Smart Device, Physical Computing, Ubiquitous Technology, Wearable Computing

Smart Device
Essentially we can term something as a smart device if it is a mobile / cordless solution (for easy transportation / use) which may potentially be connected to the Internet, or GPS or similar, or have voice / video capabilities. It could be a device or item that may already have a purpose but there is some form of connectedness or enhancement to it (also meets with the definitions of ubiquitous computing). Characteristics of a smart device include having a hardware and software solution, perhaps a wearable item or a distributed computing aspect to it. Possibly the device can operate autonomously. The bag is an item that will already have purpose for its owner, we are adding additional capabilities to that bag, essentially creating our own smart device.

Physical Computing
In the general definition it would be to use not only a software solution but incorporating a physical aspect as well, this could be to sense and respond to the physical world, potentially to translate the input it is receiving. The term for our purposes is used because there will be both an application programmed but it will only come to life when the physical prototype is being built, which is how the software will be accessed.

Ubiquitous technology
Typically this is now seen as a post-desktop model, so that now the processes are integrated in our everyday objects, they are seen to fit our environment rather then us trying to fit theirs. The prototypes will be used in their everyday environment as so will become a part of their everyday routines. The item should fit into their surroundings and almost at times not be perceptible to them and only be used as needed.

The level of acceptance mentioned for Weisers’ concept, requires non-invasive technologies which are intuitive, self organizing, self managing and which require minimal interaction by the user. (O’Driscoll, C., MacCormac, D., Deegan, M., Mtenzi, F., O’Shea, 2008.)

Wearable Computing
These are electronic devices that are worn in someway by the user. It may be integrated into their current clothing or become a separate item with a purpose, for example a watch that is a wearable computer. It has been described as an extension to the wearer’s mind or body as it can become so integrated. For the devices that we are looking to create this become important to be aware that the user will be taking it with them so it must conform to certain social and aesthetic values for the wearer.