Information Technology Reference
In-Depth Information
The transition towards Weiser's vision is currently underway, and we can
predict that in a few years many surrounding objects will be provided with
micro systems and embedded autonomous processing capabilities.
According to new suitable modalities, we will find us interacting with an
augmented reality. Customized visits to heritage sites, real-time pervasive
medical assistance, car navigation, in-field automatic training, mobile
commerce and so on are just some examples of facilities, already partially
available today, that will give us several advantages. These will be, at the
same time, exciting as well as potentially worrying. There is a risk that we
may get a new digital dependency which will further complicate our life. Not
less worrying the idea of letting pervasive systems hold some personal data
of ours, it will be needed to enable pervasive systems to provide us with
services exactly customized for us. Therefore, we will be often called to
choose between keeping our privacy and enjoying pervasive services.
UC is mainly implemented by means of pervasive systems, those systems
which work spread over the environment and use the environment itself as an
interaction medium between people and computer networks.
Pervasive systems' basic concepts are those of augmented reality, that is,
the reality enriched by virtual contents, and of disappearing hardware, that is,
of hiding hardware from our perception. Computer is no more visible because it
is hidden by the environment veil and because in the near future we shall not
have the need to bring a computer with us to enjoy computer services.
Information processing systems become an integrating part of reality,
with the role of providing reality with artificial intelligence behaviours.
Environment's physical and conceptual reality is then enriched with entities
which are designed to emulate intelligent behaviours.
From the human perception point of view, the environment in augmented
reality can be interpreted as being aware that human-environment interaction
takes place not only according to the rules of a natural reality but also to the
ones requested by some kind of distributed artificial intelligence. We shall
be called to familiarize with new types of feedbacks which will not be so
predictable as the ones of physical lows and nature physiology. A feedback
will come from some artificial intelligence process which will be arranged
according to a programmer's logic.
This aspect can excite some perplexity, but, however, the opportunity
for programming environment feedbacks allows us to arrange interaction
systems and mediate human expectations with programmable virtual entities.
Augmented reality is then the environment where hybrid entities live.
They are partly real and partly virtual, some kind of wrappers with the
capability of combining an artefact or a human being with some individual
knowledge dealing with it.
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