. There have been several attempts at the convergence device, the latest being Microsoft's Origami.

The concept of ubicomp is central to the vision of an interconnected world. With more and more devices having inbuilt computing power, the computing power available to an individual is increasing. The challenge lies in connecting these devices together.

Tags: Ubicomp Mobile Computing Origami Pervasive Computing Internet OS Network Computer
posted by Rajiv, 4:14 AM

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