Developing The Next Generation Of Pervasive Computing Systems

For the past 20 years, the pervasive computing community has developed technology that allows sensing, computing, and wireless communication to be embedded in everyday objects, from cell phones to running shoes, enabling a range of context-aware applications. While these apps are useful, the time has come to develop the next generation of pervasive computing systems. These future systems will support applications that have much deeper awareness of users and their activities, context, and goals. They will be able to learn and adapt continuously to user’s habits, routines, and preferences. These future apps will be capable of supporting complex tasks, such as cooking a soufflé or building a complicated piece of furniture. In the process, they will deliver far richer user experiences than the technologies of today can offer. The Intel Science and Technology Center for Pervasive Computing (ISTC-PC) will develop the fundamental technologies needed to power this next generation of pervasive computing systems. This paper highlights the key research themes and application areas that will drive the research of the new center.

Leading Academic Researchers

The ISTC-PC will bring together researchers from six top tier US research universities, including leaders in pervasive computing, wireless communication and sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer vision, human-computer interaction (HCI), and security. The University of Washington will be the hub of the center, coordinating research among the five other universities involved in the collaboration, including Georgia Institute of Technology, Cornell University, the University of Rochester, UCLA, and Stanford University. The ISTC-PC will be co-led by Dieter Fox, associate professor of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, and Anthony LaMarca, a principal engineer at Intel.

An Open, Collaborative Approach

The ISTC-PC is designed to ensure a successful collaboration through an open research model that encourages widespread sharing of information and results. While Intel is funding the work of the center, the results of the research will be made widely availablethrough open-source software releases and technical publications. By adopting this open approach Intel hopes to encourage collaboration across the pervasive computing community and to foster the development of breakthrough innovations. The freedom to share intellectual property overcomes one of the key barriers to the success of many industry-academic research collaborations, which often stumble over IP rights.
Through the new center, researchers in a range of disciplines who rarely have the chance to collaborate will be able to share ideas and jointly develop solutions. Such cross-fertilization is designed to generate novel ideas and innovative solutions that require a multidisciplinary team to develop. The researchers also will have the opportunity to explore the large-scale scenarios that motivate their research but are difficult to pursue within a single university.