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Ubiquitous computing

Ubiquitous computing

(also pervasive computing, ambient intelligence)

Ubiquitous computing definition

Ubiquitous computing is the concept of seamlessly integrating technology into our everyday lives through connected electronic devices (e.g., smart products). Ubiquitous computing is also known as pervasive computing or ambient intelligence.

In ubiquitous computing, interconnected systems and devices work together to provide information and services to users in a natural manner. The technology people use blends into their surroundings and becomes an integral part of their everyday lives.

Ubiquitous computing is closely linked to the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) because seamless integration of devices requires the infrastructure of connectivity between them.

See also: Internet of Everything

Real-life examples of ubiquitous computing

  • Location-based services. Applications that use location-based services (e.g., GPS) are a practical example of ubiquitous computing. They provide personalized information, directions, and recommendations based on the user’s location, whether it’s finding nearby restaurants, navigating through maps, or tracking fitness activities.
  • Smart homes. Ubiquitous computing is seen in smart homes where various devices like thermostats, lighting systems, security cameras, and appliances are interconnected. They can be controlled and monitored remotely through smartphones or voice assistants. These smart appliances offer convenience, energy efficiency, and security.
  • Wearable devices. Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and augmented reality glasses are examples of ubiquitous computing. They collect and exchange data, monitor health metrics, provide notifications, and enable interaction with other devices — all seamlessly integrated into our personal lives.
  • Digital assistants. Virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Siri are examples of ubiquitous computing in action. They use advanced technologies (like natural language processing and voice recognition) to respond to a user’s voice commands. Users can get helpful information, control smart devices, and get assistance with tasks.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security