Future Computing Environments

Weekly Discussion Group on Future Computing Environments

Spring Quarter 1997

CS 8011D

Ubiquitous Computing

Time and Place: Tuesdays 4:30-6:00pm, Room 102, College of Computing


General information

Current week

Previous quarters

The general focus this quarter is on ubiquitous computing. We will spend half of our time looking at work outside of Georgia Tech and the other half focussing on particular efforts within the FCE Group.



Introduction (Seminar Notes)
Chris Atkeson


CHI'97 workshop (Seminar Notes)

On March 23-24, Gregory Abowd and Bill Schilit (FX-PAL) hosted a workshop on Ubiquitous Computing as part of the activities for the CHI'97 conference in Atlanta. We will provide an overview of what went on during that 2-day workshop.
Reading material


Emerging themes in ubiquitous computing at FCE (Seminar Notes)
Gregory Abowd

On alternate weeks this quarter, we are going to have a discussion on work inside of FCE by one of the various FCE Lab researchers. To kick-start things this quarter, Gregory will provide an overview FCE research activities outlining a number of emerging research themes.

If you want to relive the experience of the presentation, go here. We'd love to hear your further comments on the topics discussed.


Ubicomp papers at CHI'97
Michael Koetter


During the seminar we were talking about the "Sound of the Net Breathing" site and I also mentioned a book on ambient noise/music called "Elevator Music." Here are more detailed references.

Sound of the Net: http://park.org/Japan/Theme/sware/

Joseph Lanza, "Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening and Other Moodsong" (Picador: New York), 1995.


Design/Representation issues for Ubicomp
Bob Waters

Our overriding theme will be on issues of design and representation of the services (OS and Comm) that might be necessary to support ubicomp. For operating systems, we have the challenge of providing complex services with a device that is bandwidth-challenged both in peripheral and communications support. For multimedia nomadic services, the authors look at how best to provide personal services such as paging, fax, telephone, etc in an environment where the user is not stationary. Finally, for those of us who are software engineers, the representation of ubicomp systems that dynamically change configurations based upon users will be a real challenge. Our current box and arrow methods work great for static systems, but how will we handle dynamic ones?? That's the issue the third paper tackles.

So come to class Tuesday where the topic will be : "Fitting 20 pounds of stuff in a 5 pound bag" or "Everything I ever wanted to know about the PI calculus, but was afraid to ask".



Auditory representation of data
John Tolva

This week's readings are all taken from the International Conference on Auditory Design (ICAD).

Traditionally, data sonification has been concerned with creating interfaces for the visually impaired and for providing means of monitoring data when the user's vision sense is otherwise preoccupied (as in a jet cockpit or in a surgical environment). While none of the writings below address ubiquitous computing, per se, I think the research suggests many ways that we can reach the goal of an "invisible interface" with the world in a future computing environment. Sonified data has many advantages over visualized data that seem appropriate for an interface that has no physical characteristics. I'd like to highlight some of the ways that data sonification could benefit (and, in fact, could be inappropriate for) a ubiquitous computing device or environment.



Jen Mankoff

(Seminar Notes)


Classroom 2000: Ubiquitous computing in education
Jason Brotherton

This week's papers give a brief look at context awareness and voice-only applications. I'll be talking about Savoir, a project I'm working on (originally prototyped by Anind Dey and Lara Catledge) that gives voice-only access to e-mail, news, weather reports, stock quotes, etc. I'm currently working on using position and orientation data to enhance the ability of the voice-recognition system in doing it's job. We'll be talking about the basics of this project as well as the basics of voice-recognition and what context means and can do in this area. The papers are: "Context Awareness in Wearable and Ubiquitous Computing" ~abowd/papers/wearable/context.ps and "MailCall: Message Presentation and Navigation in a Nonvisual Environment" www.acm.org/sigchi/chi96/proceedings/papers/Marx/mtm_txt.htm


Rob Orr



Mike Pinkerton


General Information

Readings for each week will either be included on this page as links or will be made available a week in advance and announced to the FCE mailing list.

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Future Computing Environments Georgia Institute of Technology