Ubiquitous Computing for Business Innovation (FT Press Delivers Elements)

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The basic idea of connecting less powerful devices to the In-ternet has been extended to noncomputer devices, such as mobile phones. More and more applications are now available through application service providers ASP. By using a service instead of installing the software, the user does not have to pay a fee before using the software and does not need to buy the necessary infrastructure.

In the ASP model, billing is done according to the pay-per-use model. The more often users connect to the ASP and use its applications, the more they have to pay.


3 New Internet Technologies | Pervasive Computing: The Next Chapter on the Internet | InformIT

The advantage is that the software and the infrastructure are controlled in a central environment; as soon as the software is updated, every user of the service can use it without having to install new versions of the software locally. As more and more nontechnical people use computers, this paradigm becomes more important. Installation of a new version is also a major hassle. By outsourcing these applications, companies can focus on their core competencies. Today's ASPs are not yet compatible with the universal network, but they are the first step toward a truly networked business environment.

The major problem of ASPs today is to make the software network-friendly. Most software written today is not ready for the ASP model. The new technologies and programming paradigms will help to resolve this issue. The vision of pervasive computing to interconnect all people by a globally integrated, ubiquitous network promises greater empowerment for the individual. Yet realizing such a vision requires the implementation of new technologies that, up until now, were merely visionary. Recent advancements in pervasive computing technologies promise the arrival of a new era in ubiquitous computing, marked by the emergence of high-speed, multilayer, in-home networks that will integrate traditional home automation and control technologies with real-time, media-rich applications like voice and video conferencing.

Most importantly, these new technologies also involve new deployment strategies that will bring broadband internetworking applications to the domestic mass market. Pervasive computing gives us tools to manage information easily. Information is the new currency of the global economy.

We increasingly rely on the electronic creation, storage, and transmittal of personal, financial, and other confidential information, and we demand the highest security for all these transactions. We require complete access to time-sensitive data, regardless of physical location.

Pervasive computing can help us manage information quickly, efficiently, and effortlessly. Pervasive computing aims to enable people to accomplish an increasing number of personal and professional transactions by using a new class of intelligent and portable devices. It gives people convenient access to relevant information stored on powerful networks, allowing them to easily take action anytime, anywhere.

These new intelligent appliances, or "smart devices," are embedded with microprocessors that allow users to plug in to intelligent networks and gain direct, simple, and secure access to both relevant information and services. These devices are as simple to use as calculators, telephones, or kitchen toasters. Pervasive computing simplifies life by combining open-standards-based applications with everyday activities. It removes the complexity of new technologies, enables people to be more efficient in their work, and leaves more leisure time.

Computing is no longer a discrete activity bound to a desktop; pervasive computing is fast becoming a part of everyday life. Pervasive computing means many things to many people. Here is a short definition of all it encompasses. Always on - Access to information, entertainment, and communication with anyone, anytime, anywhere. Ubiquitous network - Everyone and everything connected to an increasingly ubiquitous network structure.

Life-enhancing applications - Invisible penetration of technology into the mainstream mass market through a variety of life-enhancing applications. Consumer-centric solutions - Device "gadgetry" for simple and practical consumer-centric solutions. Increasing productivity - Mainstream market value propositions: Saving time, saving money, enhancing leisure and entertainment. Long-term vision - Using technology in ways that empower people to work, live, and play more effectively.

Simplicity can only be maintained if devices are connected in a wireless mode. That way you need not plug and unplug the devices as you move into a new location or introduce new components to a local area network LAN. If these multitudes needed to plug in every time, the time to set up the environment would take longer than using the service.

With wireless technologies, it is easy to use an existing installed local infrastructure.

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Two kinds of wireless networking are required. One kind provides long-range connections via cellular phones or satellite connections to connect to the Internet or special service providers that are not locally available. The other kind provides local, short-range connections to give access to local services; this can be achieved by Bluetooth or wireless LAN WLAN connections.

An overview of the existing technologies is given in Chapter 4. A wireless network is, therefore, the basis for a pervasive computing architecture. Although many people will carry around devices, they will not want to do so all the time. Many devices will be installed permanently in a certain location and can be accessed and used by many people for varying services.

To allow access to these devices, a dynamic ownership needs to be implemented to allow the use of wired infrastructure and the seamless integration of the wireless and wired world. Dynamic ownership means that the devices require a login for all people using it. Once a person logs in, the system will be configured to the needs of the user. This approach requires a centralized database with the profile of the user that can be accessed by all devices.

To promote new services on the Internet, standards organizations must establish new standards that are as common and accepted as HTML for the Web. These standards include protocols and interfaces for the access of online services. The standards must allow the description and virtualization of services in order to allow access to services and information not yet available in digital form.

Only if the framework supports this paradigm is it possible to create a large set of services in a short time. A service should be viewed as an object on the Internet. At the moment, almost everyone agrees that objects should be described in XML, but different organizations have different approaches on how to describe these objects. Oasis, 11 RosettaNet, 12 and BizTalk 13 try to describe services, products, and information related to vertical and horizontal markets, to make them more easily comparable and usable.

