Pervasive computing which can also be referred to as ubiquitous computing, is basically bringing processing capability into traditionally non-digital objects used in our day to day life. The idea is to integrate digital interactions seamlessly into real day to day experiences. This basically expands the spectrum of digital input and output from the traditional audio-visual senses into the more exotic taste and smell even touch interactions. The idea is to merge reality and digital to create an enhanced reality. Let’s imagine the journey of a shopper buying groceries online. Today the user would only see an audio-visual representation of the product and hence feel the real boundary between real and the digital world – Now consider a device attached to users phone or tablet – which can emit sensory output which can be consumed by our nose and tongue, now the user is not just seeing the product – they are smelling and tasting it – a completely different experience from just audio-visual digital interaction we are used to. Welcome to the world of Enhanced Reality.
Pervasive computing is like an evolution of IOT – (internet of Things) – the first thoughts behind the idea of IOT were all related to inter-connected devices. Pervasive computing takes it a bit further and tries to expands the boundaries of digital interaction. In the scope of pervasive computing you need to imagine interacting with everyday devices and things just like the way you do – take for example a frozen-food packet in your refrigerator. Normally you can’t smell a frozen food – but now imagine a QR code printed on the frozen food packet which your refrigerator can read and emit a smell of what the contents of the packet are. So the refrigerator is the device which has the ability to scan QR codes, the frozen-food packet has digital information printed on it. This is what pervasive computing is about – natural Digital interaction. The next wave of Wearables will be heavily invested with pervasive computing. I mean imagine wedding rings where one partner squeezes the right and other partner feels the physical squeeze. People are actually working on device prototypes for such rings.
Regulation will be very important when we start getting real with Pervasive computing. Imagine being able to send smells remotely. Security and Regulation will need to evolve before we get a stable environment.
What if we can have a smart raw material for 3D printing – we could be getting into realtime /real-life delivery scenarios. Where real-life items are delivered through remote 3D printing.
We @ Siddhatech are very excited about the possibilities of pervasive computing. We see the first real applications of Pervasive coming from eCommerce could be ranging from food delivery to clothing. There are already devices out there which you can attach to your phone and get smell output. And a number of people are working on what is being called as electronic tongue. We are working on leveraging these devices and creating a real-life working App as a proof of concept for Pervasive computing.
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