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Ubiquitous Computing

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern
Lecture FS 2014


Ubiquitous Computing exam inspection takes place on:
  • Thursday, 18.09.2014, 10:00-11:00, CNB H 104.1, Barbara von Allmen Wilson
  • Tuesday, 23.09.2014, 10:00-11:00, CNB H 104.1, Barbara von Allmen Wilson


Time: 20.08.2014, Wednesday, 14:00-16:00 (120 minutes)
Place: HIL G 61
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 these 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 has taken place. Please note: The exam covers everything that has been discussed during the lectures.

Lecture Date Slides (PDF)
18.02.2014 Introduction, Vision
25.02.2014 Technical Drivers, Moore's Law, Communication Technologies
04.03.2014 Technical Drivers II
11.03.2014 Sensors, RFID Introduction
18.03.2014 RFID Technology
25.03.2014 RFID III
04.04.2014 RFID Applications, RFID Adoption and Infrastructure
08.04.2014 RFID IV (Applications cont., Public Perception of RFID, RFID Privacy)
15.04.2014 Smart Cards I
29.04.2014 Smart Cards II, Smart Card Security
06.05.2014 Wireless Communication Introduction
13.05.2014 Bluetooth
20.05.2014 Low Power Wireless, Location
27.05.2014 Location, Energy, Wearable, AR, Impact


If you have questions regarding the lecture, please contact Anwar Hithnawi.
ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated June 20 2023 01:44:49 PM MET ah