What is Ambient computing?
Ambient computing is a new buzz word in computing space. This new computing technology is already here. But, we simply didn’t realize it. Ambient computing simply means using a computer without knowing it. So, it is a new age technology where people use computers without realizing their presence.
Furthermore, in this modern world, we have computers everywhere. We have a tiny computer in our pockets. We use it every day. Guess what it is? It is our smartphone. It is also a computer. On our laptop, we open a browser and search for information.
So, in the above two cases, we use the computer by knowing it. This means we realize its presence and do interact with it. But what about when we talk with our smart speaker and listen to its answers. On schedule time, it automatically briefs you on the morning news. That is what ambient computing is about. Actually, it is much more than that. This is just the beginning.
Ambient computing and our surroundings.
So, how this technology works exactly? It is the seamless integration of the Internet, computers, cloud computing, cognitive processing, neural networks, IoT, and machine learning. All these systems seamlessly work together to help humans.
In addition, this type of computing doesn’t require human attention. It simply means that it integrates with your life seamlessly. It will be always there in everything you do.
In this technology, machines know the intent. They know the context and meaning of what you speak. It is just like speaking with your family or friend.
Furthermore, this technology could be the best tool in a large organization. It will be helpful to deliver essential information to employes or consumers.
How does it work?
Here we can take an example. Suppose an employee didn’t show up, the biometric attendance machine would raise an alert. It will then try to communicate with the employee’s smartphone or scan health information from his smartwatch. If it finds some irregular heartbeats, it will alert the medical emergency ambulance with his precious location.
Furthermore, It will alert the health insurance company and hospital at the same time. It can also send an alert to the company where he is employed. Then, the doctor gets an alert by the employee’s smartwatch about his/her medical condition before their arrival at the hospital. The smartphone then sends an alert to the employee’s relatives.
This list can go on and save precious time. It is the result of the seamless working of different integrated computers together. Hence, It is the AI that is working behind the scenes saving a precious life. It is nothing but ambient computing. Here, the employee didn’t know what is going on but the ambulance arrives at the perfect time without his/her interaction with anyone. This is the power of this technology.
The use of this technology is limitless and it is the next frontier in the computing world. We have taken a simple example here but you can use this technology in almost any field. It has a lot of scope as computers are getting smaller and occupying our daily routines.
The ambient computing has several characteristics and we will learn a few of them here. First of all, the most important characteristic of ambient computing is that it is invisible. It works behind the scenes. The second characteristic is familiarity. We are familiar with our smart speaker. Right? We know that its a computer. But, we never realized it.
Furthermore, It is embedded in our surroundings. Think of the smart curtains that open up during the day and close at sunset. The ambient computing is present everywhere. It is distributed on a large number of computers.
In addition, It is also present and absent at the same time. This is rather contradictory to the previous statement. But, it means that it is there when you need it and it is not there when you don’t need it.
The symbiotic nature of ambient computing is credible in itself. This is the actual power of it and hence, an important character in itself. The modular nature of this type of computing makes it easier to embed. It is incredibly personal as well. So, it can assist you with your needs as and when they arise.
Lastly, It is inclusive. Your grandmother learns to talk to her personal digital assistant and you are delighted. So, it is inclusive. Here age, gender, and behavior don’t matter. This type of computing is inclusive in nature and will remain like that in the future. Here, everyone is invited and it is open to all.
In conclusion. Ambient computing will change the way we live together as a society. Rather, it is now a part of the society we live in. It is definitely an ever-evolving space in the computing world.
Image courtesy: Microsoft
Watch Ambient computing in action
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