Ubiquitous Computing Grand Challenge: Overview

By 2020 how many computers will you be using, wearing, have in your home, or even in your body? Computers are ubiquitous and will soon be globally connected. Shall we be in control of the complex emerging behaviour arising from their aggregation in a "ubiquitous" global network, or even understand it? As these devices become smaller, more numerous, more independent from users and more deeply embedded in the world around us, they raise formidable scientific and engineering challenges.

We have have produced a draft manifesto (available from the above web link) which identifies three views on the challenge for ubiquitous computing:

          The experience (user) perspective focuses on how people might share a world with ubiquitous computing environments. What interactive principle underpins our interaction with them, and how might a ubiquitous computing society be shaped from a socio-technical perspective?

          The design (engineering) perspective focuses on the architectural and network challenges posed by the large scale, heterogeneous and dynamic nature of ubiquitous computing. What engineering principles are needed to allow a vast array of devices to be interconnected in a system, and how might we understand and respond to the systemís emergent behaviour?

          The science (theoretical) perspective focuses on concepts and rigorous models that capture the behaviour of ubiquitous systems at varying levels of abstraction. How do we reason about such a system, in order to understand its aggregate behaviour in terms of the behaviour of its subsystems?

The core of Ubiquitous Computing lies in the convergence of these different perspectives, leading to a successful blend among them. This requires fundamental research into each of the constituent areas.  While each of these has its own distinct perspectives and goals, they are closely linked. They may advance with somewhat distinct time-scales, tools, principles and milestones, but their development will be coordinated by projects that contribute to each perspective. We have identified 3 subgoals for the grand challenge

Experience Goal

Engineering Goal

To define engineering design principles 

Science Goal

In order to help focus the work on achieving these goals, we have started to elaborate on some foothill projects:

See the the full manifesto: 

Ubiquitous Computing: Engineering, Design and Science "