Telecommunications and Internet Technologies have evolved dramatically during the last decade, laying a solid foundation for the future generation of Ubiquitous Internet access, omnipresent Web technologies and ultimate automated information cyberspace. Ubiquitous computing has been investigated since 1993. As a result, current efforts in research and development in the areas of Next Generation Internet and Telecommunications Technologies promote the formation of inter-disciplinary international teams of experts, scientists, researchers and engineers to create a new generation of applications and technologies that will facilitate the fully-automated information cyberspace systems, such as Future House 2015. The authors discuss the current state-of-the-art in the world of Telecommunications and Internet Technologies, new technological trends in the Internet and Automation Industries, E-manufacturing, Ubiquity, Convergence, as well as the concept of the Fully-automated Future House 2015, the 2006 Web Report with the Microsoft project on Easy Living, while promoting research and development in the interdisciplinary projects conducted by multinational teams world-wide.
Ubiquity postulates the omnipresence of networking. An unbounded and universal network. Omnipresence is the ability to be everywhere at a certain point in time. The widely used definition of 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 (Wang, et. al., 2007). Ubiquitous computing is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities. As opposed to the desktop paradigm, in which a single user consciously engages a single device for a specialized purpose, someone “using” ubiquitous computing engages many computational devices and systems simultaneously, in the course of ordinary activities, and may not necessarily even be aware that they are doing so.
Ubiquitous computing integrates computation into the environment, rather than having computers which are distinct objects. Ubiquitous activities are not so task-centric while the majority of usability techniques are. It is not at all clear how to apply task-centric techniques to informal everyday computing situations (Abowd & Mynat 2000). Other terms for ubiquitous computing include pervasive computing, calm technology, things that think and everyware. Promoters of this idea hope that embedding computation into the environment and everyday objects would enable people to interact with information-processing devices more naturally and casually than they currently do, and in whatever location or circumstance they find themselves (Ubiquitous Computing, 2007).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Everyware: Computing that is everywhere yet is relatively hard to see, both literally and figuratively.
E-Commerce: Buying and selling products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.
Innovation: The term innovation may refer to both radical and incremental changes in thinking, in things, in processes or in services. Invention that gets out in to the world is innovation.
Cyberspace: Domain characterized by the use of electronics and the electromagnetic spectrum to store, modifies, and exchange data via networked systems and associated physical infrastructures.
Ubiquitous Computing: A post-desktop model of human-computer interaction in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities.
Internet: A worldwide, publicly accessible series of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol.
ICT (Information Communications Technology): An umbrella term that includes all technologies for the communication of information. It is apparently culminating to information communication with the help of personal computers networked through the Internet through information technology that can transfer information using satellite systems or intercontinental cables.