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Ubiquitous Computing: Characteristics, Advantages & Challenges

  • Ashesh Anand
  • Jun 09, 2022
Ubiquitous Computing: Characteristics, Advantages & Challenges title banner

Computing everywhere and at any time not only improves efficacy and efficiency, but it also saves money. The concept of ubiquitous computing, also known as pervasive computing, ambient intelligence, or "everyware," is one of the most advanced forms of computing.

 

The simplicity of being in-network has always offered an assortment of technological breakthroughs in both wired and wireless networks, thanks to the emergence of ubiquitous computing applications. However, "What is Ubiquitous Computing?" is a question that emerges here.

 

Pervasive computing, also known as Ubiquitous computing, is a new concept that involves embedding microprocessors in ordinary things so that they can share information. 

 

It refers to the incorporation of computers into everyday objects so that people are oblivious of their presence. All of these gadgets communicate with one another across wireless networks without requiring the user's involvement.

 

Also Read | Computational Intelligence: An Introduction


 

What Is Ubiquitous Computing and What Does It Mean?

 

Ubiquitous computing is a computing paradigm in which information processing is linked to each action or object encountered. It entails linking electronic equipment, as well as incorporating microprocessors for data communication. Devices that use ubiquitous computing are always connected and always available.

 

Ubiquitous computing focuses on learning by eliminating the complexity of computing and increasing efficiency while utilizing computers for many daily tasks.

 

Ubiquitous computing, also known as ambient computing or pervasive computing, is the saturation of work, residential, and transportation settings with interconnected gadgets. 

 

Because of contextual data gathering and application, smooth, intuitive access points, and fluid payment mechanisms, these embedded systems would make these settings and transit methods significantly more fun and convenient.

 

An autonomous vehicle that recognises its allowed passenger through smartphone proximity, docks and charges itself when needed, and handles toll, emergency response, and fast-food purchases by connecting with infrastructure is a prime example of a ubiquitous computing experience.

 

Origins of Ubiquitous Computing

 

The concept of ubiquitous computing dates back to the late 1980s. The phrase "ubiquitous computing" was coined by Mark Weiser, who worked as the Chief Technologist at Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in 1988. 

 

He co-authored some of the first studies on the issue alongside PARC Director and Chief Scientist John Seely Brown. Weiser is credited with coining the term "ubiquitous computing" and exploring its key difficulties.

 

Applications of Ubiquitous Computing

 

The progress of the omnipresent environment is dependent on technological advancement. It is necessary for the environment to be self-configurable and self-healing. The network can be quick and dependable if robust computer networks (using Ethernet technologies and security gateways) are implemented.

 

The potential of ubiquitous computing is enormous, and it will have an impact on a wide range of fields. Smart automobiles can help to avoid accidents and provide convenient routes. 

 

  • Smart energy meters improve energy efficiency. Household equipment may be easily maintained because the sensor tag affixed to the equipment notifies you when maintenance is necessary or when the warranty expires, allowing you to prevent costly repairs.

 

  • Embedded smart chips in healthcare will automate and regulate processes while also improving the patient's environment. Obesity levels can be reduced by creating a healthy eating environment. It can also provide a comparison of fast food vs. home cooking, raising health awareness and improving quality of life.

 

  • Family and relatives, as well as strangers, could be identified by the cameras installed at your front door. Any stranger with a criminal history can be checked against the criminal database, and an automated emergency call and email (along with a photo) will be sent to the local police station.

 

Also Read | What is Hybrid Cloud Computing? Working System and Advantages

 

Ubiquitous Computing Layers

 

Ubiquitous computing is made up of numerous layers, each with its own function, that work together to form a single system.

 

  1. The Task Management layer examines user tasks, context, and indexes. It also takes care of the territory's complicated interdependencies.

 

  1. The Environment Management layer keeps track of resources and their capabilities, as well as mapping service requirements and user-level statuses of specific capabilities.

 

  1. The Environment layer keeps track of important resources and manages their dependability.

 

Sentient Computing

 

Sentient computing is a type of ubiquitous computing that employs sensors to detect and react to its surroundings. The sensors are frequently used to build a world model that allows location-aware or context-aware apps to be built. 

 

Sentient computers gather data from a variety of sources, including background processes, data pushed to the user, the user's location, time of day, current speed, average speed over time, previous behaviors such as clicks and subscriptions, and the user's friends on another platform.


Image depicts the properties of Ubiquitous Computing which are being autonomous, Intelligent, Contextually aware, iHCl, Autonomous

Properties of Ubiquitous Computing


 

Also Read | Applications of Cognitive Computing in Different Sectors


 

Characteristics of Ubiquitous Computing

 

The basic goal of ubiquitous computing is to create smart, linked products that make communication and data sharing easier and less intrusive.