As long as the different organizations fail to create a single standard, it will be difficult to use all services on the Internet. XML allows the easy transformation of data from one format to the other, but if the granularity of the information is different, a manual process needs to be put in place to add missing details. For example, one standard could describe a personal computer as follows: The other standard would describe it as follows: Although both descriptions are structured, it is almost impossible to convert the first into the second because essential information is missing.

Fortunately, the organizations mentioned understand the problem and are cooperating to circumvent these problems. Universal cataloging system - Users should be able to use any computer to find any program that suits their needs. Universal application platform - When users click on a file, a program should launch regardless of where it might be stored on the Internet and on what type of device.

Universal file management - Users should be able to use any computer to not only access their own files but also to access any files which they have permission to view or access.


Universal payment system - Users should have a set method for measuring what they use and specifying how they should pay for it. By virtualizing applications and services, companies can build up new applications and services that are composed of several virtual applications and services, thus reducing the cost of development and implementation. New applications and services can be created on-the-fly and for a certain purpose only. Virtualizing the services and applications enables them to reconfigure themselves to work together seamlessly.

Support for these new metaservices on the universal network comes from support for the processes that create the metaservice. These processes are also being defined in new standards. One of these standards, called "Job Description Format," describes all processes in the print industry. Even the most complex processes will be described in this standard.

Once all processes are documented in a simple way, everyone can review the stage a certain process is in, independently of the services and products used to implement the process.

Paper or interactive?: a study of prototyping techniques for ubiquitous computing environments

Only if standardization can be achieved can metaservices on the Internet be controlled and guaranteed. What I call metaservices is today known as a web site. Companies rely heavily on standard applications and interfaces between the different applications to create a complete business model on the Web. Using the concept of pervasive computing, companies can set up a virtual company with virtual organizations. Instead of implementing all components themselves, companies can tie in virtual processes, business models, and organizations.

This allows companies to concentrate on their core competencies and think about innovative add-ons to their core business model. The business of Amazon. To provide the basic business model, Amazon. All services that are connected to the selling of books had to be implemented by Amazon. This undertaking built up a massive complexity in hardware, software, and services. The web pages show only a small part of a complete company and its processes.

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To sell products, a company must set up a logistics service, an enterprise resource planning service, call center service, web-hosting service, and many other things a customer does not care about. Many companies that enter the Internet world suffer because some components are missing. Manufacturers trying to target consumers, for example, often have problems supporting the needs of the consumers because the existing logistics services can handle the shipment of thousands of products, but not of single goods. Manufactures also often lack a call center for consumers and receive thousands of calls and e-mail instead of a few from dealers.

Startup companies have even more trouble, since they have no departments at all. Through virtual departments, it is easier to set up a business without having to invest a lot into a business model that may fail after a short while. This gives new In-ternet businesses a better standing and also reassures the investors that their money is well spent. A new level of security will be required to support the universal network. Whereas access to the Web is easily secured through login and password, secured access to the universal network is more complex.

Multiple access rights must be created for every object. Information and service objects must be set in context to provide different views of information and different aspects of services. Only then can the service be automated. Simple login and password procedures will be inadequate in a universal network. Further, the security method must be able to identify the context in which a device is used. Context awareness becomes vital for every device, which we will see later in this chapter.

To support security needs, a central operational module is needed to provide the basic services for the pervasive computing platform. This operational module should be able to search for, broker, and execute services.

1.3 New Internet Technologies

To minimize delay, it should be relatively near to the person or device requesting a service. The person or device should be able to connect to another pervasive computing platform if the nearest one is not available. Each of these platforms contains a directory of services available to the person or device in a certain situation. These services can be combined to form new metaservices, and the status of these services and their processes can be tracked. That way, the module can guarantee the quality of service of the network, and can predict when a certain result can be obtained and what needs to be done to optimize the result.

The module should also be able to identify participants and restrict access to personal and other sensitive information to a certain group of people. Virtualizing service objects makes it possible to use instances of a certain service in all sorts of different contexts without the need to recompile or reconfigure the service component. It also ensures that the service is implementation-independent and that a change in the service component will not affect the existing functionality that is broadcast to the Net world.

The first steps toward pervasive computing have already been taken. The Web has virtualized processes and applications. Instead of using applications through their own user interface, the applications use the Web. The advantage is that they are no longer restricted to a certain location or a certain installation. More and more applications use the Web to present and display processes and information. When a service is moved to the Web, any device that contains a web browser can access the service. People can access their e-mail from anywhere in the world without having to carry around a local computer or a laptop.

The application is not bound to a certain hardware installation or software configuration. A web browser is all users need. Another problem will be solved in the near future: Today, most data is on a local system, such as a portable or desktop computer. This data is only accessible to a person or application service that is near this data.

Putting data on the Internet today puts it at risk of being available to anyone. Prior to that, he served in the U. Army from and during the Gulf War in as an Arabic language translator.

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