Hardware trends over the last decade have lead to substantial increase in computing power, storage capacity and network bandwidth while reducing size, weight and power consumption of information processing devices. As a result we can expect more object of everyday life to be empowered with information processing capabilities, allowing them to become active, smart objects that react to their environment and the user. Such a ubiquitous computing environment hides the computer itself and provides help to the user in a task-specific and context-dependent way. Interaction between the user and the computer still requires an interface which needs to change, if the desktop computer vanishes in its existing form. Consequently, a number of research directions into non-classical user interfaces are being investigated. Ambient interfaces, interactive rooms, tangible computing and augmented reality are among the most prominent ones and provide an outlook into future forms of using information processing devices. The realization of ubiquitous computing requires another component as well: Semantic computing appears to be a necessary key element to provide the required interpretation capabilities to the to context-dependent devices. Starting with the idea of the Semantic Web a number of technologies are being developed that fill the gap between low-level sensor input and high-level reactions. The talk will give an introduction to the concepts of ubiquitous computing, describe a number of key non-classical user interfaces. After a short discussion of the classical applications of the semantic web, we will motivate how the used concepts can add to the realization of ubiquitous computing.
G. Reitmayr: "Future Trends in Information Technology"; Talk: EPO Academy, Workshop on IT, Villa Mura, Portugal (invited); 05-17-2004 - 05-19-2004.
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