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Ubiquitous Computing: What is it and how can businesses use it?

Jacob Webster
JavaScript Specialist

I think we can all agree:

Finding ubiquitous computing examples and ubiquitous computing applications in the real world can be difficult.

Finding solid ubiquitous computing advantages and disadvantages can also be a struggle.

Or advantages of pervasive computing, as it is sometimes known.

Luckily, we have another article just on this topic Ubiquitous Computing Examples in 2018.

It has become more and more embedded in todays society as technology evolves.

Finding jobs in data science or jobs in data engineering can also be difficult.

But that's why I'm here!

You can view my profile to see all my latest data engineering jobs in Switzerland.


It is strange you can't find much about these topics, because the term has been around a long time and seen fluctuations over the years:

When it comes to the world of modern computing, it's clear that things are changing fast. According to KPMG

"Links are emerging between the use of certain key technologies and improvements to the business. The Internet of Things (IoT), enabled by Ubiquitous [computing] and intelligent D&A".

A big part of this field is embedded technologies which are seen by many, in and outside of tech, as a dark art.

One of the developments on the ever-changing tech scene is what's known as "ubiquitous computing" - a concept which aims to make the power of computers as pervasive, useful and omnipresent as possible.

But you're probably wondering:

What is ubiquitous computing and how is it used?

Ubiquitous computing: its place in history

Before we can fully understand ubiquitous computing and how it's affecting our interactions with technology in the present day, it's important to understand what came before it and how it slots into the history of modern computing.

The father of ubiquitous computing, Mark Weiser, described it as the "third wave" of computing.

Its predecessors were mainframe computing, which saw members of large groups or workspaces each using the same equipment at different times, and personal computing - which is the stage most closely resembling where we're at today.

Ubiquitous computing aims to make our lives easier

Put simply; ubiquitous computing aims to establish a place for technology in the background, rather than the foreground, of our lives.

Ubiquitous computing - or pervasive computing, as it is also known - aims to make our lives easier by creating networks of interconnected devices which provide us with convenience and ease.

It’s a form of human-machine interaction, but unlike the personal computer, which, when in use, is the main focus of the user's activity, ubiquitous computing devices instead work around our day to day living.

Source: atap.google.com

One component is that the computing occurs in the hardware itself and not funnelled to a database which is then processed elsewhere.

Some examples of this would be the Apple watch, Amazon Echo and Amazon Echo Dot.

And another more specific scenario would be interconnected heating and lighting that adapts automatically based on biometrics woven into garments.

But, more importantly:

Businesses need to understand the systems

As business like Amazon and Google capture more market share with their smart devices, these systems will be better understood, more diverse and user-friendly.

Source: voicebot.ai

As these businesses follow the concepts of ubiquitous computing, they are also implementing AI and machine learning to realise the potential of this modern approach.

One of the aims of ubiquitous computing, after all, is to create a system in which computing functions are accessed wherever and whenever.

Machine learning is increasingly touted as a way to achieve this sort of omnichannel computing experience.

By combining AI techniques with other technologies like microservices, the resulting systems are likely to represent a major stage in the future of computing.

This design approach requires a workforce of specialist full stack developers and engineers, working on a continuous cloud-based approach.

Mobile phone companies are some of the best placed to take advantage of this approach, according to the Pew research centre

"The share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77%"

These smartphones are some of the most computationally powerful devices on the planet.

For the future of this technology, it is considered that innovations like smart dust, sensor networks, drone swarms and other “AI” lead technologies that communicate with each as they monitor and relay information on the world.

We also have another article which talks about Ubiquitous Computing Examples in 2018 and gives you an idea of just how embedded ubiquitous computing is in our daily lives.