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This book examines how the computer, as we currently know it, will be replaced by a new generation of technologies, moving computing off the desktop and ultimately integrating it with real world objects and everyday environments. Computing thus becomes an inseparable part of our everyday activities while simultaneously disappearing into the background. It becomes a ubiquitous utility taking on a role similar to electricity: an enabling but invisible and pervasive medium revealing its functionality on request in an unobtrusive way and supporting people’s everyday activities.
This book provides a unique combination of concepts, methods and prototypes of ubiquitous and pervasive computing reflecting the current interest in smart environments and ambient intelligence. As members of the Steering Group of the EU-funded Disappearing Computer research initiative, the editors of this book successfully assembled a collection of 13 elaborate chapters and three forewords that address the issues and challenges in this area. All authors are prominent researchers who set out investigating, developing and deploying future, people-centered smart environments.