By on June 18, 2010

Ubiquitous Computing

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This is the era of ubiquitous computing. Around us, we are seeing the numbers of devices and services growing exponentially. Five years from now, this behavior will evolve into the essential of our lives, and today’s rate of innovation in mobile services is just about to take a quantum leap.

Our laptop’s browser is the central part to access contents and interact with it; in a couple of years, the device will be the pivotal part, just because it’s more fun and useful, thanks to features such:

  • user’s location
  • social network
  • personal data
  • phone specific functions such the camera and the accelerometer

Information will be available in a “liquid” format, meaning that it can assume the most useful shape for a particular situation or need. Between the 2013 and 2015, tablets such the iPad will surpass the laptop sales and by 2012, Android will be the most used operating system due to the wide adoption on multi mobile devices.

About 20 years ago Mark Weiser, a research scientist at Xerox PARC, in Palo Alto, had a vision of this future. He imagined that dozens, even hundreds of small computers would be available everywhere, and seamlessly support us in our everyday tasks. He called it ubiquitous computing.  Unlike the personal computer, these devices would be un-tethered, user friendly, aware of their surroundings, and conducive to communication and collaboration in the real world, rather than on the screen.

Future devices will be hundreds of times more powerful when it comes to processing power and memory is really not so important in terms of the software you can now create for them. Application concepts that are now popular on phones and pads have been around for decades, what is different is that every device is connected, not just to other devices, but to rapidly growing power of software resources, social networks, and most importantly “geo” and “real time” data. There is a bar in NoHo, NY, (the new vibrant US environment for startups) called Tom & Jerry’s that draws a large crowd of web site founders, bloggers and online marketers. It’s famous because everyone knows your twitter handle once you go there. All the people want to go in a bar where everybody knows their name, and that is possible thanks to location services and mobile.

I think that with the acceleration of capabilities of HTML5, soon we will not even have to go through the process of installing apps on the phone, just because the web and devices will be one unified thing, with our lives on top of that. Of course, apps have a better experience in terms of interactions, people use web search today because they do not know how to find quality information; on the iPhone I just lunch the appropriate app. So if web/browsers want to survive, they have to innovate going deeper into device integrations, and rise up an amazing user experience. It has to change from a flat platform for generic contents to a rich and more customized one “around you”.

Well, some people may not like this kind of future at all, but we’re already living it, and from some points of view, it could be controversial due to the end of privacy. On the other hand, this is just the natural human evolution; we are social animals; we want simpler stuff and have the maximum while doing less.

That is exactly why Device will be our Lives

Ubiquitous Computing


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