Dr. Rabindra Ku Jena, Nitya Wardha
Institute of Management Technolgy, Nagpur, India
The years to come promise to bring about a new area of information technology (IT) by transferring new technological systems from the minds of scientists and technicians into reality. Pervasive computing is emerging rapidly as an exciting new paradigm and discipline to provide computing and communication services all the time, everywhere. Its systems are now invading every aspect of life to the point that they are disappearing inside all sorts of appliances or can be worn unobtrusively as part of clothing and jewelry. This emergence is a natural outcome of research and technological advances in wireless networks, embedded systems, mobile computing, distributed computing and agent technologies. Its explosive impact on academics, industry, government and daily life can be now seen in every place. On one hand, the new paradigm known under terms such as pervasive, calm, or ubiquitous computing, or as ambient intelligence has the potential to overcome many insufficiencies of current information systems. But, on the other hand, it entails tremendous threats to individuals and society. Pervasive computing (PC) promises to offer previously inconceivable levels of support for human activities by a technology working imperceptibly in the background. Obviously, pervasive services provided by the omnipresence of countless little helpers, invisibly embedded in the environment where one works or spends his or her private time. Over the years, the pervasive computing vision implies a tremendous increase in the amount, quality, and accuracy of data generated and collected. The increase in qualitative terms does not only result from the enhanced abilities to collect data, it is also a consequence of a ubiquitous access to these data and of the ever-enhancing capabilities to process and analyze them. To support these causes, a wide variety of tools are required. Some of these tools are: application-specific integrated circuitry (ASIC), speech recognition, gesture recognition; system on a chip (SoC), perceptive interfaces, smart matter, flexible transistors, reconfigurable processors, field programmable logic gates (FPLG), and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). [pic]
Figure -1 : Pervasive Computing at a Glance
2. Evolution of Pervasive Computing
The term 'Pervasive Computing' is loosely define the advancements in computer science, where pervasiveness of computing and networking works together to enhance human life in new and imaginative ways. Over the decades computing has moved from mainframes (60s/70s) to desktops (80s/90s) to mobile devices (90s/00s) to pervasive (now). But, Mobile computing and pervasive computing represent major evolutionary steps in a line of research dating back to the mid-1970s. Figure 1 illustrates this evolution from a systems-centric viewpoint. New problems are encountered as one move from left to right in the figure. It is much more difficult to design and implement a mobile computing system than a distributed system of comparable robustness and maturity; a pervasive computing system is even more challenging. As Figure 1 indicates, the conceptual framework and algorithmic base of distributed systems provides a solid foundation for pervasive computing. Mobile computing was born in the early 1990’s with the advent of full-function laptop computers and wireless LANs. It inherited many basic principles of distributed system design as shown in the figure. Mobile computing is still a very active and evolving field of research, whose body of knowledge awaits codification.
Figure 2: Evolution of Pervasive Computing
By 2000, mobile computing research began to touch upon issues that we now identify as the purview of pervasive computing. But, the...