We are making progressive advances towards Weiser’s vision. Technologies are already being embedded into our environment. Smart floors can sense when a person has fallen and immediately send vital information to paramedic support (Abowd, Atkeson, Bobick, Essa, MacIntyre, Mynatt, & Starner, 2000). People are using mobile devices, such as cell phones for e-mail, instant messaging, Web browsing, games, and MP3 playback (Lendino, 2006). Presence technologies are already informing us as to our IM buddy’s physical presence, such as online, off-line, busy, or away from the desk. Current uses of the Web for searching, photos, music, video, various levels of electronic communities, and online, collaborative software applications are preparing users to advance to the next Web 2.0 level of Internet use. Combine Web 2.0 with expanded WiFi capabilities, and we won’t need large computing devices for sharing large amounts of data within virtual, collaborative environments.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Nanotechnology: A field of applied science and technology covering a broad range of topics. The main unifying theme is the control of matter on a scale smaller than one micrometer, as well as the fabrication of devices on this same length scale.
Web 2.0: Refers to a perceived second-generation of Web-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and so forth—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users (O’Reilly Media, 2004 AU10: The in-text citation "O’Reilly Media, 2004" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).
Online Collaborative Software: Software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their goals through shared applications and media storage through the World Wide Web.
Mobile Learning: Delivery of learning to students who are not keeping a fixed location or through the use of mobile or portable technology.
Pervasive Computing: A model of computing in which computer functions are integrated into everyday life, often in an invisible way.
Presence Technology: Capabilities that not only provide details about your availability but also help make you and those you connect with far more efficient and productive.
Calm Computing/Calm Technology: Technology that is so embedded, so pervasive, that it is taken for granted, becoming so commonplace that we forget its enormous impact, just as we have with other ubiquitous technologies, such as writing and electricity ( Galloway, 2004 ).
Ubiquitous Technologies: Takes into account the natural human environment and allows computers and technological devices themselves to vanish into the background ( Weiser, 1991 ).
Transduction: A shift of focus from ubiquitous technologies as networked objects to ubiquitous technologies as diverse procedures or performances in which socio-technical assemblages take shape ( Galloway, 2004 ).