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CATS - Barton


A Glimmer of the Future in Nomadic Computing
John J. Barton
HP Labs Senior Research Staff Member and Mayor of Cooltown

Physical hyperlinks connect physical entities -- people, place, or things -- to virtual resources on the Web. These hyperlinks can be direct, like infrared beacons emitting URLs or indirect like radio-frequency tags combined with identifier-lookup services. Nomadic users of handheld web browsers can traverse links they encounter, giving them simple context-dependent views of resources around them without tracking the users. By combining GPS and electronic compasses we can even create virtual beacons that appear to be planted in the physical world. Printers, projectors, and picture frames that accept hyperlinks allow these users to bring bits of the virtual world into their physical environment.

Building on this web-based technology, our department at HP Labs has been experimenting with: 1) richer context through a web server that merges XML resources for entities defining a context, 2) extensions of web clients to include a wide variety of environmental sensors, 3) integration of handheld web appliances and web services, and 4) solutions for usability and configuration of systems for nomadic users. In addition to end-user technology, we have been developing tools for ubicomp development, including a scenario simulator and small single board computers that add wireless networking to PC peripheral devices. (This talk will include material from our collaborators at HP Labs and in Prof. Armando Fox and M. Baker's group at Stanford University.)

Refreshments will be served immediately following the presentation.

The Colorado Advanced Technology Series wants to introduce students at the University of Colorado to the technology leaders of local and national industries and help the leaders of those companies explain what their companies do and why they are great places to work. If you would like to receive email notification of upcoming talks, subscribe to our CATS Mailing List.

The main event of CATS is a series of technical talks in the middle of each semester. In each seminar, a technical or business leader from a local or national company describes new or existing technical developments, the motivation for developing that technology and the corporate environment. Each seminar is followed by refreshments and a chance for students and industry representatives to mingle and talk. See CATS Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

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Department of Computer Science
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