 

The following are some of the key characteristics of ubiquitous computing:

 

  1. The human component is taken into account, and the paradigm is placed in a human, rather than a computational, environment.

 

  1.  Use of low-cost processors, resulting in lower memory and storage requirements.

 

  1. Real-time properties are captured.

 

  1. Computer gadgets that are always linked and available.

 

  1.  In the environment, focus on many-to-many relationships rather than one-to-one, many-to-one, or one-to-many, as well as the idea of technology, which is always present.

 

  1.  Takes into account local/global, social/personal, public/private, and invisible/visible characteristics, as well as knowledge creation and distribution.

 

  1.  It is built on the convergence of the Internet, wireless technologies, and modern electronics.

 

  1.  Because digital gadgets are worn and always connected, there may be increased surveillance and possibly restrictions and interference with user privacy.

 

  1.  As technology advances, the reliability of many pieces of equipment may be impacted.

 

Also Read | What is Serverless Computing?

 

 

Advantages of Ubiquitous Computing

 

Some of the advantages of ubiquitous computing include lower service costs through smart networks, increased industrial scheduling and productivity, and faster response times in health care settings. More precise targeted advertising and more convenient personal financial transactions are two further advantages.

 

People profit from ubiquitous computing because it combines sensors, networking technology, and data analytics to monitor and report on a variety of things, such as purchase preferences, manufacturing processes, and traffic patterns. 

 

Anomalies, errors, and pollutants in the workplace can be detected by these computing systems, allowing for early intervention or preventing a workplace disaster. Ubiquitous computing can also measure resource utilization, inputs, and outputs, enabling for better resource management during peak loads or better resource distribution over time.

 

The implementation of ubiquitous computing sensors and networks in rural areas can also aid service delivery to remote locations. Doctors can monitor patient vital signs from considerable distances, allowing medical treatments to be provided outside of the confines of a hospital or clinic. 

 

Rural education can also be delivered via interactive media delivery technology, which allows students and instructors to communicate in a personal setting without having to be in the same classroom.


 

Challenges of Ubiquitous Computing

 

One of the most serious issues that ubiquitous computing faces is privacy. Protecting system security, privacy, and safety is critical in ubiquitous computing.

 

It's also worth noting that, despite progress in ubiquitous computing, the sector continues to confront challenges in areas like human-machine interfaces and data security, as well as technical impediments that cause concerns with availability and reliability.

 

Despite the rapid proliferation of smart devices today, making ubiquitous computing available to everyone with a comprehensive infrastructure and ease of use is a difficult undertaking. Senior persons and individuals living in rural areas are still at a disadvantage, which must be addressed if ubiquitous computing is to be adopted in a healthy way.
 

 

Information Processing in Ubiquitous Computing

 

Information has evolved into a connected, dynamic 4th dimensional field that can only be seen when a portion of it is requested. It is impossible to feel or access all of it at once, and our interfaces are still limited in that we can only access this data through flat, two-dimensional screens.

 

Wireless, Internet-enabled devices provide constant access to a vast network of data from which we can retrieve any piece of information we need. 

 

We no longer need to find the next phone booth or wait for a specific feature to play in a movie theater; instead, we may utilize mobile devices to watch a video clip or use communication features to communicate anywhere, at any time, in a number of ways (both textual and auditory). 

 

Technosocial gadgets reduce the amount of area and time required to connect to data sources. At the stroke of a button, our ears can travel to the next neighborhood or Japan.

 

Also Read | Quantum Computing


 

Conclusion

 

From the kitchen to the boardroom, ubiquitous computing is advancing at a breakneck speed. On the one hand, it allows consumers to access technology at any time and from any location, but it also creates challenges, particularly when it comes to user data consent. Despite a few exceptions, Ubiquitous computing applications have clearly demonstrated that this is the technology of the future.

 

The technology, which is a highly dynamic paradigm, has enormous potential for developing and assisting in environmental sustainability. The advantages of ubiquitous computing far outweigh the drawbacks, making it one of the most widely used technologies. The achievement of ubiquitous computing is fraught with difficulties. 

 

A smart environment is made up of a variety of microchips and sensors, as well as the software that goes with them. The majority of household appliances are linked together in a network. There may be dead areas where connectivity is unavailable, and a loss of wireless signal at home can cause the device to stop working. 

 

Using satellites for communication can be costly. We don't have a system administrator to handle the smart network like we do with a traditional network.

 

Cybercriminals and the hacker community have access to the environment, which can lead to invasions of privacy and other losses. There are countless interconnected computers in today's widespread era, making it difficult to maintain a safe atmosphere. 

 

The system behaves differently when the ubiquitous environment is manipulated, and it may be controlled from an external device (for ex. counterfeit chip). This is a bigger problem for the community.

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