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Telkom Centre of Excellence

UbiServe: A Model for Ubiquitous Interaction with Internet-Based Services and Information

The current research project of the Unit was started in 2012 and will run until 2014.

Ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp) refers to a new genre of computing in which the computer completely permeates the life of the user. In ubiquitous computing, computers become a helpful but invisible force, assisting the user in meeting his or her needs without getting in the way. Ubicomp is a post-desktop model of human-computer interaction (HCI) in which information processing has been thoroughly integrated into everyday objects and activities.

All models of Ubicomp share a vision of small, inexpensive, robust, networked processing devices, distributed at all scales throughout everyday life and generally used for common-place purposes. Ubicomp presents several challenges across computer science: in systems design and engineering, in systems modelling and in user interface design. This suggests that the "natural" interaction paradigm appropriate to a fully robust Ubicomp has yet to emerge - although there is also recognition in the field that in many ways we are already living in an Ubicomp world. Contemporary devices that lend some support to this idea include mobile phones, digital audio players, radio-frequency identification tags, GPS and interactive whiteboards.