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In the 80’s a person had access to one personal computer. In the 90’s, the internet was introduced globally. At this point, one person had access to 10 computers. This includes devices such as mobile phones, digital cameras, portable music players, digital watches, laptops and many more. Now, present time, it is known as “the age of Ubiquitous Computing” .
The father of Ubiquitous Computing is Mark D. Weiser who was also the chief scientist at Xerox PARC in the United States and coined the term Ubiquitous Computing.
Researcher in the Computer Science Lab at Xerox’s PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) f irst articulated the idea of ubiquitous computing in 1988 and has called UC “…highest ideal is to make a computer so imbedded, so fitting, so natural, that we use it without even thinking about it.”
Ubiquitous computing is the method of enhancing computer use by making many computers available throughout the physical environment, but making them effectively invisible to the user.
Mark criticized UC as a kind of “opposite trend“ to virtual reality,Artificial Intelligence and User Agent.
UC vs. Virtual Reality Figure1.Ubiquitous Computing versus Virtual Reality
Taxonomy Of UC Nodes Figure2. Taxonomy of UC devices
Design and Implementation Challenges
Smaller screen display
Location-based and context-sensitive data
Ubiquitous computing presents challenges across computer science: in systems design and engineering, in systems modeling, and in user interface design. Contemporary devices that lend some support to this latter idea include mobile phones, digital audio players, radio-frequency identification tags, GPS, and interactive whiteboards.
Wearable User Interface:
Head mounted display
“ Intelligent” Jewelry/smart jewlery:
Emotional user interfaces,
Wearable User Interface
“ hug shirt”: a wearable user interface for emotions and feelings of presence
Emotional communication using everyday objects. The object, a picture frame, already is connected to the person whose image is inside it
Smart Paper and Pens
left: Anoto digital pen (camera, Bluetooth, paper with special grid printed on)
middle and right : flexible, bendable, digital paper displays
Smart Playing Cards: A Ubiquitous Computing Game
We present the “ Smart Playing Cards ” application, a ubiquitous computing game that augments a classical card game with information–technological functionality by attaching RFID tags to the cards. We also mention the requirements such an application makes on a supporting software infrastructure for ubiquitous computing.
RFID reader device
Antenna (of size 70x50 cm)
Monitor for Display
PDAs for each player
Replacing the desktop PC with a small embedded computer that runs the RFID driver software and main Smart Playing Cards application.
On the software side we intend to improve the playing hints.
supporting players in learning and remembering the rules of the game.
Replacing PDAs with small wearable display appliances.
If we just start to play the game without explaining the technical setting at first the first reaction will always be a great surprise on the part of the spectators, since it is not obvious how the actions on the display are technically linked to the physical game play.
When placing two or more tags exactly on top of each other the RFID system no longer able to detect any of the tags. A possible solution to this problem is to place two or more tags randomly on each card.
Figure 3: Single tag vs. randomly placed multiple tags on one playing card
The detection range of such an antenna is about a sphere with a diameter of the length of the antenna. This gives us a reasonable area on the table where cards are detected, but players have to take care to keep the cards in their hands out of the detection range. Therefore we would prefer a large but flat detection area, which can be achieved with an array of smaller antennas.
Figure 4: Detection range of one large antenna vs. an array of small antennas
Figure 5: Smart Playing Cards in action.
Further research will focus on new functionality of the smart gaming environment and on studying whether our approach can be generalized to other card games and classical games. However, the major topic of our research is the development of a software infrastructure for ubiquitous computing applications in general.
The promise of ubiquitous computing is of a life in which our endeavors are powerfully, though subtly, assisted by computers. The idealistic visions painted by the ubiquitous computing movement stand in stark contrast to what we see when we boot up our computers each day. The real goal for ubicomp is to provide many single-activity interactions that together promote a unified and continuous interaction between humans and computational services. The focus for the human at any one time is not a single interface to accomplish some task. Rather, the interaction is more free-flowing and integrative, akin to our interaction with the rich physical world of people, places, and objects in our everyday lives.
Smart Playing Cards: A Ubiquitous Computing Game by Kay R¨omer, Svetlana Domnitcheva, Department of Computer Science ETH Zurich 8092 Zurich, Switzerland in 2004 .
Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications By Judith Symonds, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, First Edition by Information science reference, Hershey-New York.
Web site: http://www.igi-global.com/reference
Distributed Ubiquitous Systems Group Institute of Operating Systems and Computer Networks16.07.2007 By Matthias Kranz , TU Braunschweig, Institute of Operating Systems and Computer Networks.