a.k.a. ubiquitous computing -or- ubicomp
Technically ubiquitous computing refers to 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 model, in which a single user consciously engages a single device for a specialized purpose, someone using "everyware" 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.
Let's look at a couple of examples: In one instance, an everyware computing environment might interconnect lighting and environmental controls with personal biometric monitors woven into clothing so that illumination and heating conditions in a room might be modulated, continuously and imperceptibly (see also: smart clothes). Another example involves refrigerators that are "aware" of their RFID tagged contents, and hence able to both plan a variety of menus from the food actually on hand, and warn users of stale or spoiled food (see also: smart home).
In both of these scenarios, it is apparent that contemporary human-computer interaction models (whether command line, menu-driven, or GUI-based) will be inappropriate and inadequate to the "ubiquitous" case. Experts agree that this suggests that the "natural" interaction paradigm appropriate to a fully robust ubiquitous computing has yet to emerge, however, experts in the field also recognize that in many ways we are already living in a "ubicomp" world. Contemporary devices that lend support to this latter idea include cell phones, digital audio players, radio-frequency identification tags and interactive whiteboards.
Coined by Adam Greenfield, there are a variety of terms that describe the everyware paradigm. These include general terms, like "pervasive computing," "ambient intelligence," and "tangible media," as well as terms that are primarily concerned with the objects involved, such as "physical computing," the "Internet of things," "haptic computing," "things that think," and "spime."
NetLingo Classification: Net Technology
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