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The Computer for the Twenty-First Century Mark Weiser, ACM MCCR 1991 Part of slides are adapted from:

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Presentation on theme: "The Computer for the Twenty-First Century Mark Weiser, ACM MCCR 1991 Part of slides are adapted from:"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Computer for the Twenty-First Century Mark Weiser, ACM MCCR 1991 Part of slides are adapted from:

2 Rewind Back to the Late 1980s Bad hair was popular Computers expensive Macintosh had just come out Before cell phones cheap Before Internet widespread PC was the only notion of a computer

3 Next Big Thing One of the insights that led PARC to ubicomp:

4 Ubicomp Also a Reaction to Computing Trends at the Time Personal Computer Laptops Dynabooks Knowledge Navigator Virtual Reality

5 Ubicomp Influenced by Philosophy Martin Heidegger’s notion of Ready-to-hand vs Present-at-hand When the mouse is used to complete a task, it is an extension of your body When the mouse runs off the pad or the wire obstructs motion, it becomes consciously present as an artifact in use

6 Ubicomp Influenced by Anthropologists “From atoms to culture” “The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.” Technology effective when not consciously aware – “I talked to my brother on the phone the other day” – Driving a car

7 Ubicomp Technologies Tabs, Pads, Boards

8 Physical scale matters – Inches – Feet – Yard – Good reason not to switch to metric system?

9 Active Badges Identity + Room level location + Button

10 Active Badges Identity + Room level location + Button Relatively “simple” tech led to lots of apps – Door opens only to right badge wearer (Bill Gates’ house) – Rooms greet people by name – Telephone calls automatically forwarded – Computer terminal can quickly your settings (“Teleporting”) – Automatic diary Having actual hardware let them experiment quickly

11 Some Characteristics of Ubicomp Embed tech into the physical world (“Colonizing”) – New devices leveraging familiar metaphors

12 Some Characteristics of Ubicomp Embed tech into the physical world – New devices leveraging familiar metaphors Push tech into the background, invisible – Analogy to literacy Artificial intelligence not needed Context can be very powerful – Automatic diary, auto door open, call forwarding Lots of very cheap displays (inch, foot, yard) – Lots of new interaction techniques – Waving, writing, walking into rooms

13 The Sal Story “Coffee?” – Coffee machine only knows “Yes” and “No” – No other speech input devices nearby, or can ignore – Coffee machine knows if it has coffee grounds inside “She sees electronic trails that have been kept for her of neighbors coming and going” – Window has some computer vision – Window can also display information

14 The Sal Story “She can see that [her kids] got up 15 and 20 minutes ago” – No plausible deniability for kids anymore! – Possibly sensors in bed, microphones in bedrooms, or location tracking “She wipes her pen over the newspaper’s name, date, section and page number and then circles the quote. The pen sends a message to the paper, which transmits the quote to her office” – How does the pen know who to send to?

15 The Sal Story “[Sal] can press a code into the opener and the missing manual will find itself” – These days would probably be web based “She spots a slowdown ahead and also notices on a side street the telltale green … of a food shop” – Advertiser-based hardware? Install this and 10% off price? – Or somehow configure it? Configure lots of devices?

16 The Sal Story “Sal glances out her windows: a gray day in Silicon Valley… meanwhile it has been a quiet morning at the East Coast office”

17 The Sal Story “The telltale by the door that Sal programmed her first day on the job is blinking: fresh coffee” – End-user programming, how to do this in ubicomp? – Coffee seems to be popular in Silicon Valley – Fresh coffee also popular app at PARC

18 The Sal Story “Sal picks up a tab and waves it to her friend Joe” – Have to be careful of accidental data sharing – How does it know what to share? – How to differentiate if multiple people there? “The two have given each other access to their location detectors and to each other’s screen contents and location” – How to easily configure (an area of research for me) – Would co-workers find this acceptable? Social conventions?

