Small logo of ETH main building ETH Zurich : Computer Science : Pervasive Computing : Distributed Systems : Education : UC FS2013

Ubiquitous Computing

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern
Lecture FS 2013


You can take a look at your corrected exam on the following dates:
  • Thursday, 19.09.2013, 10:00-12:00, CNB H 104.1, Barbara von Allmen Wilson
  • Tuesday, 24.09.2013, 14:00-16:00, CNB H 104.1, Barbara von Allmen Wilson


Time: 21.08.2013, Wednesday, 09:00-11:00 (120 minutes)
Place: TBA
External resources (books, lecture slides, etc.) or tools (calculator, mobile phone, etc.) of any kind are NOT permitted.


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

Time and Place:

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


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)
19.02.2013 Introduction, Vision
26.02.2013 Moore's law, Drivers I
05.03.2013 Technical Drivers II
12.03.2013 Sensors, RFID Introduction
19.03.2013 RFID Technology
26.03.2013 RFID II
09.04.2013 RFID Applications
16.04.2013 RFID IV (Applications cont., Regulations and Standards)
23.04.2013 RFID Perception, Smart Cards I
30.04.2013 Smart Cards II
07.05.2013 Smart Card Security, Wireless Communication Introduction
14.05.2013 Bluetooth
21.05.2013 Low Power Wireless, Location
28.05.2013 Location, Energy, Wearable, AR, Impact


If you have questions regarding the lecture, please contact Gábor Sörös.
ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated September 3 2013 02:32:48 PM MET gs