Relentless progress in information technology has produced affordable personal computing options — options that cost millions of dollars only a few decades ago. Such progress has continued to the point where the greatest innovations transcend our traditional notions of personal computing. The spotlight is now on what we call "pervasive computing" devices — which range from personal digital assistants to the unseen chips in our cars, appliances and telephones.
Projecting this trend into the future, we envision an explosion of interconnected "smart devices" — from watches to cars — that can make our lives easier and more productive. Our work investigates what forms these devices might take, what new functions they might perform, and ways to pack more computing ability into smaller spaces.
The Core of Computing
Meta Pad slices and dices pervasive computing obstacles (July 2002)
Big Ideas for Small Devices
MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) will enable smaller, more powerful, next-generation cell phones and disk drives. (December 2001)
Wherever you go, there you are
With a credit-card-sized system, you could soon bring the unique attributes of your own computer's desktop — addresses, bookmarks, communication settings, files, backgrounds and icons — to any PC. (April 2000)
The well-connected car
From finding a good restaurant when you're on the road to calling for help when your airbag deploys, new technology in cars will link you to the outside world. (April 2000)
Seeing the light: IBM's vision of life beyond the PC.
The emerging world of pervasive computing will seamlessly knit together a multitude of different devices. (January 1999)
The Convenience of Small Devices: How Pervasive Computing Will Personalize E-Business
Mark Bregman, manager of IBM's pervasive-computing unit, presents his vision of a future built around specialized appliances. (October 1998)
The secrets of agents
A team at IBM's Tokyo Research Laboratory has created a breed of mobile agents. "Java aglets" can be sent out across the Internet to glean information from Web sites, coordinate the activities of remote teams and even participate in Internet auctions. The TRL team is developing standards for aglet activity and collaborating with IBM development groups to simplify the creation and use of aglets. (January 1997)
Catching the Wave
A small team of researchers turned an opportunity into an award-winning product, helping to launch a workstation that provides the functionality of much more expensive machines with the convenience of a PC. (December 1997)
Mobile Computing on the Move
Research innovations are making it simpler than ever to access information and carry out computing tasks anywhere and anytime. (October 1996)