Ubiquitous computing is a model of computing in which computer functions are integrated into everyday life, often in an invisible way. The model requires both small, inexpensive computers and wired and wireless ("dumb") devices connected to larger computers. A household controlled by ubiquitous computing might have remote-controlled lighting, automated sprinklers, a home entertainment center, devices to monitor the health of occupants, and a refrigerator that warns occupants about stale or spoiled food products.
The proponents of ubiquitous computing envision a progression in computing functionality from the primacy of desktop computing, with its focus on programming and publishing, to an age of "natural" computing, wherein computers are accepted and utilized in all aspects of work and leisure. Rapid changes in technology, combined with an increasingly mobile society, ensure that the average person is continually challenged to use unfamiliar electrical and mechanical devices. This requires that devices operate in accordance with the intuition of the user, and serving that intuition requires computing power. Ubiquitous computing is, therefore, (arguably) not a dream in need of pursuit, but a predictable outgrowth of technical solutions to societal trends.
Modern devices that may serve the ubiq ...