Today's Gamasutra educational feature, part of the expanded Gamasutra Education
section of the site, highlights the thesis work of graduate Marcus Smith. Smith completed his B.S. in Computer Science at Drew University followed by a Master's degree in Writing at Rowan University. He explored concepts of ubiquitous computing during his B.S., shown in the following excerpt:
"Context awareness related to computing is very rigid. The context itself can be just about anything: time, location, preferences. How it is perceived as data is variable. The context can be defined according to a user or the system that utilizes it; it could be dynamic or constant. Typically, data based on users or entities is constant, while system-based context is to some degree dynamic . Regardless of its form, it is this concept of context awareness in computers that will allow for them to interact with the real world by using the given context as data to fulfill specified acts, i.e. displaying data, triggering events, etc.
Fritz Hohl, at a seminar in Dagstuhl on ubiquitous computing, makes reference to a context service system by which the digital world is integrated into the real world. Its overall role is to model the real world in the digital one, so that changes in the real world would be reflected, and the system could act accordingly. An example in this system might be an 'intelligent' copy machine that changes its preferences and settings according to user. The context being the user, the machine is able to handle both switches in setting and in whom to bill any charges to .
His discussion brings to point two methods by which a context-based system would be implemented. The importance of these matters is that, to have ubiquitous devices ever present and working, a system would be required by which they can interact with the real world.
You can download Smith's thesis on the following page
, in Adobe Acrobat format (no registration required).