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Concept: Ubiquitous computing


The application of Information Technologies into Precision Agriculture methods has clear benefits. Precision Agriculture optimises production efficiency, increases quality, minimises environmental impact and reduces the use of resources (energy, water); however, there are different barriers that have delayed its wide development. Some of these main barriers are expensive equipment, the difficulty to operate and maintain and the standard for sensor networks are still under development. Nowadays, new technological development in embedded devices (hardware and communication protocols), the evolution of Internet technologies (Internet of Things) and ubiquitous computing (Ubiquitous Sensor Networks) allow developing less expensive systems, easier to control, install and maintain, using standard protocols with low-power consumption. This work develops and test a low-cost sensor/actuator network platform, based in Internet of Things, integrating machine-to-machine and human-machine-interface protocols. Edge computing uses this multi-protocol approach to develop control processes on Precision Agriculture scenarios. A greenhouse with hydroponic crop production was developed and tested using Ubiquitous Sensor Network monitoring and edge control on Internet of Things paradigm. The experimental results showed that the Internet technologies and Smart Object Communication Patterns can be combined to encourage development of Precision Agriculture. They demonstrated added benefits (cost, energy, smart developing, acceptance by agricultural specialists) when a project is launched.

Concepts: Agriculture, Computer network, Internet, Internet Protocol, Wireless sensor network, Greenhouse, Ubiquitous computing, Communications protocol


In an age already saturated with information, the ongoing revolution in mobile computing has expanded the realm of immediate information access far beyond our homes and offices. In addition to changing where people can access information, mobile computing has changed what information people access-from finding specific directions to a restaurant to exploring nearby businesses when on the go. Does this ability to instantly gratify our information needs anytime and anywhere have any bearing on how much we trust those around us-from neighbors to strangers? Using data from a large nationally representative survey (World Values Survey: Wave 6), we found that the more people relied on their mobile phones for information, the less they trusted strangers, neighbors and people from other religions and nationalities. In contrast, obtaining information through any other method-including TV, radio, newspapers, and even the Internet more broadly-predicted higher trust in those groups. Mobile information had no bearing on how much people trusted close others, such as their family. Although causality cannot be inferred, these findings provide an intriguing first glimpse into the possible unforeseen costs of convenient information access for the social lubricant of society-our sense of trust in one another.

Concepts: Sociology, Mobile phone, Internet, Radio, Ubiquitous computing


Evaluating the behavior of mice and rats has substantially contributed to the progress of research in many scientific fields. Researchers commonly observe recorded video of animal behavior and manually record their observations for later analysis, but this approach has several limitations. The authors developed an automated system for tracking and analyzing the behavior of rodents that is based on radio frequency identification (RFID) in an ultra-high-frequency bandwidth. They provide an overview of the system’s hardware and software components as well as describe their technique for surgically implanting passive RFID tags in mice. Finally, the authors present the findings of two validation studies to compare the accuracy of the RFID system versus commonly used approaches for evaluating the locomotor activity and object exploration of mice.

Concepts: Scientific method, Psychology, Rat, Rodent, Ultra high frequency, RFID, Radio-frequency identification, Ubiquitous computing


From the desktop to the laptop to the mobile device, personal computing platforms evolve over time. Moving forward, wearable computing is widely expected to be integral to consumer electronics and beyond. The primary interface between a wearable computer and a user is often a near-eye display. However, current generation near-eye displays suffer from multiple limitations: they are unable to provide fully natural visual cues and comfortable viewing experiences for all users. At their core, many of the issues with near-eye displays are caused by limitations in conventional optics. Current displays cannot reproduce the changes in focus that accompany natural vision, and they cannot support users with uncorrected refractive errors. With two prototype near-eye displays, we show how these issues can be overcome using display modes that adapt to the user via computational optics. By using focus-tunable lenses, mechanically actuated displays, and mobile gaze-tracking technology, these displays can be tailored to correct common refractive errors and provide natural focus cues by dynamically updating the system based on where a user looks in a virtual scene. Indeed, the opportunities afforded by recent advances in computational optics open up the possibility of creating a computing platform in which some users may experience better quality vision in the virtual world than in the real one.

Concepts: Computer, Java, Lens, Personal digital assistant, Wearable computer, User interface, Ubiquitous computing, Computing platform


Real-time locating systems (RTLS, also known as real-time location systems) have become an important component of many existing ubiquitous location aware systems. While GPS (global positioning system) has been quite successful as an outdoor real-time locating solution, it fails to repeat this success indoors. A number of RTLS technologies have been used to solve indoor tracking problems. The ability to accurately track the location of assets and individuals indoors has many applications in healthcare. This paper provides a condensed primer of RTLS in healthcare, briefly covering the many options and technologies that are involved, as well as the various possible applications of RTLS in healthcare facilities and their potential benefits, including capital expenditure reduction and workflow and patient throughput improvements. The key to a successful RTLS deployment lies in picking the right RTLS option(s) and solution(s) for the application(s) or problem(s) at hand. Where this application-technology match has not been carefully thought of, any technology will be doomed to failure or to achieving less than optimal results.

