All posts by Ritin Pachnanda

Ubiquitous Computing

From ten people on one computer to personal computers and phones. Computers are becoming ubiquitous. it’s not long before they become a part of the environment.

Basic logic states that there will soon come a day when things become small enough to finally let us carry only what we need to.


Over the years we have progressed from storing our data in giant temperature-controlled rooms, to hand-sized disks, and now in remote locations around the world, thanks to the cloud. In fact, even by  merely using applications, we use cloud technology to store invisible data – what links we click, how long we’ve spent on a website – which enhances our experience with our device. The internet connection itself is becoming ubiquitous, with more and more innovative ideas coming up for this purpose; for example, Google X’s Project Loon involves using hot air balloons to spread the required hardware to make this possible, making internet connection available in the most remote areas.

When the internet emerged, it connected computers to share information. The internet of things – a network of physical objects that communicate with each other -will be no different. Not only information sharing but true peripheral connection, merging reality with the digital world. Sensors collecting relative data will have a connection to the cloud and with powerful processors will know what to do next. There will be a direct connection of control to physical systems which will give the virtual literally access to our environment. Computers will have access to switching on or off the washing machine, to the locks.Computational technology’s integration into our environment , their sensing and controlling our it will lead to a cyclic influence between us and technology       


In the evolution of computers to becoming a part of our environment, the display will disappear. New ways of output are being evolved. Interconnected physical and digital output systems will synchronized to create non-intrusive integrations into our lives. The interconnection can lead to say, the AirConditioner getting switched on or off on the basis of the output, making things truly smart. In terms of healthcare, for example, our disease can be detected and medicine given to us. If that’s too sci-fi, then at least threatening situations can be sensed and the ambulance called


Sensors and processors will together be able to predict our mood and change the environment accordingly. So not only will we see the information collected but the system can decide what to do with it.

In actually predicting what is required, sensors play a major role. Spreading sensors and data collection devices will allow us to control our environment more efficiently. The amount of data collected will allow processors to find trends which will ultimately  give us clues regarding the products’s improvement, we will be able to find loopholes and streamline the technology to be more efficient. Ubiquitous computing will allow us to have complete control of our physical environment. According to Chris Curran, Chief Technologist at PriceWaterCoopers, “We’ll no longer be guessing in the dark, we will truly have complete knowledge and control of our environment.” He suggests this will play a big role in digitising reality as everything will have a digital footprint, which is undeniably the future.  ; the world will be much smarter. It will bridge the gap between the real and the digital world.


In Designing Calm Technology, Weiser and John Seely Brown describe “calm technology” as “that which informs, but doesn’t demand our focus or attention and will move easily from the periphery of our attention, to the center, and back.” This will truly allow technology to go to the background and serve as the expected helping hand allowing us to do other important things as well.