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Ubiquitous Computing

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern
Lecture FS 2012


You can take a look at your corrected exam on the following dates:
  • Thursday, 20.09.2012, 14:00-16:00, CNB H 104.1, Barbara von Allmen Wilson
  • Thursday, 04.10.2012, 10:00-12:00, CNB H 104.1, Barbara von Allmen Wilson


22.08.2012, Wednesday, 09:00-11:00 (120 minutes) in ETF C1. External resources (books, lecture slides, etc.) or tools (calculator, mobile phone, etc.) of any kind are NOT permitted.

Time and Place:

Tuesdays, 8:15 - 10:00, CHN F 46


The lecture introduces the vision of ubiquitous computing and exposes students to the fundamental concepts and technologies in the area. The term "ubiquitous computing" describes the idea of incorporating sensing, computation, and communication into everyday things in order to make them and their surroundings "smart". Smart things can detect where they are, sense what is around them, and remember what they were used for previously. They may also interact with humans via mobile devices, use mighty services from the "cloud", and communicate with other smart real-world objects, forming an "Internet of Things".

With the fast technological progress in microelectronics and communication technology, the vision of smart environments seems to become realizable now. This development promises many interesting applications and novel business scenarios. In fact, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in computing - away from the desktop computer used as a tool, towards pervasive and invisibly embedded computers assisting people in a natural and unobtrusive way.

The lecture (2 hours per week, without exercises) gives an overview of important technological developments in selected domains, which together contribute to the vision of smart environments and Ubiquitous Computing. It also discusses economic and social issues connected to theses developments. Specific topics are:

  • The vision of Ubiquitous Computing
  • Technology trends
  • Wireless short-distance communication (Bluetooth, NFC)
  • Location awareness and location-based services
  • Embedded systems and smart cards
  • Sensor networks
  • RFID
  • Applications and business scenarios
  • Social implications


Slides will be provided a few days after the respective lecture was held. Please note: The exam covers everything that has been discussed during the lectures.

Lecture Date Slides (PDF)
21.02.2012 Introduction, Vision
28.02.2012 Moore's law, Drivers I
06.03.2012 Drivers II
13.03.2012 Sensors, Information appliances
20.03.2012 RFID
27.03.2012 RFID II
03.04.2012 Opportunistic Sensing (guest lecture by Anind Dey)
17.04.2012 RFID III
24.04.2012 RFID IV
08.05.2012 Privacy, SmartCards I
15.05.2012 SmartCards II
22.05.2012 Bluetooth
29.05.2012 Location, Energy, Wearable, AR, Impact


If you have questions regarding the lecture, please contact Gábor Sörös.
ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated September 11 2012 05:49:03 PM MET gs