Concepts: Tracking, Global Positioning System, Global navigation satellite system, GPS, Radio navigation, Ubiquitous computing, Real Time Location Systems, Wireless locating


Information and communication technology (ICT) has transformed the health care field worldwide. One of the main drivers of this change is the electronic health record (EHR). However, there are still open issues and challenges because the EHR usually reflects the partial view of a health care provider without the ability for patients to control or interact with their data. Furthermore, with the growth of mobile and ubiquitous computing, the number of records regarding personal health is increasing exponentially. This movement has been characterized as the Internet of Things (IoT), including the widespread development of wearable computing technology and assorted types of health-related sensors. This leads to the need for an integrated method of storing health-related data, defined as the personal health record (PHR), which could be used by health care providers and patients. This approach could combine EHRs with data gathered from sensors or other wearable computing devices. This unified view of patients' health could be shared with providers, who may not only use previous health-related records but also expand them with data resulting from their interactions. Another PHR advantage is that patients can interact with their health data, making decisions that may positively affect their health.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, Healthcare, Computer, Electronic health record, Wearable computer, Personal health record, Ubiquitous computing


Exposure to mobile source emissions is nearly ubiquitous in developed nations and is associated with multiple adverse health outcomes. There is an ongoing need to understand the specificity of traffic exposure associations with vascular outcomes, particularly in individuals with cardiovascular disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Blood vessel, Cardiovascular disease, Developed country, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ubiquitous computing


Miniaturization of computer hardware and the demand for network capable devices has resulted in the emergence of a new class of technology called wearable computing. Wearable devices have many purposes like lifestyle support, health monitoring, fitness monitoring, entertainment, industrial uses, and gaming. Wearable devices are hurriedly being marketed in an attempt to capture an emerging market. Owing to this, some devices do not adequately address the need for security. To enable virtualization and connectivity wearable devices sense and transmit data, therefore it is essential that the device, its data and the user are protected. In this paper the use of novel Integrated Circuit Metric (ICMetric) technology for the provision of security in wearable devices has been suggested. ICMetric technology uses the features of a device to generate an identification which is then used for the provision of cryptographic services. This paper explores how a device ICMetric can be generated by using the accelerometer and gyroscope sensor. Since wearable devices often operate in a group setting the work also focuses on generating a group identification which is then used to deliver services like authentication, confidentiality, secure admission and symmetric key generation. Experiment and simulation results prove that the scheme offers high levels of security without compromising on resource demands.

Concepts: Computer, Microelectromechanical systems, Wearable computer, Authentication, Cryptography, Ubiquitous computing, Computer security, Information security


Periodicity in activity level (rest/activity cycles) is ubiquitous in nature, but whether and how these periodicities translate into periodic patterns of space use by animals is much less documented. Here we introduce an analytical protocol based on the Lomb-Scargle periodogram (LSP) to facilitate exploration of animal tracking datasets for periodic patterns. The LSP accommodates missing observations and variation in the sampling intervals of the location time series.

Concepts: Animal, Tracking, Universe, Ubiquitous computing


Understanding how changes to the quality of habitat patches affect the distribution of species across the whole landscape is critical in our human-dominated world and changing climate. Although patterns of species' abundances across a landscape are clearly influenced by dispersal among habitats and local species interactions, little is known about how the identity and origin of dispersers affect these patterns. Because traits of individuals are altered by experiences in their natal habitat, differences in the natal habitat of dispersers can carry over when individuals disperse to new habitats and alter their fitness and interactions with other species. We manipulated the presence or absence of such carried-over natal habitat effects for up to eight generations to examine their influence on two interacting species across multiple dispersal rates and different habitat compositions. We found that experimentally accounting for the natal habitat of dispersers significantly influenced competitive outcomes at all spatial scales and increased total community biomass within a landscape. However, the direction and magnitude of the impact of natal habitat effects was dependent upon landscape type and dispersal rate. Interestingly, effects of natal habitats increased the difference between species performance across the landscape, suggesting that natal habitat effects could alter competitive interactions to promote spatial coexistence. Given that heterogeneity in habitat quality is ubiquitous in nature, natal habitat effects are likely important drivers of spatial community structure and could promote variation in species performance, which may help facilitate spatial coexistence. The results have important implications for conservation and invasive species management.

Concepts: Habitat, Ecology, Structure, Ecosystem, Habitats, Habitat conservation, Habitat fragmentation, Ubiquitous computing