A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     What is e-Knowledge?   © SCUP 2003
  Page 21      

Pervasive Technology Changes How We “Experience” Knowledge (continued)



Chapter 1

What is e-Knowledge?

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New Terms and Concepts
Mobile computing is the use of mobile devices, such as laptop, notebook computers, or personal digital assistants to engage in communications and computing wherever the devices can access wireless networks.
Pervasive computing, or ubiquitous computing, involves an interconnected archipelago of computing devices embedded in environments and communicating with one another and with mobile computing devices.
Ambient computing refers to the characteristic of pervasive computing that makes it an integral part of the environment, surrounding, encompassing and available.



Revolutionizing the
Knowledge Experience

So, how will we experience knowledge ten years from today — a world of pervasive computing, the Semantic Web, content marketplaces, and tradecraft-rich communities of practice?

Places to Experience Knowledge. Today, mobile computing and wireless communication with cellular telephones enable us to communicate, compute, and use knowledge anyplace with wireless service. But limitations in bandwidth, existing interfaces, and our lack of insight into how best to use wireless environments limit the nature of the knowledge sharing experience. Wireless environments are at the pilot stage of development, but they hold great promise for enabling new kinds of work and learning experiences in the near future.

In our future knowledge sharing environments, we will be able to engage in robust wireless knowledge sharing virtually anywhere with greater bandwidth and genuine amenity. Pervasive computing environments will be available in environments such as our automobiles, schools, homes, workplaces, and museums; other public settings like malls, community centers, and government service centers will provide pervasive computing capabilities in selected areas.

The film Minority Report also provided an unnerving snapshot of the potential intrusive nature of pervasive technology environments. Passersby in shopping areas were recognized and accosted by personalized advertisements for goods and services, based on past shopping preferences and other personal insights. In World Without Secrets, Richard Hunter points out the difficulty of maintaining privacy in the coming world of ubiquitous computing. In a world of pervasive knowledge sharing, we will all want to have the capacity to cloak our identities at certain times we choose.

This is today. Tomorrow’s pervasive knowledge settings will significantly extend the comfort level of today’s knowledge user. The film Minority Report provides a stunningly dramatic representation of how individuals in the mid-twenty-first century may be able to use pervasive knowledge environments to engage, manipulate, and assimilate a virtual avalanche of knowledge in pictorial, graphical, text, and audio forms. In the movie, investigators are able to stand before receptor screens and, using sensor-studded gloves, manipulate, arrange, and combine images, text, and other information on a just-in-time basis. In minutes, they investigate, analyze, synthesize, and launch action that would take hours or days using today’s techniques of knowledge management and decision support. Most of the technologies needed to implement this already exist and the remainder are under research and development. No person watching this representation can doubt that the patterns and cadences of the knowledge experience are on the threshold of the Knowledge Age equivalent of a sea change.


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  The technology required for ubiquitous computing comes in three parts: cheap, low-power computers that include equally convenient displays, software for ubiquitous applications and a network that ties them all together.
Marc Weiser