Where Did Ubiquitous Computing Come From?
As discussed on the DVD, the origins of ubiquitous computing can
be traced from to the 1940s and 1950s all the way to today. The
information below is supplemental to the DVD-ROM content and provides
links to some of the key thinkers and their work. Note that this
is not meant to be a complete list:
|Vannavar Bush (1940s):
||was already developing ideas
for what were later to become the computer, hypertext, and the
Internet. His 1945 essay, "As
We May Think" can still be accessed at Atlantic
Monthly. See also this
article in Wired magazine, and this online biography.
|Douglas Engelbart (1950/60s):
||has always been interested in
how technology can be used to support people in their collective
endeavors, as discussed in his 1962 essay "Augmenting
Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework" and was
involved in the development of such things as hypertext and
the computer mouse, which were first demonstrated at the 1968
Fall Joint Computer Conference held at the Convention Center
in San Francisco (for more info, including video footage, click
For more information about Engelbart's work and life, see here
|Alan Kay (1970s):
||sees technology as having an
impact if it is universally available, and that the success
of ubiquitous computing depends on the understanding
that knowledge is fluid and evolving, and computers can be instruments
to support student construction of knowledge in a variety
of media. A brief history of Kay and his work can be found here,
and a more in-depth discussion of his ideas can be found in
this Scientific American article.
He is currently working on Squeak.
|Seymour Papert (1980s):
||is mostly concerned with access
to technology with regards to ubiquitous computing for education.
More information about his work can be found here,
including information about the Maine
|Mark Weiser (1990s):
||did ground-breaking work in the
area of ubiquitous
computing, and was the first to define it as such. His
best known article, "The Computer for the 21st Century"
that appeared in Scientific American in 1991 can be found
|Howard Rheingold (2002):
||focuses on empowerment of people
through pervasive, mobile, and connected technology in his book
Smart Mobs. For a summary of the book and related materials
see this website.
|Bryan Alexander (2004):
||emphasizes the aspect of mobility
in his 2004 EDUCAUSE article, "Going Nomadic" (click
here for the html
version or pdf
|Wade Roush (2005):
||wrote an interesting article
in MIT's Technology Review called "Social Machines"
that can be found here
Not only the article itself is interesting and important when
it comes to discussing the use of technology as social tools,
but also the way in which it was written, to some extent collaboratively.
For more information of Roush's ideas about Continuous Computing,
Last updated on 05/12/2006