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Mobile computing and smart spaces

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1 Author(s)
Mangione-Smith, W.H. ; California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA

The traditional view of mobile computing (such as it is) typically involves users moving through an environment, or set of environments, with their own personal computing devices. This model works as a rich extension of existing devices such as notebook computers and personal digital assistants. Without some degree of mobility, the problems associated with mobile computing are indistinguishable from those of traditional computing environments. Thus far, much of this fields research has focused on extending services developed for desktop computing environments to mobile devices and managing the challenges that result from unreliable or varying network connectivity. In a recent column, the author discussed the unique challenges presented by adopting a much more personal model of mobile computing, rather than simply considering the impact of desktop applications and services (see ibid., April-June 1998, p. 8-10). In this column, he extends that discussion to consider arrays of deeply embedded computing devices that are not fundamentally associated with an individual person. Collectively, this model and associated technologies will serve for developing a set of fundamentally new systems called smart spaces. Smart spaces incorporate embedded computing devices with sensor technology to provide automatic responses to environmental changes. Although some common examples consider the degenerate case of a single processing node (such as responsive desktops), a richer set of capabilities emerges when these nodes are composed to form larger systems

Published in:

Concurrency, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 4 )