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Shaping an International Grand Challenge Community for Ubiquitous Computing

Project details

Funded by: EPSRC (grant reference EP/F013442/1)

Dates: October 2007 - March 2009

Institutions: University of Oxford

This project is a collaboration with: Professor T Rodden, Professor J Crowcroft, Professor M Sloman, Professor Y Rogers, Dr M Chalmers, Dr E O'Neill, Professor V Sassone, and Dr D Chalmers


The impact of IT on society has already been profound, reshaping work, education, government, leisure, entertainment, and home life. The emergence of powerful digital infrastructures, wireless networks and mobile devices has started to embed computers into the architectures, furniture and personal fabric of everyday life. While once we would interact with one computer mobile phones, digital cameras, satellite navigation, handheld computers and a host of similar devices are today commonplace in our everyday activities. This shift to 'Ubiquitous Computing' is a challenge that affects all aspects of computer science and has massive implications for how we might reason about, build and experience computer systems in the future. This is a fundamentally interdisciplinary endeavour and advances in Ubiquitous Computing depend on the successful blending of perspectives drawn from the science of computing, the engineering of complex distributed systems and the understanding of their use in social settings. This means that in addition to undertaking fundamental research into each of the constituent areas we also need to promote interaction and dialogue across these perspectives. The scale of problems to be addressed requires us to tackle this research at a global scale requiring us to shape a multidisciplinary international community in order to tackle the grand challenge of ubiquitous computing. Within this proposal we wish to put in place the multidisciplinary and international collaborations between world-leading researchers necessary to launch a coordinated international response to the challenge of Ubiquitous Computing. In doing so we aim to lay the foundation required to understand, design and realize future large scale Ubiquitous Computing arrangements that will be embedded in the world we inhabit and shape the ways in which we all live. In order to do so we have assembled an initial grouping from the leading research labs in this area in the world.