Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiquitous computing refers to computer networking and intelligence shared across many devices, including phones, sensors, and household systems. Mark Weiser introduced the theory in 1988, proposing that technology would work its way into ordinary life processes until they became nearly unnoticed. As computing becomes more pervasive and intelligent, it seamlessly integrates into our everyday activity (such as driving or turning on lights) – exactly as Weiser predicted.

Ubiquitous computing includes:

  • Fitness devices that make recommendations based on real-time physical data
  • Virtual computing assistants (such as Siri and Alexa) that answer questions, connect to home devices, and perform small tasks upon request
  • Vehicles that alert drivers to driving inconsistencies (even something as small as veering over the lane line)
  • Intelligent home systems that provide security, connect to lights and air conditioning, and play music through different devices

Benefits and concerns of ubiquitous computing

As devices intake enormous amounts of data and learn to better process them, they become more intelligent. Complex data processes become more scalable and flexible, until they’re distilled to simple actions on a Bluetooth device or tiny sensor. Artificial intelligence improves the seamless, smart nature of ubiquitous computing: devices learn to advise their users, complete tasks without being asked, and track preferences and habits.

Excessive data collection continues to concern many, however. With the benefit of advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence comes privacy concerns and hesitation regarding how much our computers know about us and how that data could be misused.

Webopedia Staff
Webopedia Staff
Since 1995, more than 100 tech experts and researchers have kept Webopedia’s definitions, articles, and study guides up to date. For more information on current editorial staff, please visit our About page.

Related Articles

10 Quick Tips For Social Media Marketing

10 Quick Tips for Social Media Marketing Social Media Defined: Social media is a phrase used to describe a variety of Web-based platforms, applications and...

Digital Advertising

What is Digital Advertising? Digital advertising is marketing to a target audience through digital platforms, including social media, email, search engines, mobile apps, affiliate programs,...

E-Commerce

E-commerce, or electronic commerce, is online-conducted business, including marketing, sales, and fulfillment. Consumers and businesses place and track orders at least partially through the...

Virtualization Software

Virtualization software is a digital solution used to create an abstraction layer for hardware. The software creates multiple instances, or virtual machines (VMs), that...

ScalaHosting

ScalaHosting is a leading managed hosting provider that offers secure, scalable, and affordable...

HRIS

Human resources information system (HRIS) solutions help businesses manage multiple facets of their...

Best Managed Service Providers...

In today's business world, managed services are more critical than ever. They can...