People would like to communicate, learn, share, create and access information, as well as interact with objects in the physical environment, spontaneously and effortlessly as they go about their everyday lives. The field of Ubiquitous Computing aims to realize the vision that people can live harmoniously with technologies in todays environment, analogous to the vision of Eden in which people lived harmoniously in the natural environment. Progress toward this vision has occurred along three fundamental capabilities: Ubiquity, Natural Interaction and Proactivity. Hardware trends continue to drive the ubiquity of computation as miniaturization and the digitalization of media creates technologies that are increasingly portable as well as embedded in buildings, appliances, furniture, clothing and more. New technologies create ways for people to use more natural interaction styles that match the embodied ways in which we interact with the physical world. Intelligent systems have made it possible for systems to become proactive in filtering, sorting, and presenting information as well as taking physical actions when appropriate. This article discusses the history of technical advances in Ubiquitous Computing, and some of their social implications, as we search for the effortless life of Eden.
Begole, J.; Masuoka, R. Search for Eden: Historic perspective and current trends toward the ubiquitous computing vision of effortless living. Information Processing Society of Japan Magazine. 2008; 49 (6): 634-640.