This book sets out a vision ofpervasive IT through intelligent spaces and describes some ofthe progress that has been made towards its realisation. The context for intelligent spaces (or iSpaces) is the world where information and communication technology (lCT) disappears as it becomes embedded into physical objects and the spaces in which we live and work. The ultimate vision is that this embedded technology provides us with intelligent and contextually relevant support, augmenting our lives and our experience of the physical world in a benign and non intrusive manner. The enormous advances in hardware, system design, and software that are being achieved enable. this vision. In particular, the performance advances and cost reductions in hardware components - processors, memory, storage, and communications - are making it possible to embed intelligence and communications ability into lower cost objects. The Internet is a living experiment in building complex, distributed systems on a global scale. In software, there have been solid advances in creating systems that can deal with complexities on the scale required to interact with human activity, in limited domains at least. The ultimate vision is challenging, and there are many obstacles to its realisation.
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Intelligent Spaces: The Application of Pervasive ICT sets out a vision where Information & Communication Technology (ICT) moves from the PC on the desktop out into the physical world, and becomes pervasive. The world about us will appear to have real intelligence embedded in it, creating what we term "Intelligent Spaces" or "iSpaces", which will augment and support virtually every human activity.
An iSpace consists of
· The physical world in which the user exists, in his/her relevant context.
· The interface between the digital world and the physical world. This contains embedded sensors to gather data, labels to identify objects, actuators to control things/appliances in the physical world, together with support software to facilitate non-intrusive two-way communication across the interface,
· The digital world in which digital knowledge and intelligent systems are available to intelligently analyse data gathered from the physical world, and to influence and support our actions in that physical world.
Intelligent Spaces: The Application of Pervasive ICT describes the vision and how it has already been demonstrated in a number of applications ranging from the home, healthcare and traffic systems to monitoring glaciers. It identifies many of the technical, human and business issues which need to be researched before the benefits can become widespread, and describes possible solutions to them. Academic & industrial researchers in Computer Science, IT & Communications, as well as practitioners will find this key reading as it delivers practical & implementable current research.Review:
Intelligent spaces : the application of pervasive ICT (Computer Communications
Steventon A., Wright S., Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., Secaucus, NJ, 2005. 438 pp.
Date Reviewed: Mar 16 2006
Information and communication technology (ICT) has been around for several years. It
improves the way we compute and communicate, and yet human lives have remained
essentially the same. However, this is about to change. As this book explains, every facet
of human endeavor will be affected and changed (for the better, we hope) by pervasive
ICT, referred to here as intelligent spaces (iSpaces).
The book consists of 24 chapters written by different authors. The topics can be roughly
divided into five parts. The first part introduces the basics of iSpaces: what they are, their
impact, and the science and technology needed behind them. The second part briefly
explains several applications of iSpaces, ranging from supply chain, home, and community
environment to the monitoring of highway traffic and glaciers. The third part discusses
trust, privacy, and security issues in iSpaces. The fourth part is oriented more toward
technology, discussing several implementations of iSpaces. The final part examines the
digital infrastructure that will need to be there in order for iSpaces to work. In general, this
book is well edited and each chapter is concise. However, 24 chapters are a lot to digest
and perhaps the fourth part could have been omitted without affecting the value of the
book too much.
The intended audience for this book is not clear. If meant for the general public, then the
authors could perhaps have focused more on the social impact and changes iSpaces will
bring. Color images would also help to engage readers.
One final question comes to mind: are iSpaces always good for people? Have any disasters
occurred in the past due to pervasive (or some may say invasive) ICT? A chapter or two
discussing real examples of the downside of iSpaces would help this book to be more
complete and insightful.
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