Information Technology Reference
Pervasive systems implement a middleware paradigm to make Mark Weiser's
vision real. In 1988 he entitled 'Ubiquitous Computing', a project to be started
at the Computer Science Laboratory at Xerox PARC. His idea was that 'The
most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves
into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it'.
According to Weiser's vision, a computer we interact with should not be
monolithic or bounded in a place. Computer should be used to provide us
with an artificial extension of the reality we live in and we interact with.
A so-called augmented reality can then take place to be perceived in the same
way as we are used to manage our reality in everyday life, at any time and in
any place, inside or outside home or work.
Ubiquitous computing (UC in the following) is also called as pervasive
computing and is based on the integration between computer processing and
common-use objects by means of very small micro systems whose presence
we cannot detect or we are not interested to detect.
Unfortunately, when Weiser expressed his vision, micro system tech-
nology and wireless communication were not so effective and affordable. His
idea was considered just a scientific hypothesis and it was ignored in practice
for a long time.
Only from 2000 we can detect some confident researcher reflection on the
possibility of using currently available technology and actual implementation
of UC. In particular, wireless communication's lowering costs pushed
factories to invest in pervasive systems for home automation, as well as for
Internet services, by the use of mobile devices such as notebooks, personal
digital assistant (PDA) and cellular phones.