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Pervasive Computing (Ubiquitous Computing)

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[Smart Grid - StateTech]


- Ubiquitous Computing - Existing Anytime and Everywhere

Pervasive computing, also called ubiquitous computing (means "existing anytime and everywhere"), is the growing trend of embedding computational capability (generally in the form of microprocessors) into everyday objects to make them effectively communicate and perform useful tasks in a way that minimizes the end user's need to interact with computers as computers. 

Pervasive computing relies on the convergence of Internet, advanced middleware, operating system, mobile code, sensors, microprocessors, new I/O and user interfaces, networks, mobile protocols, location and positioning and new materials. The idea that technology is moving beyond the personal computer to everyday devices with embedded technology and connectivity as computing devices become progressively smaller and more powerful. 

Because ubiquitous computing systems are able to collect, process, and communicate data, they can adapt to the context and activity of the data. Essentially, this means a network that can understand its surroundings and improve the human experience and quality of life.

Often considered the successor to mobile computing, ubiquitous computing typically involves wireless communication and networking technologies, mobile devices, embedded systems, wearable computers, radio frequency ID (RFID) tags, middleware, and software agents. Internet functionality, speech recognition, and artificial intelligence (AI) are also often included.


- Pervasive Computing Devices

Pervasive computing devices are network-connected and constantly available. Pervasive computing is the result of computer technology advancing at exponential speeds -- a trend toward all man-made and some natural products having hardware and software. It is the idea that almost any device, from clothing to tools to appliances to cars to homes to the human body to your coffee mug, can be imbedded with chips to connect the device to an infinite network of other devices. 

Unlike desktop computing, pervasive computing can occur with any device, at any time, in any place and in any data format across any network, and can hand tasks from one computer to another as, for example, a user moves from his car to his office. Thus, pervasive computing devices have evolved to include not only laptops, notebooks and smartphones, but also tablets, wearable devices, fleet management and pipeline components, lighting systems, appliances and sensors, and so on.

Examples of pervasive computing include electronic toll systems on highways; tracking applications, such as Life360, which can track the location of the user, the speed at which they are driving and how much battery life their smartphone has; Apple Watch; Amazon Echo; smart traffic lights; and Fitbit.


- The Goal and Applications of Pervasive Computing

Pervasive computing is constantly at the forefront of mobile  systems research, and has found its way into many commercial systems due to tremendous advances in a broad spectrum of technologies and topics such as wireless networking, mobile and distributed computing, sensor systems, ambient intelligence, and smart devices.

The goal of pervasive computing, which combines current network technologies with wireless computing, voice recognition, Internet capability and artificial intelligence, is to create an environment where the connectivity of devices is embedded in such a way that the connectivity is unobtrusive and always available. 

It is to make devices "smart," thus creating a sensor network capable of collecting, processing and sending data, and, ultimately, communicating as a means to adapt to the data's context and activity; in essence, a network that can understand its surroundings and improve the human experience and quality of life.

Pervasive computing applications can cover energy, military, safety, consumer, healthcare, production and logistics.


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