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CATS - Barton

A Glimmer of the Future in Nomadic Computing
John Barton
HP Labs Senior Research Staff Member and Mayor of Cooltown
3/20/2002
11:00am-12:00pm

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.

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University of Colorado Boulder
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