19 The Sal Story “A blank tab on Sal’s desk beeps and displays the word “Joe”… Joe wants to discuss a document with her, and now it shows up on the wall” – These days would probably be initiated via IM – Easy to share data and talk real-time

20 Success of the Ubicomp Project Electronic whiteboards PDAs Local Area Wireless networking Active Badges

21 Stuff We Still Can’t Easily Do Location based services in general Scoreboard – public display that shows custom information depending on who’s there – Sports scores, news, etc Locating lost objects – RFIDs Deployment costs, robustness, economics

22 What’s Missing? Web – Notice no mention of the Internet, wasn’t obvious at time – Makes the paper feel a little dated – Subtle difference in vision: original ubicomp about embedded chips in everything, web services about mass scale Social sciences – Privacy – Really compelling apps

23 What’s Missing? Do laptops still have a future in ubicomp? – Lots of devices and somehow your data gets to them – Laptops still central, but can easily share data How do cell phones fit into the ubicomp picture?

24 Famous Quote There is more information available at our fingertips during a walk in the woods than in any computer system, yet people find a walk among trees relaxing and computers frustrating. Machines that fit the human environment instead of forcing humans to enter theirs will make using a computer as refreshing as taking a walk in the woods

25 Beyond Prototypes: Challenges in Deploying Ubiquitous Systems Nigel Davies and Hans-Werner Gellersen IEEE Pervasive Computing 2002

26 Ubiquitous Information and Communication Ubiquitous computing systems are made more possible because of: – advances in technology processing power/storage GPS, smart cards, RFID social developments And particularly… – World Wide Web accessibility – Mobile communication popularity

27 World Wide Web People have become accustomed to web portals reducing attachment to one device (host vs. content centric) People use multiple devices in a single day to access info Web encouraged us dealing with privacy issues.

28 Mobile Communications 800 million subscribers to mobile phone services 23 billion SMS, heading to 1 billion per day Phones offer many capabilities and are now a commodity SIM cards – approximate ubiquitous computing model, but users only have one and still have to make conscious effort.

29 System integration is challenging Technical challenges Social and legal issues Economic concerns

30 Technical Challenges Different technologies can make up ubiquitous systems Might have to map between different systems (e.g. if cameras describe view using different location model than car’s navigational system) Hard to predict user intent in software

31 Social and Legal Challenges Intelligent systems might be gathering too much personal data Can they discard personal information and only return the relevant information like parking space availability? What about mistakes? Privacy is two-way: – May communicate other people’s information to a user – Need to communicate user’s information to a server

32 Economic Concerns Since technologies are distinct, there are multiple service providers What’s the business model for this? How do you ensure fair competition?

33 Active Bat System Conducted at AT&T lab. in Cambridge Indoor positioning system – Using sensor and badge

34 Lancaster’s Guide System Provides visitors with tour guide information – Based on visitor’s interest and movement – Tablet PC + WLAN deployed around major attractions

35 MediaCup Project University of Karlsruhe, Germany Cups equipped with sensors and wireless communications Not used Someone drinks Someone plays with the cup

36 Lessons learned from deployments Need forums to discuss projects/results – Most projects faced common problems of deployments, which affected many aspects of system design E.g., energy concern (e.g., active badge, ParcTab, MediaCup); sensor accuracy, etc. Need to understand cost vs. benefit issues – Better understanding a business model Need real deployment (not just demos) – Lab trials could be misleading in some cases.. – Help us discover new viewpoints, unearth unexpected issues, new applications using the system..

37 Research Challenges for Deployments Component interaction – Should be designed in an open and extensible manner Adaptation and contextual sensitivity – might reconfigure applications involving multiple components Appropriate management mechanism – Unlikely occurs within the context of a single administrative domain

38 Research Challenges for Deployments Component association and task analysis – Accurately determine a user’s task and intention – Develop associations between components Viable economic models – A single “killer” application is unsuccessful – Many small contributions from applications that use the component

39 Research Challenges for Deployments User interface integration – Need coordination between applications – To ensure a reasonable user interface Privacy and security – Empower users to evaluate the trade-off Protection of privacy vs. improved service – Legislation must define the boundaries


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