Right now we receive information in two distinct ways: pull or push. “Pull” can be characterized by a user sitting down at a computer, firing up Google, and searching for specific information in real-time. “Push” is characterized by receiving filtered information based on user preferences; much like the personalized text messages on your cell phone informing you of weather or traffic conditions.
When computing becomes ubiquitous you will not need to manually set preferences. The object you interact with will learn from you and provide information based on your environment. Temperature, time of day, movement, sound, color and light will all influence the information you receive. Ubiquitous computing will provide a continuous stream of information without being distracting and will only provide the information you need at the time.
Everything will become interactive and more importantly, reactive.
Imagine the following scenarios:
- You make a call to your friend whose native language is French. He understands English quite well but prefers to speak in French. No problem. In real-time what you say comes across on his end in French and vice-versa.
- You need to setup a meeting with a group of business partners who all have busy schedules. No problem, their automated calendars work together to find a good time for all of you to meet.
- You are rushed to the hospital after a car accident. By performing a retinal scan the ER doctors are provided with time-sensitive and important information: allergies, past surgeries, existing conditions, emergency contact information, name and age. (Ubiquitous computing will probably prevent most accidents before they happen.)
- You have lost your keys. No more searching, just ask your house. It will know EXACTLY where they are, even if they are hiding in the couch cushions. (Keys will probably be a thing of the past at this point.)
To see where we might be headed, make sure you check out these pages with more illustrative images:
- What would be a ubiquitous society like?
- Moving toward a world of ubiquitous networks
- Ubiquitous Computing and Access to Grid Services