Ubiquitous Computing: Research Themes and Open Issues from an Applications Perspective
The defining characteristic of ubiquitous computing is the attempt to break away from the traditional desktop computing paradigm and move computational power into the environment that surrounds the user. Applications of ubiquitous computing technology are the main drivers for research in this area. We describe the work over the past 18 months done by the Future Computing Environments Group at Georgia Tech. We have an applications perspective on ubiquitous computing and have prototyped many systems using a wide range of technology in several separate domains. This paper summarizes three emergent research themes that are the result of generalizing our prototyping and evaluation experience: automated capture, integration and access; context-awareness; and ubiquitous software services. We define each of these themes, demonstrate systems we have built which emphasize the theme, and present a number of open issues that will guide our future work and hopefully that of others. We conclude by sharing a number of general insights on our research method in ubiquitous computing.