Small logo of ETH main building ETH Zurich : Computer Science : Pervasive Computing : Distributed Systems : Education : UC FS2015

Ubiquitous Computing

Prof. Dr. Friedemann Mattern
Lecture FS 2015


Ubiquitous Computing exam inspection takes place on:
  • Thursday, 17.09.2015, 10:00-11:30, CNB H 104.1, Barbara von Allmen Wilson
  • Tuesday, 22.09.2015, 14:00-16:00, CNB H 104.1, Barbara von Allmen Wilson


Time: 22.08.2014, Saturday, 11:00-13:00 (120 minutes)
Place: HIL F 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)
17.02.2015 Introduction, Vision
24.02.2015 Technical Drivers: Generalized Moore's Law
03.03.2015 Technical Drivers II
10.03.2015 Sensors, RFID Introduction
17.03.2015 RFID Technology
24.03.2015 RFID Technology and Applications
31.03.2015 RFID Standards, Public Perception, Privacy, E-Passport
14.04.2015 Smart Cards I
21.04.2015 Smart Cards II, Smart Card Security
28.04.2015 Smart Card Security, Wireless Communication
05.05.2015 WiFi, Bluetooth
12.05.2015 Bluetooth, 6LoWPAN, CoAP
19.05.2015 Location
26.05.2015 Implications


If you have questions regarding the lecture, please contact Gábor Sörös.
ETH ZurichDistributed Systems Group
Last updated June 20 2023 01:45:07 PM MET ah