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Chapter 1. Convergence and the Informati... > THE PERVASIVE COMPUTING VISION

THE PERVASIVE COMPUTING VISION

As technology experts continue to hail the arrival of the "digital revolution" and the "information era," average citizens wait for the realities of these promises to touch their daily lives. Some consumers don't realize it, but there may already be many computers in their house; they just don't call them computers. There are microchips in refrigerators, microwaves, TVs, VCRs, and stereos. With all of these processors, the concept of pervasive computing has emerged. This is a vision for the future where people will be able to connect and communicate at any time from anywhere, using new information appliance devices.

As opposed to the general-purpose PCs of today, information appliances will be small, inexpensive consumer devices, optimized to perform a specialized set of user-centric functions, such as a portable Internet phone that has personal e-mail and Web- browsing capabilities. The vision of pervasive computing is to interconnect all devices via a globally integrated, ubiquitous network. The goal: to increase the efficiency and enhance the leisure time of the consumer. This promises greater empowerment for individual citizens.


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